Olivia Shaw has been missing since last Tuesday. She was last seen outside the entrance of her elementary school in Hunts Point wearing a white spring jacket, blue jeans, and pink boots. I force myself to look at the face in the photo, into her slightly smudged features, and I can’t bring myself to move. Olivia Shaw could be my mirror image, rewound to thirteen years ago. If you have any knowledge of Olivia Shaw’s whereabouts or any relevant information, please contact… I’ve spent a long time peering into the faces of girls on missing posters, wondering which one replaced me in that basement. But they were never quite the right age, the right look, the right circumstances. Until Olivia Shaw, missing for one week tomorrow. Whoever stole me was never found. But since I was taken, there hasn’t been another girl. And now there is.
I like to listen to audiobooks while I game, which means I ended up reading Girl Last Seen by chance. It is the first book I’ve read by Nina Laurin and may very well be the last – harsh, I know. When I choose to read a thriller, suspense, or mystery book, I expect… well, the elements of those genres. Girl Last Seen was devoid of any excitement whatsoever and a bit too stereotypical for my taste.
Time and time again, I’ve made it clear that I hate slow plots. I want to feel urgency in a book, especially if it deals with a kidnapped child. In Girl Last Seen, the characters were underwhelming. It becomes obvious early on that things are going to go exactly the way the reader feels they are: girl disappears, guy everyone knows is at fault, oh dear god how can it possibly be. The main character is more unlikable than her own despicable mother, considering she’s drug addicted. There’s even a sex scene that’s a bit on the descriptive side thrown in for what feels like the hell of it. And that annoys me.
Fortunately, the narrator is an excellent choice and I would gladly listen to more books read by her.