Review: The Girl on the Pier

Book Title: The Girl on the Pier

Book Author: Paul Tomkins

Book Rating: ☆☆☆☆ (4 out of 5 stars)

Synopsis: “Abandoned time and again by those he holds dear, Patrick Clement is forging a reputation as a forensic sculptor, helping to identify the unclaimed missing. But he can’t leave behind a remarkable summer night in 1993, spent alone on Brighton’s derelict West Pier with Black, a beautiful photography student. Patrick is haunted by the fact that no sooner did he get to know her than she disappeared from his life…

Who is this girl? And where is Black, the one who got away?

Decades on, while at work, Patrick is tasked with reconstructing the skull of an unidentified girl found on the pier in the 1970s – the pier he still thinks about. A crime he recalls from childhood, when his family life was in turmoil, Patrick works to discover the truth behind what has happened.”

Is this really the author’s first novel?!  It is extremely well-done either way, but is even more impressive if this is the case.  I hesitate to go into too much detail about the plot, as it was all of the twists and turns of the main character’s life that made this story so engaging, as well as the way that the author slowly peeled back the layers of his story.  What I will say about this novel is that it revolves around the life of Patrick Clement, who works as a forensic sculptor, and in the present day story line is working to reconstruct the face of a missing young woman who passed away decades before and has still not be identified.  As Patrick works to discover the identity of this “un-missing” girl, the author takes us through flash backs of Patrick’s life, and his repeated abandonments by the people he loves and cares for the most.  However, nothing in Patrick’s life is really what is seems.

The first few chapters began a little shakily for me, as I got used to the non-linear story line.  And there were a few points in the story where I wondered where the plot was going, but honestly didn’t really care as I continued to be swept up in the life of this vividly created character.  For me, this is one of those books that you simply to do not want to end as you find yourself becoming more and more invested in the story and the characters.  This book was remarkable, and this author is one that I will be keeping any eye on for any future novels!

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley.

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