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Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

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The mysterious disappearance of a teenage girl has a lasting effect on the village where she went missing

Winner of the Costa 2017 Novel Award, Reservoir 13 is a haunting account of a missing girl who is never found.

Set in ‘a village’ in the Peak District, the book starts with the first rush of exposure as all the villagers and the wider public rally round the distraught parents and the heavily-publicised search for the missing 13-year-old.

Time passes and still the girl is not found. Interest inevitably tails off, but the reader experiences the continuing effect the mystery has on the villagers and those connected with the seeming tragedy.

With echoes of the Madeleine McCann mystery, this is a compelling read.

McGregor paints a picture of a community forever blighted by the unwanted publicity which the girl’s mysterious disappearance has brought upon them. It also shows how everyone is affected, even those who were children at the time.

McGregor never uses recorded speech and yet the characters, who come and go as the seasons change, each have a voice and the reader feels as if this is a living, breathing community.

An at times uncomfortable, but absorbing read, which is very much a novel of our time.

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