Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

25785334TitleMissing Pieces
AuthorHeather Gudenkauf
Series: stand-alone
Publish Date: February 1, 2016, MIRA
Genre: Mystery Suspense
Source: From where you got the book

Publisher’s DescriptionA woman uncovers earth-shattering secrets about her husband’s family in this chilling page-turner from New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf.

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. The case rocked the small farm town of Penny Gate, Iowa, where Jack was raised, and for years Jack avoided returning home. But when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, hospitalized in a coma, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded. 

Upon arriving in Penny Gate, Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago—barely a trace of the wounds that had once devastated them all. But as facts about Julia’s accident begin to surface, Sarah realizes that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Caught in a flurry of unanswered questions, 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.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Agent_Annie_100Agent Annie says…

Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf is definitely a page turner. I stayed up late to finish the final chapters just wanting to see “who dun it!” That being said, Gudenkauf is still firmly an Iowa author and has many references to settings in Iowa and captures the small town reality that exists. I also enjoy trying to figure what actual town she may be basing her stories on, this particular one takes place somewhere in Eastern Iowa, perhaps Linn County.

The mystery itself was well thought out and I enjoyed that the whole narrative was told in the first person of an outsider – Sarah, the wife of one of the hometown boys who moved away. This kept the mystery fresh and even more suspenseful because there were so many missing pieces due to the fact that the narrator didn’t have the background of having grown up in the community, so she had to discover the old crime while figuring out what was currently going on 15 years later.

badge4v4The only issue I had was the ending seemed a bit too pat, almost as if the author didn’t want to describe the scene in the detail it warranted. The final confrontation was dealt with in the epilogue when someone explained to Sarah what had happened after she was knocked out. This seemed a bit of a cop-out and the only reason I didn’t give this book 5 stars instead of 4.

If you like this book…

…you might try One Breath Away and These Things Hidden both by Heather Gudenkauf or Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin.

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

About Agent Annie

I am a former Independent bookstore owner that created a 30 books in 30 minutes presentation for book clubs, libraries and avid reader groups. I specialize in short reviews that focus on plot, theme and discussion topics. I primarily read mystery/thriller, who-done-its and sci-fi/fantasy. I love stories in any format and will listen to an audio book as quickly as I would read a paper or digital version. I prefer books that make you think, don't have a predictable ending and tend to have some aspect that is outside the current norm. I tend to enjoy series once I am hooked on the main characters and the world and am very loyal. Some of the books I've enjoyed in the past are: Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear, The Dragon Riders of Pern by Anne & Todd McCaffrey and The Sherlockian Graham Moore. I will also read ANYTHING by Stephen King. As a matter of fact, I wrote a graduate level paper on the leadership styles in The Stand. I will accept review requests.

Posted on November 21, 2016, in Review and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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