Today it is may absolute pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour for Where the Missing Go by Emma Rowley, which was released in paperback on 14th June. My thanks to Alex Layt of Orion for inviting me to join the tour and for providing an advance copy for review. Before we hear my thoughts, here is what is is all about.
About the Book
MY NAME IS KATE.
I volunteer at a missing persons helpline – young people who have run away from home call me and I pass on messages to their loved ones, no questions asked.
I don’t get many phone calls, and those I do are usually short and vague, or pranks.
But today a girl named Sophie called.
I’m supposed to contact her parents to let them know their child is safe.
The problem is, Sophie isn’t safe.
AND SOPHIE IS MY DAUGHTER.
I think that the idea of losing your child, be it by accident, abduction or them simply running away is one of the greatest fears of any parent. This is exactly what happens to Kate when her fifteen year old daughter disappears without trace, presumed to have run away by the police, although Kate has always suspected something far more sinister has happened. Her marriage has collapsed and her life is focused only on finding out what happened to her daughter Sophie, if that is even possible.
As the blurb suggests, Kate has been working on a confidential support line for missing people and run aways, hoping, almost in vain, to hear from her daughter. When it finally happens it is almost more than she can bear and her need to find Sophie intensifies. However, getting people to believe that the call is any more than wishful thinking and fantasy on her part is going to be tough and it is this which forms a key part of the story line as well as Kate’s search for the truth.
Now I don’t want to say any more about the story than that as this is the true beauty in reading this book. It takes quite a lot to really hook me into a psychological thriller these days, they often feel samey and almost formulaic at times, but hook me is exactly what Emma Rowley managed to do. There was something in the story, the basic premise of the family torn apart, which drew me in. I won’t lie, it was helped along by a really strong prologue where we are given just enough of a hint as to the true nature of Sophie’s disappearance without giving too much away but also leaving it open to so many possibilities.
I can’t say that every eventuality in the book took me by surprise but I wasn’t entirely expecting the ending the author Emma Rowley provided. There were many hints throughout about how, if anyone, may be responsible for Sophie’s disappearance, and as the story unfolds, told initially through Kate’s eyes and memories and eventually though that of another secondary but very important character, you begin to see the full picture emerge. It is clear that nothing is as innocent as the police thought and that there is a controlling predator at play here but we do not know who or why. The author manages to chill the reader just enough without taking it to the point of being unbelievable and yet still delivers that killer twist, or two, at the end.
I can’t say that I always liked Kate but I did empathise with her. She was a very controlling mother, perhaps with a small amount of just cause but a more open and trusting relationship with Sophie may have led to a far different future for them both. Sophie was your typical teenager, fed up of being controlled and wanting to be an adult before her time. Naive is the word I would use but it is easy to see why she acted as she did. However all the characters that Emma Rowley created felt real, three dimensional, even if, in the case of investigating officer, DI Ben Nicholls, he also feel quite detached and clinical. He too has his reasons, and it is not just official procedure holding him back.
All in all this was a cracking psychological thriller which can really get under your skin and I can’t wait to read more by the author. If you would like to read the book for yourself it is available from the following retailers:
About the Author
Emma Rowley is a writer and editor, who has written for the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, and many other titles. After reading Classics and English at Oxford University, she trained as a journalist on the prestigious City University course. Emma has spent considerable time in the courts and covering major crime stories. She grew up in Cheshire and now lives in south London.
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