Thursday, 30 October 2014

The Missing Place

Author: Sophie Littlefield
Genre: Suspense
Type: e-book ARC
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books
First Published: October 14, 2014
First Line: "Colleen Mitchell’s world had been reduced to the two folded sheets of paper she clutched tightly in her left hand.”

Book Description from GoodReadsTwenty-year-old Taylor Jarvis and Paul Carroll go missing in Weir, North Dakota, where they have been working on rigs owned by Oasis Energy. The boys stayed in Black Creek Lodge, a ?man camp? providing room and board. The mothers of the two boys come to Weir to find out what happened to their sons and form an uneasy alliance. Shay Jarvis, a 41-year-old single grandmother, has more grit than resources; for wealthy suburban housewife Colleen Carroll, the opposite is true. Overtaxed by worry, exhaustion, and fear, they question each other's methods and motivations - but there is no one else to help, and they must learn to work together if they are to have any chance of breaking through the barriers put up by their sons? employer, the indifference of an overtaxed police department, and a town of strangers with their own secrets against a backdrop of a modern day gold rush.

Disclaimer:  My sincere thanks to NetGalley and Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books for providing me with ah complimentary e-book copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

My Review:  I have been a fan of Sophie Littlefield's since I read her books Garden of Stones and House of Glass.  In this latest book, the story revolves around two very different moms band together to find their sons who have suddenly gone missing.  A great premise, right?  Unfortunately the book didn't pan out like I had hoped from an author that I have truly enjoyed in the past.  As the story progressed I found that it stumbled along and my interest soon started to wane so much that I ended up forcing myself to finish the book.

My reaction to this book surprised me because of how I felt about some of her previous books.  Typically she has great character development and holds her own as a good  storyteller.  Unfortunately I didn't find that this book showcased her talent. 

I found the main characters Shay (the tough, lower class, coarse mom) and Colleen (the upper-class, uptight, helpless mom) unlikeable throughout the book.  They came off as clichéd and so different from each other that it didn't feel plausible that they'd band together.  Their constant issue of reacting to situations in a clichéd fashion quickly got on my nerves.

There was some edge of your seat action towards the end of the book but unfortunately it happened too late in the story and was over much too quickly.  I guess I was also expecting more of a big 'Ah ha' moment when we find out what happens to the boys but it ended up being more of a small 'oh ok' moment which was a let down after slugging it out for the first half of the book which seemed to drag.

I'm sad to admit that The Missing Place felt empty to me.  It lacked interesting characters, enough suspense and with the North Dakota oil boom setting being so bleak (and not overly interesting to me) I found my interest in the book was very low by the end.

My Rating: 2.5/5 stars

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