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The Girl at the Border

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  1,769 ratings  ·  131 reviews

One girl missing, one woman searching, both equally lost. Will a shared tragedy help them find their way home—even in the face of imminent danger?

Renowned archaeologist Richard Mathis is half a world away on the island of Crete when he learns his daughter, Bella, has gone missing. Within twenty minutes, he’s on his way back to the States. Two days later, he’s dead.

Kindle Edition, 278 pages
Published January 1st 2019 by Lake Union Publishing
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Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,769 ratings  ·  131 reviews

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Kylie D
This book has no idea what it wants to be, it starts as an action-adventure novel, with the setting an archaeological dig in Crete, then everything moves to the States where it moves from a murder and missing persons mystery to a social commentary. The time jumps without warning, and moving from person to person just make it all the more disjointed and confusing to the reader. It starts really well, but about halfway through I started to find myself becoming more and more confused and less and ...more
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was ok

If I could go back and choose another book for my Kindle First I would. It was presented as suspense, although there was no suspense. It was a very dark read, about a young girl left with her psychotic mother while her father is on a archeological dig in Crete. The girl goes missing, the father dies, his assistant looks for the girl. The assistant has her own back story, but I didn't think it lent much to the book.

No spoilers here, you can read it for your own take on the book- I did
Dec 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018-challenge
A cluttered mess of a book. It started out well with the archaeological dig in Crete and I was enjoying the characters and the story. Then it took a weird turn and moved to the US and became about ISIS and anti-Muslim sentiment after 9/11. There were time jumps with no warning that made this book a confusing mess because the narrator would also change. I don't recommend this book at all. I'm glad I got it for free?
Dec 03, 2018 rated it did not like it
This was just incredibly dull. I made it to 47% and I couldn't bear to go on, so I skipped to the last part of the book just to see how it ended.

Almost every chapter had time jumps...sometimes 4-5 in a single chapter. Angela is the central character, on the run from her past, and she becomes obsessed (which I found creepy) with Richard, and by extension, his missing daughter.

This was presented as a suspense novel, but is listed at Amazon under "Terrorism Thrillers". No part of the synopsis I
Dec 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
Such a disappointing read and one that I cannot justify awarding more than one star to. The blurb made this novel seem really interesting – an archaeological thriller following several lives. However, this was a novel of cluttered genres that had too many ambiguous flashbacks, leaving me muddled, uninterested and mightily confused.

The blurb hides many elements about this plot. The flashbacks were insane because there were so many and they were so unexpected. Not only are we discovering the past
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it

I started this book thinking it would probably be a relatively light read, and that I'd be able to anticipate the plot as I went along. Not true! It's full of unexpected twists and turns that make it a much better experience than I initially gave it credit for. I'll say no more, to avoid spoilers, except that it's worth your time.
Mary L.
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rage and revenge.

I personally don't like going back and forth between Times and people in a novel. That said, this book was perfectly crafted to keep you reading it after you got at least halfway into it.
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazon Kindle First for December.

I thought this was an intriguing, intelligent and clever book which may well become quite a significant read although I fully appreciate that this book divided opinion. What I really liked was that it made me think and challenged opinions.

The book started with an archeological dig and I thoroughly enjoyed the Etruscan background which was woven effortlessly into the storyline. The characters were interesting and from wide ranging backgrounds which was also
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
There were some beautifully written passages in this book. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to provide a cohesive story. I almost gave up in the first chapter. It was like reading a history textbook on Etruscan civilization. It seemed like every time I'd start to get interested in the story or a character, something would happen to make me lose interest again. I usually like stories that jump back and forth in time, but the time hopping in this book was over the top. Not only was it done too ...more
Claire Sweeney
Feb 18, 2019 rated it liked it
‘One girl missing, one woman searching, both equally lost. Will a shared tragedy help them find their way home—even in the face of imminent danger?

Renowned archaeologist Richard Mathis is half a world away on the island of Crete when he learns his daughter, Bella, has gone missing. Within twenty minutes, he’s on his way back to the States. Two days later, he’s dead.

Richard’s young assistant, Angela Chase, is devastated by the loss of the man who had become both mentor and friend, and she’s
...more Mystery & Thriller
Twists and turns. Multiple flashbacks for multiple characters. Organized crime. Archaeology. Dysfunctional families. Assumed identities. Mystery. Terrorism. Love. Hate. Fear. Death. What’s not to love about THE GIRL AT THE BORDER?

Leslie Archer (the nom de plume of a New York Times bestselling author) has written a smart, absorbing mystery that starts on an archaeological dig with Angela Chase meeting Richard Mathis, a real-life Indiana Jones in the world of antiquity finds. Richard’s arrival in
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Richard Matthis is a renowned archaelogist and he has discovered Etruscan remains on the island of Crete. Angela Harris is working for him very happy in her job. She is also escaping from her past and feels safe in Crete, thinking that no one would link her to this remote site.

When Bella, Richard's daughter goes missing Matthis drops everything and flies back home to help in the search. Four days later he dies in a strange accident. The relationship between Richard Matthis and his daughter has
An enjoyable read and very thought-provoking. The author has tried to touch upon a lot of important issues. However, I felt that the author could have done a better job with the setup of the plot for a smoother flow of events in the story. There is a lot of jumping back and forth in time.

It’s an interesting story, nevertheless, about two young women who cross paths in life when one is missing and other decides to search for her. They had both faced difficult childhoods experiencing parental
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good but Chaotic

Such a richly written story, weaving through the lives of Laurel and Richard, Bella and Elim, Maggie, Gabriel, Orfeo, and others. How do they react to adversity? Love? Despair? Life?

The Girl at the Border pits the petty with the profound. A glimpse of the split in the world between our American Christian values and those of the more radicalized Islam. The book is more about loneliness and reaching for connection and longing for love.

My one complaint is that the book jumps back
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle

I was reeled in almost from page one. I like how the story is told from different characters' perspectives and not in chronological order. I was only able to put this down when I was too physically tired to stay awake. Loved it.

The reason I couldn't give this 5 stars is because the author sometimes strangely inserts unnecessarily complex words when a more common word would be more appropriate. There was also the odd sentence here and there that was so awkward I had to read it several
Leslie Archer is a nom de plume? Would I be interested in reading her other works?

Anyway, I was at first slightly put off kilter by the bouncing back and forth between time periods. But the end flowed along the string of time, as it were, as the story barreled to its neat conclusion.

I like that the parallels between Laurel’s and Bella’s lives were exposed slowly, and on,y very briefly confirmed at the end. I.e., the story didn’t pummel you over the head repeatedly by making more overt
Jan 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
First of all, I couldn’t even complete this book. It truly, without exaggeration, was one of the worst pieces of literature I’ve ever read. It ambled, lazily with no rhyme or reason. It’s story was cliched and shall I say, had more than a hint of casual racism?
I was already put off by the main character saying:
“I get treated like a third world worker” which I found an abhorrent way to describe anything in 2019 but then lo and behold the one character in any way connect to American Muslims gets
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it
I didn’t start out with high hopes for the quality of this book. I thought of it as the sort of brain candy that I used to take respite from the more literary things I commit to reading with books I hold in my hands, pages I turn, and tuck things in between the pages and use as unlikely bookmarks. Then, somewhere around what I thought was the middle of the book, I got totally engaged in the plot and couldn’t stop reading. I had to know Bella’s fate! Unfortunately, to quote one of my best ...more
Feb 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
Another amazon first read I wish I hadn't chosen.

It started off well on an archaeological dig and i was enjoying the characters, the next thing we are suddenly post 9/11 and radicalized people all over the place and no archaeology in sight.

Angela's attempts to befriend Richard's daughter Bella are very strange and quite creepy. This book also jumps about randomly, not just between time a and time b but within each of those time frames as well which makes it disjointed. The introduction of Jimmy
Di Worley
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great story

This is a complex story with the main character having 2 additional alternative aliases, but it is mainly about the sense of loss she feels from her mother's abandment, the grief that ultimately takes her father from her and the connection she feels with the daughter of the charismatic archaeologist she meets at a dig. The parallels drive her to save this young vulnerable woman and to fulfil her promise to the archaeologist. There are themes around the treatment of Muslims in
Cris Anne Imperial
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
I kind of liked it but I felt so confused! I felt like the author was trying too hard to be everything and didn't focus on only one plot.

I liked it because it felt so mysterious. This is the only book that I've read that involved archeology. Quite frankly, I wanted to read more about it and I wish that the author pursued that light. I didn't like the short involvement of Richard in the story. He was built up to be an interesting character and it was cut too short. I would have liked it if
miss n mccaig
Jan 19, 2019 rated it did not like it
This is one of very few books I didn’t want to finish. But I made myself read to the end incase it got interesting! It really didn’t. It jumped about so much, with no clear identity.
A very slow story line that could have been so much better with Laurel as an interesting character. I liked the sound of her past and wanted it to really go somewhere, but unfortunately it didn’t.

I gave this book a chance as it came up first on Goodreads. I was trying to read different authors from my usual.
An oddly tangled tale of archaeology, mystery, and hidden identities. Archaeologist Richard Mathis, specializing in Etruscan culture, and his young assistant, Angela Chase, stumbling into an unanticipated affair. Both Richard and Angela have secrets to protect, secrets that slowly unfurl as the tale progresses. This is convoluted tale of secrets best kept hidden.

The narration is terse and minimally emotional. The characterizations are distinguishable.

For a review of the performance, see
Dot Day
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Incredible Story

This is a fascinating book with much thought-provoking detail. There is no way for me to begin in an adequate way to describe the plot. Simply, read this and begin to understand the epic Moby Duck as played out through the characters. The reader will still have questions, but the basic situations will be resolved satisfactorily. All of this to say, read this as a literary offering to understand current situations of family dysfunction, national divisions, and so much more..
Karen Bobrow
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed The Girl at the Border and am considering it as my choice for my book club. It was a multi-faceted mystery: Who was Angela Chase and what was she hiding from her past? What happened to Bella, and why was Richard running from his family? If Angela located her, how would she react to her father’s mysterious friend/lover/whatever she was?

I like books that bounce between characters and time periods, and although I occasionally was confused with the bouncing around between each
Mrs F A Wiles
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Read for our modern day.

I started reading this as a book different from my normal ones The book entwined lives that were a parallel to each other. It started like many. A young woman on a dig with no real qualifications unused a d untaught. Along comes Richard. Who is as lost for different reason s. It is a page Turner for me. A modern day book. Modern difficulties and problems but with the real human elements to it. A love story but not as you know it. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I will be
David Lowther
May 29, 2019 rated it liked it
The Girl at the Border is an interesting tale encompassing the fear of radicalisation and the mysterious disappearance of a young girl - a new take on the missing girl genre.

The narrative starts at an archeological dig on Crete and switches later to the USA. The opening third of the novel is rather slow but the middle part is both interesting and exciting. I didn't think enough was made of the climax.

A decent read which I quite enjoyed.

David Lowther. Author of The Blue Pencil, Liberating Belsen,
Christopher Hood
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was ok

I could see what the author was trying to do with the story, but I found it hard work. The jumping if timelines were badly signalled and made the overall story hard to get drawn into. The use of language was overly sophisticated and distracting in places. Although I think I understand what the author was trying to do with the discussions on religion, etc it came across as crass and unnecessarily inflammatory at times. I just couldn't empathise or connect with any of the characters in
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful and emotional

The glimpse into an archaeological excavation of importance was so wonderful. I actually felt like I was in that tunnel with a paintbrush. It was a magical mind trip for me. The pilot, story, scenes and characters made me feel for them. I became friends with some of them and others I in New I hated. The layers of real life are really reflected in this book.

The epic feel of this novel breathes a new dimension a and insight into the struggles of being Islamic and Muslim in
Jan  Samson
Mar 18, 2019 rated it liked it
A bit too scrambled for me

The opening of the book drew me in, and the initial flashbacks to build the backgrounds of the characters were fine. They seemed to continue through most of the book, making it difficult for me to figure out where we were in the story.

My greatest disappointment in the book was the number of loose ends which were left. I did like the resolution for Laurel and Bella's lives.

Based on this book I would not be likely to choose another book by this author.
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