Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Missing (Darby McCormick #1)The Missing by Chris Mooney
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I found Chris Mooney’s “The Missing” a mediocre thriller. It is perhaps more of a crime-scene investigator procedural as efforts to find and interpret physical evidence play a major role in this novel. Towards the end it indeed turns into a thriller with many contrived “twists and turns”, which I intensely dislike because of their lack of credibility.

Darby McCormick, a Boston crime-scene investigator works on the case of a missing 16-year old girl. Soon she discovers that the case has connections to the murder case and another disappearance from the time she was herself a 16-year old girl. Murder, mayhem, and grisly scenes are plentiful in “The Missing”. I usually do not mind these as long as they make sense. Here, the limits of credibility of the plot are pushed way too far. I find the denouement ridiculously unbelievable.

The novel has one powerful redeeming quality: it portrays Darby’s love and care for her terminally ill mother with real depth and sympathy.

Famous authors such as George Pelecanos, Michael Connelly, and Lee Child praise this book highly in the cover blurbs. Well, obviously I know nothing about rating thrillers because for me “The Missing” deserves credit only for the Darby-Sheila thread. The rest is formulaic, overwrought, and full of cheap effects and hysteria. Mr. Mooney’s “Remembering Sarah” is a much better book.

Two stars.

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