Book Review (ARC): Where the Missing Go by Emma Rowley

“I’m still here…”

The blurb doesn’t do this book justice. I’m so surprised at how much I enjoyed this story. The writing is elegant and succinct, the tension is spellbinding, and it kept me occupied on the StairMaster for over 30 minutes, which is high praise in itself :p

Where the Missing Go begins with a woman named Kate working at the “Message in a Bottle” helpline. It’s a place where missing people can call in and anonymously contact their families or friends. If they’ve vanished voluntarily, it provides a way to let their loved ones know they’re safe, without actually coming home or calling them directly. That night, Kate is alone at the helpline office, and receives a call from a young woman named Sophie, who asks her to get in touch with her parents and let them know she’s all right.

Kate’s daughter’s name is Sophie.

And Sophie has been missing for two years.

Although Kate had been beginning to accept that perhaps her daughter had run away for good, the call upends her life (a life that was already teetering on the edge), and she cannot help but try once again to find out what happened those years ago. Clues begin to mount up, and an intruder stalks Kate in the night, entering her home and leaving without making a sound. The police don’t believe her, and her family begin to think she’s going crazy – they all ask the same question: why can’t she just move on?

But Kate can’t and won’t – what mother would? When her investigation leads her to the disappearance of a local woman decades before, she’s even more sure: something happened to Sophie. And perhaps, she’s been trying to reach her mother all along…

I’m a huge fan of ‘journey’ novels, and I loved the way that Kate slowly peels the onion, unraveling her daughter’s vanishing in slow steps. I did guess the ultimate perpetrator, but there isn’t a large cast of characters, so this wasn’t difficult – nor did it detract from my can’t-put-this-down enjoyment of the story as a whole.

If you like mystery and psychological suspense, I can almost guarantee you’ll be riveted by this story by Emma Rowley. It’s a wonderful debut, and I think she’ll be entertaining us for years to come.

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