It feels like I’ve been reading a lot of suspense and mystery novels lately and two of them have been set in Bristol: The Missing and Odd Child Out. Thankfully, all of them have been exciting and fun to read.
The Missing by C.L. Taylor is told from a mother’s perspective and it’s utterly heartbreaking. Claire’s fifteen year old son has gone missing six months ago and there are no clues as to where he went or if he was kidnapped or ran away. Is he dead? Is he sleeping rough somewhere? Someone has to know what happened to him, but the police are stumped, and Claire is starting to suspect her family.
Claire is unreliable as a narrator because she keeps having blackouts and finding herself in strange places after being triggered by something that disturbed her deeply. Throughout my reading of the book, I suspected every single person, except for the person who it actually was.
This psychological thriller is a little long, but you’ll be sucked in from the first page. You feel so deeply for Claire and her husband and older son, while they deal with their youngest missing for six months. You don’t want to suspect any of them, but you can’t help but feel that something just isn’t quite right at home. No family is perfect, and something is deeply wrong in that house, but you just can’t put your finger on it until things are revealed near the end. The ending is a little rushed, especially after so much build up. It feels good to know what happened, but everything is cleared up very quickly.
If you’re looking for a good Christmas gift for an avid suspense reader, The Missing should be on your list.
• Paperback: 496 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (November 7, 2017)
“The Missing has a delicious sense of foreboding from the first page, luring us into the heart of a family with terrible secrets and making us wait, with pounding hearts for the final, agonizing twist. Loved it.”—Fiona Barton, author of The Widow
A harrowing psychological thriller about a missing teenage boy whose mother must expose the secrets within their own family if she wants to find her son—perfect for fans of Reconstructing Amelia.
You love your family. They make you feel safe. You trust them. Or do you…?
When fifteen-year-old Billy Wilkinson goes missing in the middle of the night, his mother, Claire Wilkinson, blames herself. She’s not the only one. There isn’t a single member of Billy’s family that doesn’t feel guilty. But the Wilkinsons are so used to keeping secrets from one another that it isn’t until six months later, after an appeal for information goes horribly wrong, that the truth begins to surface.
Claire is sure of two things—that Billy is still alive and that her friends and family had nothing to do with his disappearance.
A mother’s instinct is never wrong. Or is it…?
Combining an unreliable narrator and fast-paced storytelling, The Missing is a chilling novel of psychological suspense that will thoroughly captivate and obsess readers.
About C. L. Taylor
C. L. Taylor is a Sunday Times bestselling author. Her books have sold more than a million copies and have been translated into twenty-one languages. She lives in Bristol, England, with her partner and son.