It’s finally time for me to share my thoughts on Reported Missing!
Title: Reported Missing
Author: Sarah Wray
Date of publication: July 14th 2017
Format: Digital Review Copy
Number of pages: 346
Four months ago, Rebecca Pendle’s husband disappeared. So did 14-year- old Kayleigh Jackson.
Just a coincidence? Rebecca wants to believe so… But as the police start to draw parallels between Chris and Kayleigh, it’s getting harder for her to trust his innocence. Faced with an angry town that believes Chris has abducted the teenager, Rebecca tries to discover the truth. But what she finds shocks her more than she ever thought. How well does she really know the man she loves?
A completely gripping, suspenseful thriller, with a shocking twist. Fans of Louise Jensen, K.L Slater and and The Girl on the Train will be hooked until the very last page.
I am a victim. A cover love victim. There was no way my eyes would not catch the beautiful contrast of colors and the tagline that hints to my favorite trope: the suspect husband! No wonder why I don’t want to get married, haha!
The title gives you a good idea of what to expect in this book. Missing people. A teenager. A man. Coincidence? Crime stories and newspaper headlines have taught us not to believe in them, so I could totally see why the town, the police, and every Tom and Harry would think those two disappearances were connected. I would probably have thought the same! Yes, the police are supposed to “investigate all leads” but don’t we hear that the easiest explanation is the right one? Can we really blame them for looking at the first facts and drawing conclusions?
Rebecca trusts her husband. Trusted. But while his life got “suspended”, hers kept going, the town had to find someone to blame, and her life took a turn for the worst. Living in a caravan, she is only the shadow of herself. With a head full of questions, bottles around, and weeks since she’s heard anything from the man she was supposed to spend her life with, there is not much for her to look for anymore. I first felt so sorry for Rebecca. I understood her need to stick to her husband’s side, and I felt the unfairness of how the disappearances had been handled. After all, people go missing every day. The fact a young girl and a former teacher vanished the very same day could only be a joke from life, and I couldn’t help feel angry at the police for the angle with which they handled the case from the beginning. If Chris only had disappeared that day, the police would have treated the information differently, and I couldn’t help thinking he did not stand the same chance as a beautiful and lively teenager.
Rebecca feels in her guts that her husband has nothing to do with what happened to Kayleigh, but as time goes by, she can’t help but wonder, and when she witnesses strange happenings in town, she decides to dig a little. Only the digging brings doubts, and I can’t blame her for that! I can blame the alcohol and bad decisions, though. This is when I started to detach myself from her distress. I know not all women are strong and ready to fight for what they believe in, live for and whatever, but I was so frustrated to see Rebecca wonder and wonder without doing anything to prove her husband’s innocence, and her naivety and helplessness got on my nerves. I could only take so much of drinking, sleeping pills and feeling sorry for herself. She did not deserve some of the things that happened to her, but I was hoping it would trigger something, a reaction from her, and make things more exciting, but Rebecca never really left her shell.
I appreciated that the story explored what happens to the other side, the ones left behind with a wall of questions, a deafening silence, and a broken heart. I only believed it took too long for the plot to move on from the poor victim Rebecca to tangible facts and events. I admit I was wondering about Chris throughout the story, and as information was given to us, the shadow of a man appeared, a very different man than described by his wife. Rebecca is caught in the past, the good memories, and the life she had, and she cannot cope with the assumption that something happened. Except it did, whether or not the disappearances are connected. I wished a hundred times that I could shake some sense into her.
The mystery and possible link between the cases weren’t enough to keep me turning pages like a crazy lady. I struggled to finish the book. Maybe a more resilient main character and a slightly faster pace would have helped. I couldn’t find a way to connect and get curious about the teenager, and her friends did not help. I did however enjoyed the answers I got and the open ending. I felt it was perfect for this particular book. My only regret is that it took way too long to have me interested in what was happening.
Reported Missing could satisfy readers looking for a different perspective on missing people cases and lovers of assumptions, if they can handle a slow pace and a load of self-pity.
You can see if the book is for you thanks to the extract you can find here
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Sarah Wray is originally from Yorkshire but now lives in Newcastle-upon- Tyne where she works as a technology writer and editor. She won a Northern Writers Award (Arvon Award) in 2015 for an early version of her first novel.