ARC REVIEW: Jenny Quintana “The Missing Girl” ✏ Need a Heart-Stopping Ending?

The Missing Girl

Title: The Missing Girl
Author: Jenny Quintana
Pages: 321

Released: December 21 2017
Publisher: Mantle
Format: Paperback

Genre: Mystery
Goodreads Rating: 3.77 (of 810 ratings)


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When Anna Flores’ adored older sister goes missing as a teenager, Anna copes by disappearing too, just as soon as she can: running as far away from her family as possible, and eventually building a life for herself abroad.

Thirty years later, the death of her mother finally forces Anna to return home. Tasked with sorting through her mother’s possessions, she begins to confront not just her mother’s death, but also the huge hole Gabriella’s disappearance left in her life – and finds herself asking a question she’s not allowed herself to ask for years: what really happened to her sister?


Disclaimer: I received this ARC courtesy of Mantle and Netgalley. I am grateful for the opportunity to review an ARC for my readers, but this will not influence my final rating. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and based solely on the book. 

I want to take a quick moment to mention that I saw this book on NetGalley and requested a copy even though it came out over a year ago. The Missing Girl may not be an upcoming release, but the summary drew me in so much I just had to see what Jenny Quintana cooked up for her readers.

I won’t lie, The Missing Girl starts slowly. Main character Anna finds out her mother passed away, and she heads back to her hometown to deal with the aftermath. There is a lot of self-reflection (should I be back here? should I have come home sooner?) and a lot of meet-and-greets with characters that seem meaningless.

In addition,  this book is situated in the UK and there are a loooooot of references I did not get. Siouxsie? I literally thought this was the family’s pet cat for half the book. At the same time, there are many references in my daily life I don’t get, so this didn’t phase me too much and I continued on.

At about twenty percent, the book starts to pick up pace and by forty percent your hands are clenched on the wheel because you’re screeching ahead. (Or on your Kindle, as it were.) What I particularly like about Quintana’s style is that Anna, as the “detective” in this story, does not run around town trying to collect clues in faux police mode. Nor does she magically trip over secret codes in old floorboards every other chapter. Instead, Anna uncovers the answer to her sister’s disappearance gradually and in a believable sequence. When she had her first revelation, everything she thought made ACTUAL SENSE and there was no illogical jumps in her thinking process. The whole time I was wide-eyed and needing to read more, even faster.

In terms of narrative style, Quintana splits the book into two time periods: the “present,” when Anna returns home after her mother’s death, and “1982,” starting a little before Gabriella went missing. Both time lines were equally interesting to read and played well off each other, particularly towards the end when you can see how events in 1982 tied into events happening in the present.

I love the originality in the whodunit reveal. My suspicions were proven incorrect and I love it. I found the reveal plausible, and enjoyable (I mean, to read, not for characters to go through).


Four crowns because the beginning was a bit slow. Also, and this is obviously a personal thing, but the UK-related references sometimes made the story tough to follow. Impossible? Far from it. But just a touch more difficult. I would still read a Quintana book again in a heartbeat and recommend this book if you’re craving a good mystery. Best I’ve read in a while!


Can the language/cultural references in a book throw you off? Do you look up unknown terms, or just power through? Let’s discuss!


2 thoughts on “ARC REVIEW: Jenny Quintana “The Missing Girl” ✏ Need a Heart-Stopping Ending?

  1. Great review, Sha!! I like the whodunits and heart stopping endings are always the best! I usually like language/cultural references in books, mainly cuz I just love learning languages so it never hurts me to see some unknown words in my books. Though some sort of explanation might be helpful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it was the lack of explanation that got me. The author expected readers to know what everything meant (which isn’t bad, since UK readers likely do) and went forwards with the writing. And I wasn’t lost in the plot, so it wasn’t a deterrent. Just something to note. Google did its work this time!

      Liked by 1 person

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