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Missing Clarissa    by Ripley Jones order for
Missing Clarissa
by Ripley Jones
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2023 (2023)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Ripley Jones' Missing Clarissa opens in rural Oreville, Washington the summer of 1999, an epic party summer 'before adulthood closes in'. But one doesn't make it to adulthood. Gorgeous head cheerleader Clarissa Campbell, girlfriend of football team captain Brad Bennett, vanishes from the forest.

Over two decades later, her fate is still unknown. High school best friends, impulsive Cameron Munoz and steady Blair Johnson decide to start a true-crime podcast with Clarissa's story. Blair's boyfriend James is against it, and dislikes Cam. Their journalism teacher warns them to tread carefully.

They talk to Clarissa's mother, who's in total denial but speaks glowingly of Allen Dawson's help after her daughter's disappearance. They interview Clarissa's high school art teacher, her boyfriend Brad and the Sheriff. They find signs of a cover-up. Their podcast, FindClarissa1999, starts to get real attention.

Someone tries to kill them - unhappy about their digging? Is the search for the truth worth the risk? Their parents are sued for defamation after Cam messes up badly. She does get the answer, but will she survive it? Missing Clarissa is an excellent mystery with a strong depth of characterization.

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