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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

Keeping people up all night, the hottest books coming soon, takeaway menus, & audiobooks…

It’s been a while, so I thought I’d better give you an update. With only two weeks to go until THE GIRL IN THE MISSING POSTER is published, exciting things are starting to happen!

Probably one of the most nerve-wracking times for an author is when their book appears on Netgalley (for those of you don’t know, it’s a site set up predominantly for book bloggers, and magazine and newspaper reviewers, where they can read books before they come out and give their opinion). For months on end an author has worked alone on their story, finally handing it over to their trusted editor, who then works on it with them to get it to the best condition it can be, and now – suddenly – it’s out there for public scrutiny from people who are invested in it and who will give their honest opinion from a starting point of neutrality. It’s quiiiiiiiite scary. The early reviews are the first taste of how readers will react once the book is published.

So far…it’s been a huge relief, as the reviews have been so enthusiastic. Here’s a small selection:

‘This was the first book in a while that I actually sacrificed sleep for.’

‘This book was spectacular. I was totally blindsided by the ending.’

‘OMG what an utterly fantastic and riveting read…it had me madly reading, hanging on to every word, frantically wanting to know what happened next. Bloody brilliant!’

To know that people have taken to Stella, Mary, Euan and all other the characters I created, and really invested in them, is the best news. I’ve spent a long time with Stella, the kind-hearted but prickly dog behaviourist who is at the centre of THE GIRL IN THE MISSING POSTER. I’ve grown to love her strengths (her ability to apply reading canine body language to people, so that she can spot a liar a mile away; her façade of confidence in the face of confrontation; her fierce loyalty) and weaknesses (a self-confessed obsession with discovering what happened to her twin sister, Leila, and an unwillingness to let people into her life after Leila’s disappearance 25  years ago). To hear that other people have, too, means the world to me.

And that’s why my next bit of news has got me jigging up and down with joy! Last night I was watching a live Facebook chat in THE Book Club, featuring super bloggers Jo Robertson, Linda Hill and Anne Cater, and hosted by Tracy Fenton. They were all talking about the #hotbooks that came out in January, as well as the most hotly-anticipated books coming out in February and March, so of course I was making lots of purchases as I listened, when…suddenly Tracy Fenton started talking about The Girl in the Missing Poster. Wow!

It was a huge surprise and an even bigger honour to find myself being discussed alongside the likes of Jane Harper, Peter Swanson, Elizabeth Haynes, TM Logan, Lesley Kara, Matt Wesolowski…I could go on! 

Watch the full video here, on Tracy’s fabulous blog, , to hear all about the brilliant books coming soon – and discover why someone’s suggested my next book be based around a takeaway menu…!

Last – but by no means least – I HAVE to tell you about what I was listening to this morning. Go on, guess. It was the opening chapters of the audiobook of The Girl In The Missing Poster. Listening to my own words read back to me is a slightly surreal and uncomfortable experience, as a general rule, but the narrator, Katie Villa, has done such an incredible job that I was transported. I’d been a little nervous about the sections that I’ve written as if they are a transcript of a true crime documentary, as I’ve never done anything like it before and was having trouble imagining how it would sound. Katie Villa is so talented, though, that I should have known she’d do an incredible job – she blew me away. I can’t thank her, AudioFactory UK and Bookouture enough.

THE GIRL IN THE MISSING POSTER is out on 23 February, but can be pre-ordered now from:


MISSING – Have you seen this girl? Nineteen-year-old Leila Hawkins was last seen on 24 June, 1994, when she left her parents’ anniversary party early and ran into the stormy night wearing her twin sister Stella’s long red coat. She was never seen again. Stella holds the missing poster flat against the tree trunk and presses to make sure it’s secure. She tries not to look at the photograph on it. At the features so similar to hers. This time every year she decorates the small seaside town they grew up in with pictures of her beautiful missing twin. But after almost twenty-five years, is it even worth hoping someone will come forward? The last thing Stella ever expects is a direct response from the person who took Leila. Wracked with guilt about the secret she’s been keeping since the night of the party, and completely alone in the world without the other half of her, Stella agrees to his strange request: private, intimate details of her life in return for answers. But as the true events of the night of the party play out before her, Stella feels closer to Leila than she ever dreamed she’d be again – too close. Will it be too late before she realises she’s walked right into a deadly trap? Will she suffer the same fate as her sister? 

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