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2022 Literary Escapes Challenge

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2022 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Evocative Mystery/Thriller Keeps Me Riveted to the Page

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Colleen Mitchell knows she needs to let her 20-year-old son live his own life, but she can't help but question Paul's sudden decision to drop out of college and waltz off to the middle of nowhere to work on an oil rig.  Now, her worst fears have been realized.  She hasn't heard from Paul in over a month.  Not even a one-word text.  Maybe she's overreacting—probably she is—but something feels off.  No longer able to stand the anxiety of not knowing what's happened to Paul, she flies to rural North Dakota to find her son.  What she discovers is that she's right.  Her son is missing from the "man camp" where he and the other workers live.  No one knows where he's gone.  Or so they say.  

There's only one person in bleak little Lawton willing to believe that anything shady is going on and that's because her son is missing, too.  Shay Capparelli is Colleen's opposite—she's penniless but scrappy and tenacious, willing to do whatever it takes to find her own son, who's also nowhere to be found.  Just like Colleen, Shay knows there's something more to the story behind their sons' disappearances.  She's convinced the oil company is hiding something.  

The two women become unlikely allies in their plight to locate the boys they love.  As they dig deeper and deeper into the oil company's practices, Lawton's ugly underbelly and the secrets their sons kept under wraps, the duo uncovers some unsavory truths.  What really happened to Paul and Taylor?  Can their mothers solve the mystery before it's too late?

The Missing Place by Sophie Littlefield is an evocative, compelling read that I could not put down.  With an atmospheric setting, well-drawn characters, and a twisty mystery, it kept my attention riveted to the page.  I know some reviewers felt misled by some of the story's plot turns.  Not me.  The set up kept me guessing, which is what I dig in a psychological mystery/thriller.  Despite the book's grimness, I ended up enjoying this one quite a lot.  I'll definitely be picking up more books from this intriguing author. 

(Readalikes:  Hm, nothing is coming to mind.  You?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:  


for language, violence, depictions of illegal drug use, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find
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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes



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