Saturday, November 4, 2017

The Missing by C.L. Taylor

Title: The Missing: A Novel
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Format: Paperback; 496 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (November 7, 2017)
ISBN-10: 006267353X
ISBN-13: 978-0062673534
Author's Website:
Notes: I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Six months ago fifteen year old Billy Wilkinson went missing in the dead of night. For six months his parents and his community have searched for him, but to no avail. For six months Billy's mom has held herself together, but soon finds herself unraveling losing herself--quite literally--as she sinks into depression and desperation. Blocks of time go missing and she starts to fear what happened in those lost hours. She blames herself for Billy's disappearance playing through all the mind games a desperate parent does wondering if she missed something--if she could have done something different. As the story unfolds and secrets are revealed she starts to wonder if maybe the answer of what happened to her son lies somewhere closer to home...
This was a hard read for me not because it was a bad book or poorly written (which it was not) but because in the past couple of years, two teens in our area have gone missing. I hadn't realized how hard their disappearances had affected me until I read this book. What Claire Wilkinson went through is every parent's nightmare and something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Of the two kids who went missing (both right around Billy's age) in our area we knew one of the families. Their son played little league with my mine and it hit a little too close to home. Both teens were found, but neither  lived to tell their tale.

Claire does everything a mom can do to find her son. We are dropped into the middle of her nightmare just as she's starting to lose her grip on reality. She starts losing chunks of time and waking up in places with no idea of how she got there. She starts acting irrationally, muscling her way into places she has no right to be. Her world, which had already started to crumble, soon starts crashing down around her and her family. In some ways the time lapses reminded me of those experienced by Rachel in the book  'Girl on the Train' by Paula Hawkins only Claire's aren't alcohol induced but rather stress induced, at least according to her doctor.

At first I thought the starting point of this book was rather odd, but then I realized we come into the story at the beginning of the end. The author starts each chapter with a text conversation between Billy and some mysterious individual. Slowly we see what led up to Billy's disappearance just as we see the clues that start to slowly unravel the mystery of it all. Two beginnings which lead up to one end. I rather like the way the author did this.

 Overall, I gave this one 3 out of 5 roses. Again, I must stress I probably would have given this one a higher rating had I read it at a different time in my life. It's kind of strange how what's happening in our own lives can effect our feelings for a book. The book was well written, held a fairly good pace, and had a huge twist at the end that I didn't see coming and would never have guessed. Just be aware that this an emotional roller coaster of a read. I definitely will pick up another book by the author. I liked her writing style.

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