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Everyday Thrillers: New Releases in the Missing-Girls Genre

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Fully grown women—or, as we in the thriller-novel game call them, “girls”—go missing every day. They disappear from Nordstrom Racks, juiceries, and Chase Bank parking lots, never to be heard from again. Here, in our chilling new mystery series, are their stories.

The Girl Who Said to E-mail Her About a Job

Caitlin and her friends didn’t have a reservation at the sort-of-new, experimental pizza restaurant, so they were seated at the chef’s table with strangers. When the waiter spilled a glass of Syrah on Caitlin, she shrugged and said, “Que Syrah, Shiraz!” and the woman beside her laughed and laughed. The woman then revealed that she was an editor looking for fresh voices just like Caitlin’s. Caitlin replied that she’d just quit her corporate job to become a freelance writer but was having little luck. “What kismet!” said the woman, as she rummaged through her purse for a business card. Unable to locate one, the woman said, “Find me on LinkedIn.” Unfortunately, Caitlin had forgotten her name—Wendy? Janice? Gabrielle? Will Caitlin ever find her? Or will our self-employed heroine descend into madness, and then write about it on Medium for free?

The Girl at the Post Office

“Do you have any more of those padded birthday envelopes?” Ben asked the girl at the post office. The woman behind the Plexiglas met his gaze and huffed. Ben could have sworn her look said, “Go fall in a canyon,” but her mouth said, “One moment,” and she disappeared to the back. That was seven months ago. Lately, in his makeshift tent outside her teller window, Ben has started to wonder if she’ll ever return, or if she’s dead, or lives in Canada now, or just possibly, if the girl at the post office could be the same mysterious girl from the cable company who put him on hold last year and never came back on to answer his router question. Will Ben’s brother Larry, who is now thirty-six-and-a-half, ever receive his autographed Wilco vinyl? Will Ben’s router ever stop blinking?

“The Girl with the Bangs”

Julia was with Carolyn the day Carolyn realized everyone else had grown out their bangs. “How did all of humanity switch to center-parted hippie hair while I still have a side part and swoopy bangs?” Carolyn cried as Julia pulled back her own hair into a bun, so as not to further upset her friend.


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