Thanks to Avon Books, Netgalley and C.L. Taylor for my copy of the missing. I was lucky enough to be approved on Netgalley and had a copy sent to me as well for which I’m very grateful.
About the book (via Goodreads):
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 Wilkinson’s 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?
The Missing is one of those books that you know, especially as a parent, will discuss one of your worst nightmares. Fear of losing your child, in any way shape or form.
When Billy Wilkinson disappears in the middle of the night, his mother Claire and the rest of the family each blame themselves. Six months later and following a disastrous appeal, the family essentially begins to fall apart.
What follows is the harrowing account of Claire’s decent into psychological turmoil as she begins to experience fugue states. This makes for surreal reading, because it can actually happen and it’s frightening. The author has done a great job of staying true to Claire’s traumatic experiences, and they add a huge amount of tension to the story as you are in the dark as much as Claire is as regards what happens when she is in a fugue state.
Along with Claire, the rest of the family are all having difficulty with Billy’s disappearance still unsolved. C.L. Taylor deals brilliantly with each character and their reactions. The family all have secrets, and The Missing is a book that shows you just how much damage harbouring these secrets can do whether you realise it or not.
The Missing is interspersed with Whatsapp messages between chapters. These messages essentially throw the reader as you know someone is doing something they shouldn’t be, with someone they shouldn’t. The senders are only revealed towards the end of the book and I, for one, didn’t expect it. I like the way social media is portrayed in the book as it has such a massive bearing on the lives of young people today and just how dangerous it can be when it’s used unwisely.
I loved this book and hated it at the same time. As a mother my heart breaks for people who have had to endure the trauma of a missing child, in real life or in fiction. I cannot imagine what people go through, but books like this make me hug my kids a little tighter and longer when they go to bed. That is a testament to the author’s understanding of the sensitivity of subjects like this.
Astoundingly written, The Missing pulls you in from the very first page and doesn’t let you go until the final full stop. Heartbreaking, maddening, devastating and frightening in equal measure, The Missing will keep you awake for hours as you try and find out why Billy disappeared in the middle of the night and leave you in shock as to just how easy it is to misjudge the people you know.
I gave The Missing an easy 5 stars on Goodreads. It’s released on April 7th and you can pre-order your copy by clicking on the link below.
Happy reading! 🙂