Hello and welcome to the weekend!
I hope your week has been fulfilling and relaxing – personally I’ve found it quite difficult to steer away from chocolate and cakes this week..oops! I’ve been on a few sunshine walks and read a lot this week, and I’m looking forward to spending more time in the garden delving into new reads today!
I seem to be flying through books at the moment (yay!), I’ve now read 8 books in 6 weeks which is a record I probably haven’t held since I was about 7 doing a reading challenge at the local library during the 6 weeks summer holidays! Although we are obviously in very difficult, troubling times, I am appreciating the time to read the books that have been sat on my shelves and really engaging with the book community.
Without any further ado, a quick hop, skip and jump to it today to a review of an advanced reading copy kindly sent to me recently from Amazon Publishing UK for my unbiased review.
THE MISSING, BY DAISY PEARCE
A missing girl. A loving mother who never gave up. A betrayed wife who doesn’t know who to trust.
Teenager Edie Hudson was nobody’s little darling, which made vanishing all too easy. Two decades later, she’s been forgotten by everyone except her mother, Samantha.
And the person who knows what happened to her.
Samantha has had a long time to remember, and to regret. Having seen how little her daughter mattered to the community in the months following her disappearance, she wonders if Edie was lost before she was even gone. Or was it guilt, not indifference, that made the locals turn a blind eye? When she meets Frances, she at last starts to hope for answers.
Because Frances is obsessed with the mystery too, after finding a photo of her husband with the girl who disappeared.
What really happened all those years ago? And just how dangerous could it be to find out?
I was so excited to read this book. The synopsis sounded promising with secrets, lies, cover ups and unanswered questions. Where is Edie? And what is the connection to Frances’ husband?
For the first few chapters, I couldn’t read this one quick enough! Edie’s mother Samantha attracted my empathy and compassion, still struggling with her daughters disappearance so many years on and with so many unanswered questions, I was keen for her to discover if her daughter was safe, alive and well, and if not, who was responsible. Frances story begins with money disappearing from their baby nest-egg fund (for when a baby is to come) and a hidden USB stick. I was completely sucked in, so eager to find out how the stories would become entwined. It sounded like such a mysterious thriller and began so fast paced and alluring.
However I’m afraid to say that I felt like this one just lost it’s way, which I’m really saddened by as I really wanted to LOVE this one and I felt like it had all the right ingredients for an amazing new release.
Whilst the two stories did come together and in quite an interesting way, I felt that the novel became too heavily focused on the story of Edie. The heat surrounding Frances’ marital issues fizzled out really quickly which was what I thought made her character and their marriage quite exciting as a reader to begin with. As such it became all about a character that didn’t really exist. Her mother Samantha is stuck in the past and whilst she’s going through the troubles she is, she’s not really a character you warm too, and Frances just seems to be meddling into someone else’s past like some kind of Nancy Drew and not really facing the issues in her marriage or trying to understand why they are there in the first place. The marital issues could have been built up and held out for so much longer than they were, it would have maintained different levels of the story so much better than the end result in my opinion.
There were certain elements also where I felt that this was deviating away from an adult fiction thriller novel and more of a YA. There was lots of teenagers chanting and practicing witchcraft in graveyards, which is something that the other neighbourhood kids and I did when we were about 8. It was also never fully explored as to why the girls in the rattlesnakes had the hold that they did on the adults around them, I thought some more dirt could’ve been dug up here but it was just left an unanswered question.
There was also a particular side character in the story that Frances decides to speak to on her investigation of the photo of the missing girl with her husband and I found myself utterly irritated at a comment made by them about being ‘lactose intolerant’, like the author thought it made that particular character more high maintenance than she had already been described to be. As someone that actually is lactose intolerant, trust me there’s nothing glam about the fact! It added nothing to the story and I didn’t understand what it was meant to convey about the character or why the author put it there. The character was literally arranging to meet for coffee with Frances and she just put out there, which seemed completely out of place in the conversation and irrelevant. Most of us just order our alternative milks and crack on with it.
The story really slowed down in my opinion in the second half and whilst the ending had a decent pulse raising chase, I think it was completely unrealistic in line with the rest of the story and I believe that the author chose the wrong characters for it. There were more red herrings than clues and whilst that should have created a thrilling ending, the result was that I didn’t believe that the people involved was the truth and I didn’t buy the reason why.
Overall I’m afraid that for this thriller lover, this for me it is a very average read. It’s a shame because I felt the author was on the right path but it just took the wrong turn.
CAN’T PUT IT DOWN RATING: 2/5
Ouch..I feel pretty guilty slating someone else’s pride and joy so harshly but I’m afraid that I feel that this one really just needed more work before it was released for public review. It had all the ingredients to be an absolute gem, its just really not quite there yet for me. I do feel as I rated this book so low that I should add that this book is currently rated 3.86/5 on goodreads.
If you want to pick up a copy of this book then you can do so in just a couple of weeks! This one is due out on 9TH JUNE 2020 and you can pre order now from:
Amazon: £4.99 on preorder
Waterstones: £8.99 on preorder
Amazon: £1.99 preorder on Kindle
WASHED DOWN WITH:
Rhubarb and Ginger Tea from the very lovely Teapigs!
It’s fruity, tangy and strangely fizzy. A lovely cup to revive and refresh you on a hot sunny day! Buy yours from £1.75 here.
Next month I’m at tea tasting school with Teapigs and I ACTUALLY CANNOT WAIT! I love their teas, I’ve never been disappointed at their flavour or strength.
So my lovely lot, I’ve got another 2 reviews to share with you at the moment (no doubt it’ll be 4 by the end of next week haha!), which I’ll be delivering to you with one every Saturday brunch/lunch time at 12pm GMT going forward!
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It’s this book community what makes all of this worth while. I have one clear motivation for sharing my reviews with you and that is to act as your ‘try before you buy’, in order to get you tucked up in a blanket, broadening your imagination, reading what you love and what soothes your soul. Those things are super important.
Until the next chapter,