Every Missing Thing by Martyn Ford #bookreview

One family. Two missing children. A lifetime of secrets.

Ten-year-old Ethan Clarke’s disappearance gripped the nation. Just as his parents are starting to piece together a life ‘after Ethan’, their world is ripped apart once more when their daughter, Robin, disappears in almost identical circumstances. They’ve lost two children within a decade…and now doubts about their innocence are setting in.

Detective Sam Maguire’s obsession with the first case cost him his own family, but he has unfinished business with the Clarkes. He is convinced that discovering what happened to Ethan holds the key to finding Robin. But what if the Clarkes know more than they’re letting on?

With the world watching eagerly, the clock is ticking for Sam as he embarks on an investigation that forces him to confront his own demons. To uncover the truth, he must follow a trail of devastating deception—but the truth always comes at a cost…

My thoughts on Every Missing Thing…

I don’t feel like I’ve started this year off well as far as books go (or rather writing reviews). Every Missing Things is a book with a great premise. Who wouldn’t want to get to the bottom of a young girls disappearance almost a decade after her brother went missing in very similar circumstances? And it’s a book with a great twist at the end.

Unfortunately, it’s also a book that is muddled and has as its central character a former detective (Sam) it’s very hard to like – not because he’s obsessed with solving the mystery of the missing children – but because of what should be an interesting character trait, his need to tell the truth.

It’s one of those things that seems like a good idea – having someone always tell the truth, no matter how much it hurts himself or others. But, as this plays out, I found rather than making Sam more interesting, it just made him rather annoying. There was a self-righteousness to him that then didn’t play out in his other actions. I couldn’t marry the two things in my head so rather than making him a more rounded character, he became less real, more made-up.

The (almost) ‘grand finale’ didn’t help with this – I’m all for suspending belief when it comes to crime fiction (I’ve read too many books with seemingly indestructible serial killers not to), but this was too far even for me. I just didn’t believe what Sam did was possible. Which meant what should have been a moment of high drama and high tension became something I just wanted to get through to see if I was right in my assumptions about ‘who-dunnit’.

Perhaps if there had been other characters that had been able to balance Sam out, I would have felt differently but he was so dominant, it was hard to get past this. Which is a shame because I think – outside this – Every Missing Thing had an interesting story to tell. It’s just not one I could lose myself in.

3/5 stars (just)

Find on Amazon UK

Find on Amazon US

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