The Girl on the Pier, Paul Tomkins

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Abandoned time and again by those he holds dear, Patrick Clement is forging a reputation as a forensic sculptor, helping to identify the unclaimed missing. But he can’t leave behind a remarkable summer night in 1993, spent alone on Brighton’s derelict West Pier with Black, a beautiful photography student. Patrick is haunted by the fact that no sooner did he get to know her than she disappeared from his life…Who is this girl? And where is Black, the one who got away? Decades on, while at work, Patrick is tasked with reconstructing the skull of an unidentified girl found on the pier in the 1970s – the pier he still thinks about. A crime he recalls from childhood, when his family life was in turmoil, Patrick works to discover the truth behind what has happened.

Publisher: Matador, Nov 2014

Reviewer: Sharley Phillips

This book is a fast paced drama that unravels with the main character into a mystery thriller. For a former sports writer turned fiction author what an amazing debut novel. 

The main character is lonely abandoned and an enigma and as the book progresses so does the readers understanding of Patrick (the main character). We follow his journey as a man remembering his past and the women in it; the mother, the aunt, the naughty young girl, his ex-wife and the beautiful woman he fell in love with Black. We learn about his relationships with these women as he works as a forensic sculptor (reconstructing the face of a murdered girl found on Brighton Pier in his youth).
This story brought me into Patrick’s life and I wanted him to solve the crime and to find Black and be happy to no longer be the abandoned person he was but by the end I was completely taken by surprise with the twists and turns and was thrilled and yet betrayed by the outcome. All I can say is Paul Tomkins can write a good story and I recommend you read his.


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