Sunday, January 31, 2016

(12)Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf

Sarah Quinlan and her husband Jack are awaken by a phone call.  Their immediate concern is their twin daughters off at college, but instead it is Jack's family back in Iowa.  His beloved aunt has taken a tumble down the stairs and they need to come immediately.  Sarah has never really met Jack's family.  Their relationship has always been distant and all Sarah knows is that Jack's Aunt and Uncle took him and his sister in after their parents were killed in an accident.   Sarah and Jack get there in time to say good-bye to Aunt Julia, but her death was no accident.  The family becomes embroiled into a homicide investigation and Sarah is learning that her husband has not been truthful about his family's history.  His parent's didn't die in an accident, his mother was murdered.  And Jack was a prime suspect.  Sarah is crushed and feels betrayed by her husband's secrets, but did he really kill his mother?  And did he have a role in Julia's death?  Sarah is determined to get to the truth, but at what cost?

I have been a huge fan of Heather Gudenkauf's ever since her first book.  Not just because they are usually set in Iowa, but because she knows how to weave an intricate tale of suspense and intrigue.  However, I feel that Missing Pieces was missing the suspense and intrigue.  I almost immediately had figured out the "whodunit" and it was pretty predictable.  I was more than a little annoyed at Sarah's over the top response to finding out that her husband's mother was murdered.  Maybe I am off base with that, never having been in that situation, but I really thought she needed to chill out.  Their relationship never really seemed genuine to me.  Neither did Jack's relationship with his sister.   None of the characters really seemed to mesh well for me and I was disappointed.  The whole book was a disappointment really, I have come to expect more.

Bottom line - everybody has an off day.  Maybe it was me, the reader, or maybe it was the author.  Either way, anytime I don't connect with a book doesn't mean that you shouldn't give it a shot yourself.  When it comes to reading, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

PS - I love the author even more realizing that she is from the same small county in South Dakota where my grandma lives. (#GregoryCounty)  I still don't love the book, but I love her!



SK Bell said...

I personally loved her first book, thought the second was okay, and stopped the third before I was done. This one sounds great but I’m so hesitant to try it. Definitely going to be a library read for me.

Charlotte's Web of Books said...

Great idea!

Why I Read...

I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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