Published: Harlequin Australia MIRA
Date: 1st February 2016
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Sarah Quinlan's husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. For years Jack has avoided returning home, but when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded.
Upon arriving, Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago. But as facts about Julia’s accident begin to surface, Sarah realizes that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Sarah dives deep into the puzzling rabbit hole of Jack’s past, but the farther in she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a deadly truth she may not be prepared for.
Right from the beginning Missing Pieces sucked me in. From an idyllic country setting to a sinister murder in the first few pages. And when we cut to Jack and his wife Sarah, it doesn't add up. Jack is not telling anywhere near the truth of that day, and Sarah has long been kept in the dark. A long time, because they have two college age daughters.
When they return to Iowa because Jack's Aunt Julia is lying in hospital after a fall down the stairs, Sarah begins to find little cracks appearing. She realises Jack has kept her very much in the dark. He's told Sarah his parents died in a car crash. And as the reader you know that's untrue and have to ask - why? Just as Sarah does. Then there is his sister Amy, who is having problems, seems highly anxious and unhinged. As well there is Jack's cousin Dean and his wife Celia, and aren't those two just another little item that Jack has been keeping quiet about. It's all very creepy and suspicious.
So who has done it? Who has murdered Jack's mother? And what of Aunt Julia. Accident or Murder? We definitely know "that something is rotten in the state of
Denmark Penny Gate, Iowa".
Sarah seeks the truth, all the time becoming more unsure of Jack and their marriage. As a journalist she takes risks and sifts through material that might give her clues. Can she do all that before the murderer strikes again?
A few small clues are dropped but I have to say when the final revelation came I had not put that person at the top of my suspect list.
This one had me reading on for sure, a creepy 'who dun it' that I raced through.