Published by Avon on April 7th 2016
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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?
Sometimes those closest to us are the ones with the most to hide…
Cally Taylor is such an intriguing author to me! I’ve read her books since she released her rom-com Heaven Can Wait years ago, and since then she’s written four more books, and switched genres, and now goes by the name C.L. Taylor. Heaven Can Wait is still one of my favourite books, but the genre switch has rocketed her writing to a whole other level, and I absolutely love her new thriller genre. I really enjoyed The Accident, I have The Lie to read, and I’ve just finished The Missing (hence why you’re reading this review).
The Missing centres on the search for a young boy (well, teenager actually) Billy whose gone missing. Six months have passed since he disappeared and his mother Claire and the rest of the family are still none the wiser about where Billy went, what happened to him or even if he’s still alive. The whole family is in disarray. Claire is suffering from blackouts, her other son Jake is drinking like there’s no tomorrow, and Claire’s husband Mark is quite a shifty fella. All Claire wants is to know what happened to her son, but as she closes in on the truth, is she really ready for the fallout?
The Missing is one of those books you just devour. It absolutely races along, at an outstanding pace, and suddenly you’re halfway through the book and you’re just as invested in Claire as to what happened to Billy. Interspersed through Claire’s narrative are WhatsApp messages, between two people, and it helps to build the story of Billy’s disappearance, letting you in on little clues and hints. Full disclosure: I pegged it fairly early on, in fact, I was actually expecting something else entirely, because surely it wasn’t THAT? Well, yeah, it was. I was still surprised though, because like I said, there’s part of me that thought that really wasn’t what it was.
This is very much one of those books where you don’t trust anyone, because the whole family are suspicious. Though, saying that, I actually trusted Claire. Yes, she has her blackouts, or her fugues, as it’s known, but I didn’t find her that unreliable a narrator. I actually believed her absolutely. It was the rest of the family who gave me the heeby jeebies, and I was actually suspicious of Claire’s best friend Liz for AGES, because she was just too darn friendly. I genuinely thought she would appear like a really bad villain at some point – sorry Liz! Honestly, I suspected everyone at one point or another, and it really messed with my head, especially as I had my own opinion, that I was like 75% sure of, but the way everyone was acting just made them all suspects. I really enjoyed the book. It was so well-paced, so well-plotted and I just flew through it. Cally really gets into the nitty gritty of her characters lives and this was such an enticing, enthralling read.