Thursday, 10 March 2016
Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf
Published on 10 March 2016
Published by Harlequin
Purchase from Amazon here
Everyone has secrets…
Sarah Quinlan's husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. The case rocked the town where Jack was raised, and for years Jack avoided returning home. But when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, hospitalised in a coma, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded.
Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago—barely a trace of the wounds that had once devastated them all. But as facts about Julia’s accident begin to surface, Sarah realises that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Caught in a flurry of unanswered questions, Sarah dives deep into the rabbit hole of Jack’s past, but the farther she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a hard reality she may not be prepared for.
I am a massive fan of Heather Gudenkauf, so was over the moon when Harlequin approved me for a review copy of her new book, Missing Pieces. Always filled with drama, and a few twists along the way her books grab me from the start and pull me in, totally engrossed, right until the end, when it spits me back out in to the real world, usually with a big book hangover!
The story revolves around Sarah Quinlan, her husband Jack, and his family. Jack has never been back to the small town he was raised in since his Mum's death, many years before. However, after his Aunt has an accident he is forced to go back and in doing so face the past he has tried so hard to forget.
Whilst in town Sarah starts to unearth her husbands past, and family secrets start to come to light. As she gets to know the locals she learns more, and begins her own secret mission to find out exactly what he has been hiding. Will what she finds out rip them all apart? Aha, I'm not going to tell you - I'm going to let you read and find out for yourselves!!
The characters are deep and written in such a way that it isn't easy to suss out just what person might be hiding, which adds to the intrigue. I loved Sarah, she is a good egg. A loving wife who wants to support her husband and his family, as we all do. She is a straight forward, unassuming character, so to see the family unravel, and the uncertainties creep out as secrets are revealed, made me as a reader feel quite protective towards her. But, as she starts to do her own delving I felt a bit like I was joining her in trying to piece the truth together.
I have been an admirer of Heather's work for a few years now since finding her books in the library. She is such a talented author, who knows just how to write perfectly to reel you in to the world of her characters. She uses fantastically descriptive writing that not only helps us develop a clear image of the characters, but builds tension as the plot deepens, before reaching a crescendo where all the pieces fall in to place. Heather has done a great job at luring me in as a reader, trying to guess what happened in the past, and who is to blame. But things aren't always simple and there are always deviations from the expected, which I love. Heather is great at writing dramatic, engrossing, and tense stories which I absolutely love.
Whilst Missing Pieces didn't quite live up to The Weight of Silence, or Little Mercies for me, I still really enjoyed reading this book, and would recommend it to others.
Thank you to Harlequin for kindly sending me a copy in return for an honest review.