Finished July 15
Still Mine by Amy Stuart
This suspense novel is set in Blackmore, a small remote Canadian town built around a mine that closed after a fatal accident. Clare O'Dey drives into town in her old car, identified as an outsider immediately. She finds the motel closed and the diner staff warning her off, but she finds a way to stay.
Clare is there on a job for the mysterious Malcolm. Not long ago, a local girl, of a similar age to Clare, Shayna Fowles, disappeared, and Clare is trying to find out where she is. There is no shortage of suspects: Shayna's ex-husband Jared; the neighbour and local drug dealer, Charlie, who has a grudge against Shayna's father; Shayna's father himself, angry and struggling with a wife slipping into dementia; and the town doctor, Derek, who has tried to save Shayna from herself a few times.
With the motel closed, Clare rents a decrepit trailer on Charlie's property and insinuates herself into Shayna's world, befriending her friends, her parents, and her ex. While she's a stranger to town, Clare is no stranger to this world, and she is still running from her own past.
As we gradually come to know Clare's history and the town of Blackmore, we find ourselves less sure of the facts, and more sure that something, many things actually, aren't right.
This is a dark novel, with its undercurrent of poverty, drugs, and failed industry. But it is also a story for our times, a story of a world too many know well.