You love your family. They make you feel safe. You trust them.
But should you…?
When fifteen-year-old Billy Wilkinson goes missing in the middle of the night, his mother, Claire, 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?
Sometimes those closest to us are the ones with the most to hide…
I loved C. L. Taylor’s previous thrillers, The Lie and The Accident, they were both incredibly gripping and Cally is now one of my automatic must-read authors! I’ve had The Missing on pre-order since I first heard it was coming out but in the meantime I had the chance to get a review copy from Net Galley and couldn’t resist (I do still have a print copy on pre-order and am looking forward to adding it to my bookcase)! As soon as I found out I’d been approved I downloaded The Missing and started reading!
I was hooked from the beginning of this novel right until the end. The harrowing experience of a child going missing is one all parents must dread and to be trapped in a nightmare for months and for there to be no real leads must be a living hell. This is captured so well in this novel, I could really feel this family’s pain and the way they were slowly falling apart. I liked the fact that Billy was a teenager, as it made this novel a bit different and gave more scope for what might have happened to him – as with a younger child he could have been kidnapped – but he also may have chosen to run away from home and could be hiding out with friends or living rough somewhere. As a reader, it made the chance of him still being alive more realistic and so I was desperate to keep reading and find out where Billy actually was and what had happened to him.
The fugues that Billy’s mum Claire began to have were fascinating to read about, I was so curious about where she was finding herself and how she had got there. I couldn’t decide if she had perhaps killed her son and her brain was blocking it out, or if she knew who had killed him and her mind couldn’t cope with it, or whether she was just so distressed by his disappearance that her brain was switching off for periods of time. I found it completely believable as I have experience of PTSD, which I know is a different condition but it can cause periods of absence whereby the sufferer loses chunks of time and can come to not knowing how they got to a particular place or how much time has passed. I can see how it would interest a writer and it certainly makes for a very interesting and very unreliable narrator (and I do love an unreliable narrator!). The suspense that came from not knowing everything Claire was doing while in a fugue state really kept me hooked.
This novel is more of a psychological mystery novel than a thriller but it’s still a very intense read and one that will keep you turning the pages to find out what happened to Billy! I had my suspicions about who might know things about his disappearance but I didn’t manage to work it all out – I love it when a novel has an ending that I wasn’t able to figure out beforehand.
I rated it 4.5 out of 5 and definitely recommend it – The Missing is such an intense and fascinating novel, it’s one you absolutely won’t want to miss! I’m now already eagerly anticipating C. L. Taylor’s next novel…
I received a copy of this book from Avon via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
The Missing is due to be published on 7th April in the UK and is available for pre-order now.