The Missing by C.L Taylor

The Missing by C.L Taylor

This is the first book that I have read by C.L Taylor. Ever since I read Gone Girl, I have become more and more interested in crime and thriller books which I’m quite excited about as it’s opened me up to a whole other genre.

When fifteen-year-old Billy Wilkinson goes missing, his mother, Claire Wilkinson, blames herself. She’s not the only one. There isn’t a single member of Billy’s family that doesn’t feel guilty. But the Wilkinson’s are so used to keeping secrets from one another that it isn’t until six months later, after an appeal for information goes horribly wrong, that the truth begins to surface.

Claire is sure of two things – that Billy is still alive and that her friends and family had nothing to do with his disappearance.

A mother’s instinct is never wrong. Or is it?

I’m not quite sure how I feel about this book. Don’t get me wrong,  I read it in a day but there was something missing. I felt like I was reading it for the sake of it instead of pure enjoyment, instead of reading it because I needed to find out what had happened to Billy.

The book opens up with a morbid conversation on Whatsapp between two people with the usernames ‘Jackdaw44’ and ‘ICE9’. I like the use of modern technology to add as a break in between chapters but as the book progressed, I found the conversations to be quite disturbing which I’m guessing is what C.L Taylor wanted the reader to feel. Throughout the book, I couldn’t guess as to who these two mysterious characters were. I knew that one of them had to be Billy but I didn’t know who the second one was; I kind of suspected that it was another guy and when I found out who it was, I was completely shocked but I also didn’t understand. The shocking revelation at the end didn’t really make sense to me for some reason.

I also felt like I didn’t connect with the characters which was an absolute shame because that’s one of the things that I love the most about reading; I just didn’t feel like they were well-rounded. I think the most fleshed out character was Liz – who is a secondary character.

“We all have secrets. Most are guilty, a few are wretched and some are too precious to share.”
– C.L Taylor, The Missing

So far, it might sound like this book is really bad and that you shouldn’t buy it but wait! I do like C.L Taylor’s style of writing and I did enjoy the use of the Whatsapp conversation snippets, I also liked how The Missing was in the style of a whodunit book. Each member of the family is a suspect throughout the book and there always seemed to be a change of events that would make me change my mind on who had something to do with Billy’s disappearance.

I mentioned earlier that I didn’t read it because I needed to find out what happened to Billy. This is true in the sense that from the very start, I didn’t like his character. I thought he was smart-mouthed and a pain so I didn’t really care what happened to him, but the book still did contain some thrills.

Using Claire’s fugues was a brilliant idea because this added another element of mystery to the book. ‘What is Claire doing in these forgotten moments of time?’, ‘could she have done something to Billy and not remember it?’, ‘what’s causing these fugues?’. These were the questions swirling around in my head whilst I was reading the parts when she had lost time. *Or was it aliens? Ooooooo! Somebody call Mulder and Scully!*

Overall, I like how this book was written it takes quite a long time to get started (170 pages to be exact!) but when it does, the ball gets rolling and you’re in for shock after shock and the characters lies come to the surface. It was also a massive shame that I didn’t connect with any of the characters.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Leave a comment below!

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