Anglesey is a small island just off the north Wales coast. It’s been my home for seven years. I love to read books based here and to walk in a character’s footsteps to see what they saw. To fully emerge yourself in a story like that gives you an all-round experience.

Learn more About Anglesey

The Girl Who Left is set around Pentraeth on the east of the island. It is a very small village and the memorial hall is also the community centre. It’s regularly used for tabletop sales and events such as circuit training and boxing.

In the book, the hall is used as a meeting place to coordinate a search for a missing child. Each morning the rescue team, locals, and holidaymakers turn up to help. It is there that they receive instructions on which areas to search next.

Interestingly, this would never happen. Anglesey has its own dedicated search and rescue team, Mon-SAR (Mon is the Welsh for Anglesey, and the SAR simply stands for search and rescue.) For one, they share personal information with the police and other agencies and have to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Each technician needs insurance, similar to public liability, and also special training, which they do on a regular basis so that they are ready for when they get a call out. Family of missing people often want to help in the search and they will be given a small task that doesn’t mean traipsing over fields and hills, etc.

It doesn’t really matter in a work of fiction, and the public going off on searches this way was an important part of the imaginative and intriguing storyline.

Learn more About Mon-SAR here

Image from Google Earth

Twenty-five years ago, a local girl went missing. Now, another girl comes back… 

When five-year-old Elsie Button was snatched from a garden in a sleepy town on the Welsh island of Anglesey, and a local man later confessed, it sent shockwaves through the tight-knit community. How could one of their own do such a thing? Especially when his own little girl was the same age – and the victim’s best friend.

Kathryn and her family left under the cloak of darkness one night, unable to bear the shame, and the anger of their neighbours. She hardly remembers that time. Now, she suffers the consequences of living under an assumed name, always looking over her shoulder. Her dad has not spoken a word to her since he went to prison. She is haunted by the question: why did he kill Elsie?

When another child is taken from the same garden, twenty-five years to the day of Elsie’s murder, Kathryn is determined that this time she’ll be on the right side. She’ll join the search and atone for her father’s deed, and maybe, just maybe, get the answers she wants. But she’s not prepared for the long memory of the locals, nor the risks of going back. Not everyone on the island wants the truth to come out, and they’ll go to extreme lengths to stop that from happening.

I read the book in March 2023. It really is a great crime thriller.

My Review of The Girl Who Left

More Anglesey Based Books

%d bloggers like this: