Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf

‘A woman uncovers earth-shattering secrets about her husband’s family in this chilling page-turner from New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf’

The blurb definitely had me reaching for this book with great anticipation; it was the first I’d read by Heather Gudenkauf, and if it delivered, I was in for a great read. (I live for great reads, my only regret being that they come to an end!)

This WAS a good read, but it wasn’t a great read; I liked it, but I didn’t love it. There was enough excitement and intrigue to keep me going, and although I did wonder at times, I didn’t see the end coming until it was almost upon me. Somehow though, for me, it lacked…..something.

Sarah and Jack Quinlan, married for twenty years and parents of twin girls, return to the town of Penny Gate where the family are gathering after Jack’s aunt Julia takes a fall and lies in a coma in hospital. Sarah knows very little about Jack’s family having only met them a couple of times at events such as weddings. She has been told his parents died in a car crash driven by his drunken father, and believes Jack is so traumatised by his loss that she doesn’t press him for details other than what he has supplied voluntarily.

Sarah is totally unprepared for the tragic and horrifying secrets that begin to emerge from a past that has been deliberately kept from her by Jack. Feeling completely betrayed by her husband, and unsure if their marriage can survive the revelations, Sarah determines to reveal everything and find out exactly what happened in the past, how it affects her present and what decisions she needs to make about her future.

So, what did ‘Missing Pieces’ lack? I felt the characters lacked depth and interest. We know what happened to Jack, Amy, Dean, Celia and Hal, but we actually know very little about them as people. For example, there was very little evidence to support claims of a strong twenty year marriage between Jack and Sarah; and Hal, Dean and Celia as Julia’s immediate family, didn’t really seem to feel much grief about her accident. The only real emotional pull of the book was from Amy, Jack’s troubled sister.

The book did keep me reading to the end however.


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