Having read and reviewed Sarah Wray’s debut novel, I was hesitant to read this book. But I requested for this based purely on the blurb which said two best friends, Victoria and Sylvie, one dies and the other moves far away for twenty years till she comes back, a journalist trying to find the truth and make a documentary twenty years hence.
I did start the book with great trepidation and I was pleasantly surprised. The book does rather stand as a mystery suspense novel. The author, Sarah Wray, has done a far better job of writing this book as compared to her debut. Throughout the story, Sarah made my head pop with questions, they appeared like blinking light bulbs in my mind, as I turned the pages.
Why was Victoria alone on the night the two girls were supposed to be together? Why didn’t the parents wait up for Victoria as they normally did? Who was Victoria’s boyfriend? Why do the parents pretend not knowing him even twenty years later? Why did Sylvie the best friend come back after twenty years? Why were Sylvie and her mother estranged? And the final question —What exactly did Sylvie know? Did she see the killer that night? Or did she kill Victoria?
As I read through the chapters, there was a lot of added information, new information which comes to light after twenty years, which is kind of surprising. Though the book has a journalist trying to find the truth, but it is ultimately someone else who really does force out the truth into the open.
Sarah Wray has well thought out the plot line, and she seemed focused in her writing this time round. The pace of the book is rather okay, sometimes fast, sometimes it does drag on. Her characters appear strong yet very flawed. But they are not whom I could root for. Victoria’s mother is the only one who appeared genuine, appear being the key word. She also knew things which she didn’t report to the police.
Sylvie, the main character is rather odd, she is a new mother with sleep deprived issues, there is another girl on the sidelines, Michelle who calls herself their friend but is never really acknowledged. She appeared like a stalker in the book.
Inspite of all these niggles, the book does work for a simple reason that once the brain is latched on to the question—who killed Victoria—it does not make sense to leave the book halfway. The fingers turn the pages automatically. I do not think any reader would be able to stop reading this book till the truth is revealed.
P. S. Reading the last chapter directly does not help as the truth is unveiled somewhere in the last few chapters
I received an ARC from NetGalley and publisher Bookouture and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
My rating : 3.5 stars
About the Author
Sarah Wray lives in Belfast with her husband and three children. She has a degree in Genetics from Belfast University and has worked as a medical research lab technician, a child-minder, a science teacher and has done voluntary work with disabled children. Her first children’s novel, The Forbidden Room, beat thousands of other entries to win the nationwide Wow Factor competition, and was long-listed for the 2008 CLIP Carnegie Medal. Reported Missing is her debut in the thriller genre.
Two girls. A murder. And a secret that binds them forever.
Sylvie Armstrong has been running from her past for twenty years – until her mother’s death forces her to return to her home town, along with her newborn daughter. Overwhelmed by grief in her childhood home, Sylvie tries to block out the memories that surround her – but then someone leaves a gift on her doorstep: a gold necklace with a heart-shaped locket.
This locket belonged to Sylvie’s best friend, Victoria Preston – and she was wearing it the night she died. Now it’s back in Sylvie’s life…and it soon becomes clear that somebody knows what really happened to Victoria.
Sylvie has to know the truth. But is she in terrible danger?
Publication date : 28th November 2017
Publisher : Bookouture
Language : English
Available on Amazon
A light murder mystery