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Missing Person: Alice (The Finder Mysteries)

Simon Mason

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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Crime & mystery, Classic crime

Missing Person: Alice is an explosive mystery of murky truths, in sharp, twisty prose Simon Mason shows that no one version of a missing person is the same.

The people I work with call me 'Finder'. I'm a specialist, a finder of missing people.

July 2015, Sevenoaks. 12-year-old schoolgirl Alice Johnson went missing while doing her paper round, her bag found discarded on the pavement. At 08.00, she was spotted standing in heavy rain at the side of the busy by-pass. At 11.00, she was seen talking to the driver of a black car in Tonbridge. After that, nothing. Alice was never found.

Nine years later the body of another schoolgirl, Joleen Price, is pulled from a nearby lake and a local man named Vince Burns detained. Convinced that Burns is guilty in both cases, SIO Dave Armstrong calls in the Finder to investigate the earlier disappearance.

Interviewing those who thought they knew her, the Finder gradually reveals a hidden Alice, a girl of surprising contradictions. Seeking answers from her divorced parents - an over-protective mother, a negligent father - the Finder is forced to consider violently opposing narratives. Was the timid 12-year-old a victim of the predator Burns, as he himself hints? Or was she carrying out a plan of her own?

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