Monday, 11 June 2012

Books Read: Nicci Gerrard - Missing Persons

Source - Received from publisher to review

When Jonny went missing everything changed.

His mother's heart is full of terror and sadness instead of joy.

His father's study overflows with newspaper cuttings and profiles on missing people instead of the academic texts that were there before.

His sister, once carefree, now carries the weight of the world on her shoulders.

His bedroom at home remains untouched and ready for his return.

A place is set for him at the table on Christmas day each year.

His birthday is always celebrated; his unopened gifts gather dust.

The hands on the clock continue to turn and yet Jonny hasn't returned. 

Where is he?

This is the first book that I've read that this author has written as Nicci Gerrard although I have read several of her previous books that she's written with her husband, Sean French, as part of the writing duo Nicci French.

Missing Persons is the story about the impact on the whole family when one family member suddenly disappears without any warning.  Isabel and Felix's family were all starting to leave the nest, eldest daughter Tamsin is already at university, middle child Johnny has just left to start university in Sheffield, leaving just youngest daughter Mia at home.  But their whole world is about to come crashing down around them...

Isabel realises that it's been a couple of weeks since she heard from Johnny and when they start to contact his flatmates they are shocked to discover that he has left without leaving any message.  Once family and friends hear the news they all rally round to come up with plans as to what they can do to try and find him including a group trip to London to known hangouts for runaways but without success.

The story is told over a seven year period with the majority of the story being told from Isabel's viewpoint, then Felix and Mia's and shows the hope, anguish and despair that they all feel at different periods especially Christmas and birthdays.

If I'm honest I'd thought this was going to be more about Johnny's story about why he'd disappeared instead of the impact his disappearing has on the family.  But it was extremely well written and I could picture the emotions they would have been feeling as if I was going through it with them.

I'd like to thank the Penguin Group for sending me a proof copy of this book to review.   If this sounds like the type of book you'd like to read, why not head to Amazon where you can buy a copy in paperback or e-book format.

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