BOOK REVIEW: Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf

Lydia Quinn is found bludgeoned to death in the cellar of her family home. The local community is rocked by the brutality of the seemingly senseless attack.
Twenty years ago
Jack escaped from his hometown, leaving behind memories of a childhood cut short by his mother's murder.
Now he must return
Sarah joins her husband at his beloved aunt's hospital bed, her first chance to meet the mysterious Quinlans. It is clear that this is a family bound by secrets and someone is prepared to go to extreme lengths to ensure that the truth of what happened to Lydia stays buried.

Publisher: HQ
Pages: 343

Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf is a tense, fast-paced thriller. Jack is called back to his small hometown of Penny Gate when he learns that his aunt is gravely ill in hospital. His wife Sarah goes with him; she's not met his family before, all she knows is that Jack's parents died in a car accident and he and his sister were raised by their aunt and uncle. So Sarah is extremely upset and unsettled to discover on her arrival that Jack's mother was not in an accident but instead was brutally murdered in the cellar of Jack's family home. Jack's own father was the main suspect but he too went missing that day and has not been seen since. Questions are now being raised about Jack's aunt's injuries, did she really fall or was she pushed?
Sarah feels like she has woken up in the middle of a nightmare. Why did her husband lie to her? Who did kill Jack's mother and are they still out there?
The author chooses the perfect setting for this book; the small town of Penny Gate is integral to the story. Everybody knows everyone's business and Sarah can quickly see why Jack wanted to get out of there. I really enjoyed the different local characters she presents; especially Margaret who works in the Sheriff's office. She puts her job on the line in order to help Sarah find more information,
Heather Gudenkauf infuses her book with an extremely unsettling atmosphere. Everything about Jack's hometown seems off. Sarah suddenly has nobody to trust, including her own husband and several characters are clearly holding information back. This all helps to build the tension which becomes more and more intense.
I very much enjoyed Missing Pieces, the plot was clever and the pace perfect, I would highly recommend this author.

Many thanks to HQ for sending me a copy of this book to review. 

1 comment:

Nadia A said...

Dot, this sounds like such a gripping read. I have to add it to my TBR list :) I love reading about little towns where everyone knows everyone's business - always adds another a layer of drama to the story.

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