⇒RELEASE DAY REVIEW! “…you’ll learn that parents have all sorts of evil thoughts. Sometimes saying them out loud is the only way to survive.” -The Missing Ones ⇐
**Many thanks to NetGalley, Kensington Books, and the author for the opportunity to read a free ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Author: Edwin Hill
(4.30 stars – Goodreads rating)
Genre: Fiction / Mystery / Thriller
Publication Date: August 27, 2019, by Kensington Books
Pages: 304 (Kindle version)
The world was a scary, frightening place, where terrible, terrible things happened. Anywhere. And everywhere.
Having a child is one of the scariest things a person can do. But what’s even more frightening is raising that child. Oh, you think I’m exaggerating? A parent is responsible for making sure that another little person survives every single day. And considering what this world is like these days, that is a terrifying assignment!
In Edwin Hill’s followup to Little Comfort, our heroine, Hester Thursby’s fears about becoming an insta-parent have crippled her daily life and forced all her phobias to the surface. She’s not completely to blame, she did survive a rather harrowing experience, but how long can she go on living with all of her lies? Let’s check out the blurb for The Missing Ones…
Hester Thursby has given up using her research skills to trace people who don’t want to be found. A traumatic case a few months ago unearthed a string of violent crimes, and left Hester riddled with self-doubt and guilt. Caring for a four-year-old is responsibility enough in a world filled with terrors Hester never could have imagined before. Finisterre Island, off the coast of Maine, is ruggedly beautiful and remote—the kind of place tourists love to visit, though rarely for long. But not everyone who comes to the island is welcome. A dilapidated Victorian house has become home to a group of squatters and junkies, and strangers have a habit of bringing trouble with them. A young boy disappeared during the summer, and though he was found safely, the incident stirred suspicion among locals. Now another child is missing. Summoned to the island by a cryptic text, Hester discovers a community cleaning up from a devastating storm—and uncovers a murder. Soon Hester begins to connect the crime and the missing children. And as she untangles the secrets at the center of the small community, she finds grudges and loyalties that run deep, poised to converge with a force that will once again shake her convictions about the very nature of right and wrong.
Children didn’t disappear, not in this world. Neither did problems.
Let’s start off by saying that Hester Thursby is definitely an unconventional leading lady. She’s diminutive, extremely phobic, and mostly unwilling to participate in any kind of social activities that take place outside of her own four walls. However, there is that innate part of Hester that overcomes all that when it comes to duty and family. And it is that part that drags her out to Finisterre Island, Maine – which literally means The End of the Earth – at the call of a loved one. Plus, she’s pretty adept at asking all the right questions.
OK, can I be honest here? Hester annoys me more than a little bit in this book. Let’s just say that her phobias are understandably irrational, but they force her to make decisions that place her in extreme danger – which seems to be the exact opposite of where she is fighting vehemently to be! But, yes, this is where the thrills come in, so I digress.
My favorite parts of this book by far are actually the parts that didn’t include Hester. Shocker!!! Hill introduces us to a little island full of big personalities and two handfuls of potential suspects for some missing children cases that hit really close to home. The Missing Ones features the bad guys that you see coming from a mile away, the ones you suspect, and the ones that sneak up on you from behind – the Villain Trifecta!
So it’s safe to say that Hester is clearly not my most favorite MC of all time; however, as long as Edwin Hill continues to surround her with an intriguing supporting cast and a superbly layered mysterious plot, I’ll keep reading. *The next Hester Thursby mystery is expected in 2020.
Buy The Missing Ones today here:
After attending Wesleyan University and graduating with a B.A. in American Studies, he headed west to San Francisco for the dotcom boom. Later, he returned to Boston, earned an MFA from Emerson College, and switched gears to work in educational publishing. He served as the vice president and editorial director for Bedford/St. Martin’s, a division of Macmillan Learning for many years before turning to writing full time. –EdwinHill.com