Book Review: Missing (Monty Marsden)

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A young girl in an Italian village steps out to go to school and does not return. A desperate search for her begins; the trail goes cold, with their only lead lost the tale ends in tragedy. Months later, more girls are found dead. All are of similar age and ethnicity; each girl has their pinky finger missing. Police officers, from past and present, must work together to stop this killer before he strikes again…

 Missing is the debut title by author, Monty Marsden. This novel is a classic police procedural. We meet Police Commissioner Sensi who turns to his old friend, and criminologist, Dr. Claps, after several bodies of young girls are found.   They must work together, along with a helpful psychologist to solve the case and stop the murderer from claiming more victims.  We get to see the inner workings of the case and the conflict between the officers as tensions rise and the stakes grow higher.

The plot of the novel is brilliant. The novel begins right in the midst of the action. Ami, a young girl, has just gone missing and the police are on the scene. They follow a lead (a person’s name), find out it was a stolen identity and then the trail goes cold. The Police Commissioner seeks advice from Dr. Claps (who has been on a leave after suffering extreme injuries at the hands of a serial killer). Dr. Claps becomes entrenched in the case and soon is on the trail of the killer. The author, Marsden, throws in plenty of red herrings throughout the plot and added a significant amount of twists and turns to keep this engaging.

In the beginning, I found the novel moved quite slowly.   This is usually bothersome for me; I like my reads to be fast paced.   It wasn’t until I was about three-quarters of the way through that I found this novel picked right back up; from then on, I was completely hooked.

The novel is written in multiple character perspectives.   We hear from Sensi, the police commissioner as he tells the initial story of Ami’s kidnapping.   We hear from Dr. Clap as struggles with aphasia and fights to find what is going on. Ami’s father, Elaji, gets a perspective as he tries to help the police and avenge his daughter. We even get a perspective by the killer. This was the most original P.O.V and the most interesting; his paragraphs express his anticipation of the kidnapping and the excitement he gets from the hunt. It was incredibly creepy.

I also did find parts of the novel a little difficult to understand; to be fair, this novel is translated into English so it could very well have been a translation issue or perhaps just jagged story telling in the plot. I didn’t find it to be overly distracting and I still very much enjoyed the novel.

The ending of this novel blew my mind. I loved the end and did not see it coming at all; I like to pride myself on being able to pick up clues to guess an ending, especially in a police procedural, but Marsden got me good!

This book will be published on December 1, 2016. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good, solid police procedural with a plethora of twists and turns.

 I voluntarily received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book from Aria Publishing, Monty Marsden and Netgalley; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

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