Author: Kylie Kaden
Bantam RRP $32.99
Review: Monique Mulligan
Kylie Kaden’s second novel Missing You promises suspense, thrills and mystery. Does it live up to that promise? Most definitely! I was sent an ARC of this ahead of a blog tour (more on that later) and once I started reading, it was hard to stop. It’s one of those stories that raises so many questions and suspicions that you won’t settle until you find out what really happened.
A mother leaves her son with her father, saying she’s going to help a friend, and doesn’t return. Her husband is also missing. Patrick is left with a small grandson who has high needs … and his increasing concern for his daughter, Aisha. When blood is found in Aisha’s car, the worries amp up, and Patrick is desperate for someone to help him find his daughter.
Part of the story is told through Patrick’s eyes, but others are told in flashback, through Aisha and Ryan’s eyes, detailing their passionate relationship from their meeting to when their marriage broke down. In the early years, both believe nothing can come between them. The only real thorns in their relationship are Ryan’s disinterest in having children and Aisha’s reluctance to get married. Eventually, these obstacles are overcome … but everything changes. Pregnancy and motherhood takes its toll on Aisha, and Ryan feels increasingly trapped in a mundane life of responsibility and routine. It seems that only heartbreak lies ahead.
Kaden sets up a terrific, sustained atmosphere of tension, frustration and suspicion. Themes of abandonment, sibling rivalry and mental illness also feature, adding to the suspense, as well as explaining some of the characters’ behaviours. The different perspectives work well, adding character depth, but also adding to the reader’s feeling of “who do I trust?” Are all the narrators equally reliable? I did feel that the ending was a little neat, but not to the point that it detracted from the emotional overall investment in the book. If you’re a lover of suspense, look out for Missing You (as well as Losing Kate, Kaden’s first, and equally suspensful novel) and put Kaden on your must-read list.
I read this as part of a blog tour organised by Random House, with an e-copy courtesy of Netgalley. To check out some other tour reviews, see Debbish, whose review appeared on the 10th, or check out Nicole Has Read after April 14. For a free sample, click here.
Available from good bookstores and Random House Australia.
Bookish treat: Choose your own treat – I read this at night so didn’t eat!