Though the Halloween season is little more than a memory, and the holiday scents of warm vanilla and Scotch tape are being replaced with heart-shaped chocolates and multicolored roses, a novel I read recently gave me as many chill bumps as any good trick-or-treat. Heather Gudenkauf’s newest novel Missing Pieces is a page-turner guaranteed to take your breath away.
Written with the same poignancy and intensity that landed Gudenkauf’s The Weight of Silence a place on the New York Times bestseller list, Missing Pieces is the best of Criminal Minds meeting the best of Cold Case—it is an intense thriller that leaves you turning pages more quickly than you imagined possible, your heart pounding with each discovery.
Missing Pieces, written in third person but still eerily easy to sink into, chronicles the tale of Sarah and Jack Quinlan. Sarah, on whose perspective the reader leans, joins her husband when he returns home to his troubled, dark past, with which Sarah has only ever been vaguely familiar. However, horrific circumstances pull Jack back in (an accident involving his aunt), and Sarah finds herself waist-deep in the strange and upsetting history surrounding Jack and his family. Soon, she is making discoveries that she neither expected nor desired, putting both she and what she holds dear in a tenuous, and possibly life-threatening, position.
Missing Pieces is well-paced, and the characters feel authentic; when Sarah holds her breath, the reader does the same. Though this piece is not a typical, methodical thriller filled with the investigative rumination one often expects from novels of the genre, Missing Pieces, in its uniqueness, offers readers an excellent and easy read.
M. K. Sealy earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in literature from a Nashville university. She is a copyeditor for a Nashville-based publication, but also writes poetry, fiction, and is currently attempting a screenplay, all while working to obtain a Master of Education.
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