When 12-year-old Ester goes missing after school, the small town of Durton is turned on its side. The town, especially Esther’s best friend Ronnie, is determined to find her. Things like this don’t happen in small towns like Durton, the fact that it has happened has the town questioning whether they don’t know their neighbors as well as they thought.
I primarily listened to the audio version, and I certainly enjoyed the narrator. However, this is such a slow burn that I lost interest a few times when I initially started listening. A lot of that has to do with The Chorus narrator. While the Chorus voice partially narrates’ events as they happen, including giving some history about the town, I don’t tend to enjoy these perspectives and find they make audiobook harder to follow. I found that to be true in this instance as well.
Outside of the Chorus, we have Detective Sarah Michaels, whose portion reads like a police procedural. We also have Lewis and Ronnie as child narrators. Esther’s best friend Ronnie comes across almost younger than her 12 years, provides a peer’s perspective on the events. While Lewis, friend of both Ronnie and Esther, POV’s seems almost a side thought but which is very much integral to the story.
I did enjoy how deeply complex all our characters and narrators were and the way they were all interconnected. The depth Scrivenor has given every character in this book is fabulous and I could really hear the difference between narrators by how they spoke and thought.
While this is a mystery, I wouldn’t classify it as a thriller and found it to be more of a character driven novel. If you enjoy Jane Harper’s books, then you’ll really enjoy this one. I would have liked the story to move at a slightly faster pace, otherwise this was a brilliant debut!
Dirt Creek is out now. Huge thank you to Flatiron Books for my advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my Instagram @speakingof.books.