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Some doors should stay locked...The Missing Years by Lexie Elliot

What would you do if you suddenly inherited half a house? Not just any house, but the spookiest of houses, resting in the middle of nowhere. 

Ailsa Calder has just inherited half the Manse; the other half belongs to her father who hasn't been seen for twenty-seven years. He vanished without a trace when Ailsa was a child, and it's not known whether he's dead or alive. 

Ailsa has temporarily moved into the Manse, with her half sister Carrie.

Right from the first night, when an intruder breaks into the Manse, it's clear to Ailsa that she is unwelcome here. 

The unfriendliness continues, as she meets some of the locals, who learn that she's a Calder girl, in particular, the daughter of the man who disappeared with diamonds from a jeweller years ago. Never proven of course. But, without her father's present, the suspicions hold firm.

She wants nothing more than to sell the house, and get the hell out of this darkness. But there is a slight problem. She cannot sell the house without the other half of the party, and that obviously is going to be extremely challenging. As she tries to figure out a way around it, she settles into the house, with an unsettled conscious. The novel weaves in and out of chapters telling the story, and a page of Ailsa making up a story about where he father is. These personal made-up stories seem almost childlike, with seemingly no connection to one another. At first they are mildly entertaining, but as their persistence in the storytelling continues, by interweaving with every other chapter, they start to become mundane and lack purpose. 

Based somewhere in the craggy peaks of the Scottish Highlands, The Missing Years by Lexie Elliot is one of those books you just have to pick up for the summer. More mystery, than spooky, the novel is a slow reveal of a past that is hellbent on haunting the present. Good writing by Lexie Elliot, especially when it comes to character development. Certainly there are a handful to juggle with, but as a reader, you are invested, guessing perhaps that one of those may just be connected to the mystery of the Manse. The question is who can you trust? 

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