The Missing Years by Lexie Elliott


The Missing Years by Lexie Elliott

Published:  April 23, 2019 – Berkley

Review copy provided by the publisher

Description: An eerie, old Scottish manor in the middle of nowhere that’s now hers.

Ailsa Calder has inherited half of a house. The other half belongs to a man who disappeared without a trace twenty-seven years ago—her father.

Leaving London behind to settle the inheritance from her mother’s estate, Ailsa returns to her childhood home, nestled amongst the craggy peaks of the Scottish Highlands, joined by the half-sister who’s almost a stranger to her.

Ailsa can’t escape the claustrophobic feeling that the house itself is watching her—as if her past hungers to consume her. She also can’t ignore how the neighborhood animals refuse to set one foot within the gates of the garden.

When the first nighttime intruder shows up, Ailsa fears that the manor’s careless rugged beauty could cost her everything.  (publisher)

My take:  I hope you read the description above because I can’t describe it any better. What drew me to this book was the setting and the aspect of a house being one of the characters. The Manse, as it is referred to by everyone, has quite the personality! I wondered more than a few times why the book wasn’t titled “The Manse“.

There are a few mysteries waiting to be solved by Ailsa. What really happened to her father all those years ago? What is going on regarding the animals? What’s up with her neighbors? I didn’t know who was worthy of her trust and neither did she. That’s what kept me turning the pages – especially in the first half of the novel when the pace felt a bit too slow. Still, I’d recommend The Missing Years to fans of mysteries with gothic overtones and possible time slips. It is Scotland, after all. 🙂

About the author:

Lexie Elliott grew up in Scotland, at the foot of the Highlands. She graduated from Oxford University, where she obtained a doctorate in theoretical physics. A keen sportswoman, she works in fund management in London, where she lives with her husband and two sons. The rest of her time is spent writing, or thinking about writing, and juggling family life and sport.


12 thoughts on “The Missing Years by Lexie Elliott

  1. The only Elliott I have read is The French Girl. I thought it was decent.

    Lloyd (408) 348-4849


  2. I read a review somewhere else of this book – can’t remember where and the reaction was similar. While I am not that much a lover of gothic there is much that does appeal about this book.


  3. Hi Mary,

    I have to be up front and admit that any story with too Gothic a twist to it, doesn’t generally appeal to me too much.

    However, I do enjoy books which are steeped in descriptive writing about a sense of time and place, and as this book’s author is a Scottish native, I would like to think that this encourages a much greater reading appeal for ‘The Missing Years’.

    I do actually also quite like the cover of this edition and whilst I agree that ‘The Manse’ might have been an equally erstwhile title, I generally associate the word Manse with its alternative definition of “a house provided for a minister of certain Christian Churches, especially the Scottish Presbyterian Church”, which in my mind, really gives the Gothic twist to the story, an extra layer of intrigue – even though you don’t mention any religious overtones to the storyline.

    Sometimes a premise can tell you just about all you need to know about a story, short of disclosing too many spoilers, then as you so rightly say, a review has to be handled very discreetly, which you have done very nicely!

    Thanks for sharing and I hope that you are reading something equally good right now 🙂



  4. The idea of the house (The Manse) as a character appeals to me, too. Terrific review, Mary! I’m glad that you enjoyed this book.


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