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The Missing One Hardcover – 6 Jan 2015


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (6 Jan. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1623651719
  • ISBN-13: 978-1623651718
  • Product Dimensions: 24.3 x 16.8 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Lucy Atkins is an award winning author and feature journalist. Her new novel, The Other Child, is the story of devastating secrets in a marriage, and will be published in June 2015. The Sunday Times called her debut novel, The Missing One (Quercus, January 2014; Quercus USA February 2015) a 'gripping page turner'. It was Psychologies Magazine's first book club pick and reached number 11 on the UK paperback bestseller chart. Lucy is also the author, co-author, or ghostwriter of eight non-fiction books and is a Sunday Times book critic. She has written features for UK newspapers including The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The Sunday Express, The Times, and magazines such as Red, Woman & Home, Psychologies and Grazia. She has lived in Philadelphia, Seattle and Boston, and is now settled in Oxford, UK with her husband, three children and dog. For news and events see www.lucyatkins.com. Follow Lucy on Twitter @lucyatkins

Product Description

Review

'A moving and suspenseful tale of the secrets a family keeps' Rachel Hore. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

How do you move on if the past won't let you go?
The loss of her mother has left Kali McKenzie with too many unanswered questions. But while clearing out Elena's art studio, she finds a drawer packed with postcards, each bearing an identical one-line message from a Canadian gallery owner called Susannah Gillespie: Thinking of you. Who is this woman and what does she know about Elena's hidden past? Desperate to find out, Kali travels with her toddler, Finn, to Susannah's isolated home on a remote British Columbian island, a place of killer whales and storms. But as bad weather closes in, Kali quickly realises she has made a big mistake. The handsome and enigmatic Susannah refuses to talk about the past, and as Kali struggles to piece together what happened back in the 1970s, Susannah' behaviour grows more and more erratic. Most worrying of all, Susannah is becoming increasingly preoccupied with little Finn...
A tense, thrilling novel about a family divided by secrets, and the lengths a mother will go to protect her child.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sharon TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 16 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback
Kal has always had a strained relationship with her mother Elena but she never really understood why so when Elena dies it leaves Kal with a whole lot of unanswered questions. Whilst clearing through some of her mother's things she comes across some postcards that her mother had received annually from someone called Susannah, someone she'd never heard of before.

But that's not the only thing on her mind as she suspects that her husband might be in contact with his ex so she needs some time to herself to think things through but what she does next could seriously cost her more than she could ever imagine.

Kal decides to head off on a spur of the moment journey to Vancouver with her toddler son Finn to try and piece together the mystery that was her mother's life...

What follows is a gripping tale full of intrigue as we discover the truth about the life that Elena had kept hidden from Kal for all those years through recollections of her time in California in the 1970s. It didn't help Kal's journey of discovery that her father wasn't exactly forthcoming with answers when she tried to ask him about her mother or that Susannah was not quite the person she thought she was either.

I really felt for Kal who felt like she was losing her mind and beginning to wonder how much of what she's known about her mother was true and how much was fiction.

From the very first page I was drawn in hook, line and sinker and constantly found myself wanting to pick this up and read even when I should really have been doing other work! Through the descriptive writing you get a real feel for the rugged landscape and all the ensuing drama that unfolds, there is simply no other way to describe how I felt about this book than to say I loved it.

A fantastic story from Lucy Atkins, I cannot wait to read more books from her in the future.

I received a review copy of this eBook from the publisher via NetGalley.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr Louise Hoult on 17 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I havent read a novel so quickly in years- the author had me gripped from the beginning. Loved the detail about being a mum to a toddler, the physical and emotional angles. Thinking again about the story- I'm still there driving from the airport and on the stormy coast of Canada. Cant wait for the author's next book!
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By Lucinda Hart on 16 May 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's obvious from the beginning that the man Kali thinks is her father is not, so it gets tiring when Susannah and Kali are talking, and Kali keeps asking, "What about my father?" and Susannah says, after a moment's hesitation, "Oh, you mean Gray?" The conversations between Susannah and Kali are boring and repetitive. Dialogue is hard to write but good writers recognise the fact that characters rarely use people's names when talking. Kali continually says, "Susannah, what do you mean? Susannah, talk to me" and so on. And every time Kali opens her mouth the word "actually" comes out. I am truly surprised none of the agents, readers or editors picked up on this. I can't be the only one. It is so obvious.

I am not a fan of books about "those terrible events of thirty years ago" because the terrible events are usually so contrived. They certainly were in this case. I chose it because of the location, but that couldn't save it.

The characters are ghastly. Susannah is an overbearing lunatic, and Kali completely self-obsessed: "But, Susannah, it was me actually who ruined my mother's life? Wasn't it? Actually? Susannah?" With Kali, it's me-me-me all the time, so I feel little for her. The only character I can stand is Finn. But what on earth is Kali thinking of dragging a child, not yet two, across the globe on a wild goose chase, without telling anyone? Because of a couple of texts on her husband's phone? In her own way she is as deranged as Susannah. If Kali was so unsettled at Susannah's, why didn't she and Finn just walk out and drive away when Susannah was asleep or walking the dogs? Doug is a cardboard cut-out, with a cardboard cut-out tawdry text-affair. Couldn't we have something more original please?
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Format: Kindle Edition
I really don’t know why I completed this book other than the fact that I am a compulsive book finisher, but I am glad that I did.

I really did not like the character of Kali; she was a whiner and winger of the highest order. She set out on her own mission heading nothing and no one. Kali is totally self-centred almost to a point of obsession. She is a mother of a two-year old who she takes on a trek with very little thought or planning! Who in their right mind would do that but oh wait she’s grieving (if that is an excuse). Her reason for the trek was to find out about her mother. To be honest though who really knows what their mother was like before they were born? Children only really ever learn what their parents are willing to tell them.

The other character equally unlikeable was Susannah. She too was selfish, stand offish and untrustworthy but for entirely different reasons.

This reader felt that the wonderful descriptions of the rugged landscape were made often at the expense of the storyline. Likewise the many conversations between Susannah and Kali, Kali and Doug, and Kali and her son were repetitive beyond belief causing the story to flag in all the wrong places.

I had already guessed part of the plot line but not everything. The book was a plodder until about 80% when it took off at a break neck pace but honestly the things Alice didn’t realise had been done to her I was like WHHHHAATTT!!!

I do not think the payoff warranted the time spent reading this novel and will find it difficult to read another book by this author.

Full Disclosure: ARC received from Netgalley for an honest review.
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