When a woman’s body is discovered in a cathedral and hours later a young man is found hanging from a tree outside his home, Detective Lottie Parker is called in to lead the investigation. Both bodies have the same distinctive tattoo clumsily inscribed on their legs. It’s clear the pair are connected, but how? As Lottie begins to link the current victims to unsolved murders decades old, two teenage boys go missing. She must close in on the killer before they strike again, but in doing so is she putting her own children in terrifying danger? Lottie is about to come face to face with a twisted soul who has a very warped idea of justice.
I hadn’t read many things about Patricia Gibney’s novel, and sometimes that’s the best we can hope for. I started The Missing Ones knowing nothing about its plot and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it.
The book was dark and I loved how the author didn’t try to sugarcoat anything: The Missing Ones was straight-forward and explicit when it needed to. It also featured a strong main character, who wasn’t always easy to like, but I found her more interesting especially because of that same reason. Lottie Parker was sometimes kind of rude and didn’t make her colleagues’ lives easier. But she was an excellent detective and her instinct was spot on.
While reading this book I was reminded of Angela Marson’s first book in her series. The topic is quite similar and although this one was set in Ireland, I thought they had some similarities. If you’re a fan of Marsons, you need to read this one as well. She’s definitely one author to watch out for. I’m already a fan!
Even though it was a pretty long book (about 500 pages?), I managed to finish this one in a day. I was so engrossed in the story I didn’t want to do anything but keep on reading. And just because this is a police procedural, it doesn’t mean that the plot is all that matters. All the characters were well-written and I felt like I had known them for a very long time. I found myself really caring about Boyd, Lottie’s children and another character that I won’t mention because of potential spoilers.
My complaints have little to do with the book itself, as you will see. I simply think the blurb reveals way too much and I removed part of it. Also, I do not think this is a novel that relies on the classic “jaw-dropping twist”. There isn’t one. There’s one detail that will surely come as a surprise and I absolutely loved it, but it’s not even connected to the main case. So nope, don’t read it because of that. Read it because it’s an excellent book!
Let’s do this: check out the prologue and tell me if you don’t want to know more…
Netgalley, Bookouture, 2017