Did I ever tell y’all about the time I saw Shutter Island?

Many moons ago, aka 2010, there were lots of commercials for a movie called Shutter Island. They were pretty vague but I love Leo (as everyone should), so I went and saw it any way. Remember, this was pre-Twitter dissecting every second of a movie so I had no idea what I was walking into. And because of that, it was so much better. The movie wasn’t perfect, but the twist totally blind sided me, and the whole thing was so beautiful, I still loved it.

Much like Miranda’s All the Missing Girls.

I’d never heard of it but it was a Target Book Club pick and the back was intriguing. Y’all already know I can’t resist a good book deal so I picked it up.

All the Missing Girls

Why does my thumb always look so weird in photos?

And then sat down and read it in one sitting. Like, didn’t get up for several hours, made my roommate bring me a sandwich, kind of reading marathon. Because I’ve read a lot of mysteries in my day but none of them that were told in reverse.

Nicolette, commonly referred to as Nic, leaves her fiance for the summer and returns to her small hometown to help her brother sell their childhood home. Their father has been in a senior care facility for a year after dementia began setting in, and it’s time to tie up loose ends. We find out that those loose ends include an ex boy friend, a lot of rumors, and a ten year old disappearance of a best friend. Then another girl goes missing.

Which, by itself, might not have been the most compelling plot.

But it becomes incredibly compelling when you realize you’re reading it the wrong way. We get some back ground, Nic goes home, tension mounts. The next chapter says “15 Days Later” and something insane happens. The following chapter says, “The Day Before, Day 14” and then every chapter is a count down until we reach the 15th day and we understand what the insane thing was. The last several chapters are in the present and finally the pieces come together.

It’s a mind trip. But one that was pulled off so well you can’t be mad about it.

And I’m still tripping about it. Seriously Miranda, how do you tell a story backward while not giving everything away?

Not only that, but the whole thing was commentary on the relativity of truth, the inescapable of human nature, and the duplicity of personality.

I wish I could go into detail, that ending was loco, but I refuse to give anything away. So you’re just going to have to read it yourself. For real, go get it. Right now.

It is likely that I’ll check out some of Miranda’s other works, the Target Book Club letter was particularly endearing, so we’ll revisit her again soon. Until then, keep reading.