Friday, December 4, 2015

Review: "Missing Pieces" by Heather Gudenkauf

Disclosure: This ARC ebook was provided to me via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Title: Missing Pieces
Author: Heather Gudenkauf
Publisher: MIRA
Pub. Date: February 2, 2016

I have read all of Heather Gudenkauf's previous novels and have really enjoyed them all.

This one not so much.

The story's premise is a good one. Jack and his wife are summoned to Jack's hometown when his aunt is in an accident. After they arrive, the aunt dies and the police suspect that it was no accident after all. Then Jack's wife Sarah begins to learn all of Jack's family secrets, including the fact that Jack's mother was murdered and his father disappeared. Why has Jack kept his history a secret for all these years from her? Why would someone want his elderly aunt dead?

The main problem I had with this book were the characters. Jack comes across as completely phony, and he and Sarah seem more like strangers than husband and wife. I understand that that is part of the plot (the idea that he has been keeping secrets from Sarah), but even before she finds this out, they seem distant. The whoel family is thrown into a murder investigation, but all Sarah can worry about is that Jack used to date Celia. Really? That's her main concern?

Finally, the execution of the plot was weak. I figured out the murderer pretty quickly. The red herrings that the author included were not convincing at all. It seemed as if Gudenkauf wanted to just throw a lot of ideas out there and hope that something stuck.

"Missing Pieces" was a quick read and fairly entertaining, but if you are looking for a good mystery, look elsewhere.