The Girl on the Platform by Bryony Pearce | Publisher: Avon | Genre: Thriller | Find it on: Goodreads | Publishing: 15 April 2021
Bridget is struggling. With work. With her new baby. With taking care of herself. When she sees a young girl being kidnapped while riding passed a train station she knows none of that matters. She has to help.
But the police don’t believe her. No one else on the train saw the kidnapping.
The only person looking for this girl is Bridget. But is she putting her family in danger by not giving up the search?
Pearce uses a lot of newly common thriller tropes (sleep deprived new mom, PPD, and side-effects of anti-depression medication to create an unreliable narrator) to weave together a mystery that is refreshingly original. The narrative bounces back from Bridget in present day to the girl from the platform, but otherwise these are the only perspectives the reader sees, which I found refreshing after dozens of thrillers that bounce you between 3-5 other characters.
By keeping the narrative in Bridget’s voice most of the time, Pearce is able to dive into Bridget as a character and while she’s a frustrating, not always likeable character, Bridget felt like a real person. The kind of mom I might find at a mommy-and-me group or pass at the library. And as she hurtles through the twists and turns of this story, I couldn’t help but hope she solved the mystery.
Pearce manages to keep the pace strong throughout the book, and each twist is both thoughtfully foreshadowed and surprising.
I also appreciated Pearce’s homage to real missing persons cases throughout the book, and her focus on the victims’ stories rather than the perpetrators motivation. As well as the detailed work Bridget does with statistics to show the kind of effort that goes into solving a missing persons case.
Not only did I love this book, but I loved Pearce as a writer and I’ll be watching for more books from her in the future.
Read it? Adding it to your TBR? Disagree? Let’s talk in the comments!
*Thanks to Netgalley and Avon for the review copy!*