Title: The Missing
Author: C L Taylor
Copyright: C L Taylor 2016
Blurb: 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 Wilkinsons 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?
Plot: No spoilers. I’ve always thought it is horrific when a child goes missing, never to be seen. No funeral, no mourning, no moving on. This is the basic horror behind this brilliantly written fiction book.
It’s told from the mother’s point of view, which hopefully won’t discourage male readers. It’s so cleverly written, Ms Taylor writes effectively at bringing in the paranoia and guilt a parent feels at the loss of a child. The guilt increased due to the disappearance occurring whilst the mum is away from home.
Everyone has secrets, lies abound, who is to blame, if anyone, for Billy going missing. Is he dead? If not, where is he?
Characters: Billy – not seen until the near the close of the novel. Teenager with faults, after all, don’t all teenagers have some issues to resolve?
Claire – mum – guilty and suffering from some form of memory loss and / or panic attacks.
Jake – the oldest son, who lives upstairs with his girlfriend Kira – both have issues of their own, whilst trying to come to terms with the loss of Billy. Why do they feel so guilty?
Mark – dad – trying to keep his family together and hold it together whilst failing to keep his temper in check.
Liz – Claire’s friend, neighbour & confidante with issues of her own and a marriage on the rocks.
Conclusion: BRILLIANT! I read half of this at one sitting, literally an unputdownable (yes it’s a word in my world) page turner. The short chapters are great, the odd ones compiled of mysterious text messages are a clever way of introducing tension and guesswork about the people behind the messages.
Recommended: YES YES YES. This is a Sunday Times Bestseller for a good reason. I don’t usually go for best sellers, however I met the author and was lucky enough to get this book signed. She’s a great public speaker, totally humble and inspiring. Well Done Cally you wrote a blinder!
You may also like:
Handy Shopping Links (If you use these, I earn a small commission. You are enabling me to continue writing, and keep this website and content free to you, thank you!)
I hope I’ve inspired you to buy a book and read more. Tweet me from your next coffee stop! If you are busy out and about and you’d like my posts to your email inbox directly, please sign up for the newsletter.
Please feedback to me in the comments or via Twitter or Facebook how you got on, my online community is there to support you too.