What if your husband failed to come home? What if a young girl from the village disappeared on the same day? What if over a short period of time, everyone begins to assume the two events are related? Reported Missing examines the despair that envelopes Rebecca Pendle, when on July 17, both her husband Chris and young Kayleigh Jackson disappear.
Rebecca wants to trust that her husband had nothing to do with the disappearance of fourteen-year-old Kayleigh, but the town has already decided. When Chris does not return within a few days, Rebecca begins sliding into deep depression. Four months later, no trace of Chris or Kayleigh has been found.
Unable to stay in the home she and Chris shared, Rebecca moves to a caravan park where she spends months drinking too much and sleeping with the aide of pills. The story quieted down for a while, but a planned vigil for Kayleigh's fifteenth birthday stirs the town up again. After teenagers discover where she is living and harass her, Rebecca decides to conduct her own investigation to prove her husband's innocence.
But Rebecca isn't a confident heroine with a clear plan. She is a confused and despairing woman who finds many of her best memories of her husband tainted. Much of what she learns does little to improve her hopes. How well did she really know her husband?
I wasn't at all sure that I would like this book, but I ended up engrossed. It isn't fast-paced, but it is an intimate examination of a woman going through a terrible emotional trauma and eventually managing to try to take charge of her life.
Reported Missing is a fascinating debut novel.
Read in May; blog post scheduled for July 6.
Psychological/Suspense. July 14, 2017. Print length: 356 pages.