After thoroughly enjoying ‘The Lie’ by C. L. Taylor, when I saw a copy of ‘The Missing’ in my local library, I had to bring it home with me, and I’m so glad I did.
From the back cover:
When fifteen-year-old Billy Wilkinson goes missing in the middle of the night, his mother, Claire, is distraught, blaming herself. She’s not the only one. There isn’t a single member of Billy’s family who doesn’t feel guilty.
But the Wilkinsons are so used to keeping secrets from one another that it isn’t until six months later, when an appeal for information goes horribly wrong, that the terrifying truth begins to surface.
Claire is sure of two things: Billy is still alive and her family had nothing to do with his disappearance.
A mother’s instinct is never wrong. Or is it?
A child is missing – that is not an uncommon thread in psychological thrillers and I was worried this book would be ‘just another thriller about a missing child’. But Taylor tells a compelling story that truly shows how fractured families can be.
The story centres around Claire, as she starts to experience blackouts due to anxiety, psychological stress and guilt; she knows her son would not intentionally run away…so what has caused his disappearance, is she to blame? Claire has no recollection of what she has done during these fugue states, she wakes disorientated and confused; she must find out the truth about what happened to Billy if she wants these blackouts to stop. As Claire begins to take a closer look at her family, all their flaws and mistakes start coming to light and she begins to wonder if the ones closest to her know more than they are letting on…
Claire and her husband, Mark, haven’t been close in a long time, he has the ability to compartmentalise things and continue as normal, can he be trusted? Billy’s older brother, Jake, has been drinking a lot since Billy’s disappearance, is he hiding something? Jake’s girlfriend, Kira, spends most of her time in the bedroom, does she know more than she’s letting on? At one point in this book, I held each family member accountable for Billy’s disappearance; this was a gripping read that kept me guessing.
Interspersed throughout the book we see an exchange of messages between two unknown people, this adds another layer of suspense to the story as it is not revealed, until very late in book, who these exchanges are between and how they relate to Billy’s disappearance – a revelation that shocked me!
This book is made all the more chilling as it’s a believable story, all the characters are portrayed in a way that makes nothing seem far-fetched. It really does highlight, that no matter how well we think we know our family, big or little, everybody has secrets.
This book is available to buy now from: Amazon UK