57 pages 1 hour read

Megan Miranda

All the Missing Girls

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2016

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Summary and Study Guide


All the Missing Girls, a 2016 suspense novel by Megan Miranda, tells the story of Nic Farrell, who returns home after receiving a phone call from her brother suggesting that she needs help take care of their ill father. 

Nic lives in Philadelphia with her fiancé, Everett, but is from Cooley Ridge, a small town on the edge of the Smoky Mountains. Upon returning home, she is forced to confront memories she thought she’d put behind her 10 years ago, when she left. Her mother died when she was a teenager, which completely destabilized the nature of her life as well as the lives of her brother and father. After the disappearance of her best friend, Corinne Prescott, Nic left town for good. Corinne was never found, and, after a while, people stopped looking. They fed themselves an easy narrative, saying that Corinne was troubled and that she had it coming. 

Another girl goes missing almost immediately after Nic arrives in town. This girl is a few years younger than Nic and named Annaleise Carter. The book moves backward in time, from two weeks into the investigation to Nic’s first day in town. As she works her way back to the beginning, we are introduced to integral characters, including Nic’s ex-boyfriend, Tyler; her best friend, Bailey; Corinne’s boyfriend, Jackson; Nic’s brother, Daniel; and Nic’s father, Patrick. 

Nic slowly unravels the mysteries of not one but both missing girls, piecing together the secrets that were kept from the police, kept from friends, or kept within the family. Nic and her friends had grown up living wildly: they drank, they dated each other, they pushed their limits, and the whole town knew it. That Corinne was extremely manipulative, beautiful, and charismatic made her disappearance a legend and point of gossip. Annaleise had taken a special interest in Corinne, Nic, and their group. She would follow them and take photos of them. This led her to hold evidence crucial to Corinne’s case, which Annaleise has been using as blackmail for years to bleed Nic’s father of his money. 

When Annaleise confronts Nic about this in hopes of being paid another time for her silence, a chain reaction begins. Nic tells her brother and her ex-boyfriend. They all confront Annaleise outside her house later that night; soon after, Annaleise disappears into the forest. As Nic slowly solves the case of this second missing girl, who is found only after her death, the circumstances of Corinne’s death are also revealed. Her revelations are shocking and tether Nic indefinitely to Cooley Ridge. She ends up staying in town, rekindling her relationship with Tyler and letting all of the ghosts of her past coexist with her present.