'A coming-of-age drama as much as a crime story, this isn’t a book for those who like things wrapped up neatly, but readers who enjoy something haunting, atmospheric and genuinely mysterious have a treat in store.'
The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone
Longlisted for a John Creasey New Blood Dagger 2020Felicity McLean
A DAILY MAIL ‘Must Read’ title
Bookriot’s 50 spring must-read crime novels
‘One part mystery, one million parts amazing.’ Cosmopolitan
‘A coming-of-age drama as much as a crime story…haunting, atmospheric and genuinely mysterious.‘ Guardian
‘An entrancing, melancholy debut… Mesmerising.’ Daily Mail
We lost all three girls that summer. Let them slip away like the words of some half-remembered song and when one came back, she wasn’t the one we were trying to recall to begin with.
Tikka Molloy was eleven and one-sixth years old during the summer of 1992. That summer, the hottest on record, the Van Apfel sisters – Hannah, the beautiful Cordelia and Ruth – mysteriously disappeared. Did they run away? Or were they taken? The mystery of their disappearance has never been solved.
Now, years later, Tikka has returned home and is beginning to piece together what really happened. The summer that shaped her. The girls she couldn’t forget.
'One part mystery, one million parts amazing, this debut from Felicity McLean will be a summer fave.'
'Felicity McLean's accomplished debut...[is] a stunning piece of literary ventriloquism.'
‘An entrancing, melancholy debut... The landscape is superbly captured, but it is the relationship between Tikka and the sisters that lingers... Mesmerising.’
'Compelling...it doesn't disappoint...It's rare, and even unnerving, to read something like this and find it absent of fetishization of a young woman's life, and thus full of tenderness and compassion, and a real sense of what gets lost in these situations.'
'A taut, beautifully written thriller with a scorching expansive setting. The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone is a fantastic debut and a story that lingers.'
‘With echoes of Picnic at Hanging Rock, this is an atmospheric first novel.’
'A smart, classy thriller that blazes with the heat of Australia and slowly reveals its many layers.'
'I deeply admire the languid, lived-in prose of Felicity McLean’s lovely novel The Van Apfel Girls are Gone. This is a story as much about forgiving ourselves our own childhoods, as it is about acknowledging and embracing the people we’ve become because of those adolescent (and sometimes life altering) choices.'
'This debut, part coming-of-age story and part crime thriller, is both forceful and unnerving.'
'Impressive... A well written story which convincingly evokes the place and time in which it is set.'
'One would expect [Felicity McLean], who has a background in journalism and biography, to be particularly good at detailing the who, what, where, and when of a mysterious disappearance. She is.'