Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Reading on a Theme: Missing People

What happens when someone goes missing? These thrillers are intense, sad, engaging, and significant.

Missing Boy:
A few months ago Natalie's boyfriend died in a car accident, and life has been hard ever since. Hoping to lift her spirits, Natalie's parents take her and her three best friends on a cruise for her birthday. Things seem to be looking up when Natalie meets an interesting boy and opens up to him, but when he doesn't show up for their next meeting, Natalie get really concerned. Could he have jumped? Is that why the captain is calling for a mandatory head count? The Opposite of Here has a great premise: a missing person in a contained location. Tara Altebrando's new book is a fast-paced thriller with a setting that makes for a perfect summer read. The Opposite of Here is out June 5, 2018. Review copy from NetGalley. 

Missing Best Friend:
When Claudia returns from summer at her grandmother's house, her best friend, Monday Charles, has vanished, and no one seems to notice but Claudia. Tiffany D. Jackson's new book is loosely based on the disappearances of young black girls in Washington, D.C. that made headlines in 2017. Jackson's story delves into issues of race, gentrification, learning disabilities, and mental illness. Jackson's writing paints a vivid picture of the Washington, D.C. area, and Claudia's story is compelling and tragic. However, I found the structure of the book to be a bit confusing at first, but it eventually all came together, so if you feel similarly hang in there. Monday's Not Coming is out May 22, 2018. Review copy from Edelweiss.

Missing Sister:
It had been a while since I had read an adult thriller when I picked this one up. Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker is the story of sisters Cass and Emma who disappeared when they were 15 and 17. Now, several years later, Cass returns, without her sister. Her story is one of an isolated island and the couple who trapped them there. Forensics specialist, Abby Winter knows something is off and is certain that Cass is leading them somewhere else. This was a compulsive read for me, as thrillers ought to be. I could not put it down. Of course, it is filled with family secrets and unlikable characters, as is often the case in thrillers as well. Emma in the Night was out August 8, 2017. Review copy from NetGalley.


Missing Girl:
Courtney Summers's new book, Sadie, is told in two alternate timelines. In one timeline Sadie is searching for her younger sister's killer. In the other timeline a Serial-type podcast host, West McCray, is searching for the missing Sadie. McCray's sections are told in the podcast format, which makes for a really interesting read. (I hear the audiobook takes the podcast format seriously with a full cast and everything.) Sadie is suspenseful and serious and sad. It is about some really rough (but important) themes: revenge, small-town poverty, drug addiction, child molestation, abandonment. Ms. Summers always excels at the gritty and painful. Sadie is out September 4, 2018. Review copy from NetGalley.

Missing Girlfriend:
Flynn's girlfriend January is missing. As Flynn digs into her disappearance he learns that January had so many secrets. Flynn is hiding a secret of his own, and, with the investigation intensifying, it's one he probably won't be able to keep even though he's not ready to share this secret with the world. Last Seen Leaving was Caleb Roehrig's debut novel. This is a great pick for fans of YA thrillers. The mystery had me hooked, and I really enjoyed seeing the threads unravel. I did guess the culprit early on, which is always a bit of a bummer. I'd rather be shocked, but the author had plenty of other tricks up his sleeve that I did not see coming. Last Seen Leaving was out in 2016. Review copy from NetGalley.  

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