*We received this book in exchange for an honest review.*
Missing Clarissa is advertised as perfect for fans of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. In 1999, popular cheerleader Clarissa Campbell disappears at a party in the woods the summer before her senior year of high school. No one ever found out what happened to Clarissa.
Fast forward 20 years and best friends Blair Johnson and Cameron Munoz start a true crime podcast. But it turns out, their podcast might have helped the killer more than the victim. The killer knows that two high school girls are seeking the truth, but remains determined to keep Clarissa’s story a secret.
Through interviews and the investigation, Blair and Cameron know someone isn’t telling the truth and the secret of Clarissa’s disappearance is not what anyone will expect. Secrets can’t stay hidden forever in this small town.
We requested Missing Clarissa because the plot sounded amazing. We’re happy to say it was done well. The investigation started with a podcast done for a school project and lead Blair and Cameron through a messy web of secrets. Jones did a good job of introducing suspects and surprising the characters at the end with the reveal.
The sad part is that this book could have been excellent, but fell plat with the writing style and the third person point of view. The sentence structure felt too choppy at times as well. All of these reasons made it hard to connect with the characters. When we read thrillers and mysteries, we want to feel anxious for the characters and be in suspense, which we couldn’t do with this story.
Blair’s and Cameron’s thoughts were run together without the separation of a paragraph or page break. If Blair and Cameron each got their own chapters with an alternating dual POV, it would have been much better. But again, some authors can’t make third person work because the readers won’t connect to the characters. It can be done well, but it’s tricky.
Overall, we loved the murder mystery and true crime podcast of the story. The execution and writing style fell flat for us.