Book Review: The Missing Place

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Thank you to Kaye Publicity for sending The Missing Place by Sophie Littlefield for our consideration. Long ago, I did request Garden of Stones by Sophie through Netgalley, but have never had the chance to read it as yet.

THE MISSING PLACE, as described in material sent by the publicist: The North Dakota oil boom has spawned “man camps” or shantytowns full of men hired to work on the rigs. Displaced men are drawn to the high wages that come from the dangerous and exhausting work. In this type of place, it’s easy for men to vanish and rarely does anyone come searching for them. That is, until the sons of wealthy, suburban mother Colleen and wrong-side-of-the tracks mother Shay go missing. Determined to find their sons, the two form an uneasy alliance. Working against a town of strangers resistant to their snooping, these women are pushed to their limits only to uncover a truth that could destroy them both.

 The Missing Place’s premise wasn’t too far off Garden of Stones so I willingly accepted to read it. As in Garden of Stones (of which I still have to read!), The Missing Place is the story of mothers or a mother making great sacrifices for their children. In The Missing Place, Colleen and Shay’s sons have gone missing from the “man camps” in North Dakota and both are determined to find them. Shay and Colleen are two very different women, one (Shay) is the hardened, tough-talking woman and Colleen is a wealthy suburban mother. Both are dedicated and devoted to their sons. Both are determined to track down their sons at all costs, despite the reluctance of a corporation intent on keeping the culture and danger of the oil rig business firmly quiet and the indifference of the police to investigate these boy’s disappearance in what Colleen and Shay are discovering to be too commonplace in these camps.

I’m not too sure on whether I picked this book up at the wrong time, felt too obligated to read or just hit my wall and burned out from reading, but there was just something about it that didn’t compel me to reach for The Missing Place at every turn. There is much to offer here: a mystery, wrongdoings and cover ups by big corporations, two mothers fierce in their determination to find their sons, but I simply did not become fully invested in this story. Colleen and Shay are overdone characterizations of opposite women (the rich girl and the poor girl teaming up to take on the big corporation) and I think perhaps this is where I struggled with wanting to continue to discover the final mystery.

Apologies for not being able to provide better insight or well-worded breakdown of the novel, but in all honesty here, I was just bored and trudged through it.

I do have every intention of picking up Garden of Stones, having originally been intrigued by its story but also reading reviews that favour this novel over The Missing Place.

Literary Hoarders Penny rev