Genre: Books; Contemporary Fiction
Publication Date: 5/14/2013
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Excellent
PROS: Though provoking topic; discussable moral dilemmas
CONS: Sensitive subject
Imagine waiting for your spouse to arrive home from a conference in a different city. Time slowly ticks by while you continue watching the clock expecting her to pull in the driveway at any minute. After all, her message said she would be home in time for supper. Soon hours have passed, and your anxiety and worry are slowly starting to change over to anger. Your emotions are all over the place, continually flipping back and forth, not sure how exactly you should be feeling. For Mitchell Brannon, this is not a dream, it's his reality.
Long after midnight, Jill still not home, Mitch quickly decides that something must have gone wrong on her drive home and decides to call the police. The police are full of questions, with not a lot of information to go on. After waiting for them to bring his wife home, Mitch soon decides to try solving the case with the help of his next door neighbor, Shelley (who happens to be Jill's best friend). The police appear to have come to a standstill, and Mitch decides doing something is better than doing nothing. How could he ever look his two college age children in the eyes if he just sat at home waiting for their mom to return?
Through many twist and turns, Mitch soon realizes that Jill had several things she was hiding from him in their marriage. Yes, they had a strong and stable relationship, but there were some things he didn't know about her, some things she felt she couldn't share with him. Does one ever truly know another human being as well as they think they do?
Wow...what a thought provoking novel this turned out to be! This would make an excellent book club study; there were many times throughout I wish I would have been able to discuss it with others! Rarely during this time of year does a book keep me on the edge of my seat. I found myself getting so wrapped up in the storyline, I sometimes forgot it was a fictional case I was reading! The rare occasion I put the book down, I was quickly drawn back to see if any progress had been made on Jill's case. Had they found her yet? Did Mitch tell the kids their mom was missing? And just what exactly was Shelley's relationship with Mitch?
On the technical side of things, Raney did an excellent job in building character relationships and painting real life vivid scenarios of what could happen in these type of situations. The downside? As previously mentioned, the story seems all too real which brought back emotions for me from when a school age friend went missing in high school. It is obvious to this reviewer the in depth research and time that went in to writing this novel.
There was one area that was a little unrealistic to me, and that was the relationship between Jill and Shelley. A tad of a spoiler alert (but not a major one)...Jill was aware of Shelley's feelings for Mitch before she went missing. I'm not sure I could remain such close friends with someone, let alone my neighbor, knowing they “had a crush” on my husband. I'm sure there are situations where that happens, and people are trusting enough and secure enough in their marriage to be comfortable around the friend with the crush, it's just not something that is common in my circle of friends!
Overall, this was such a great novel that I cannot wait to pass it off to my friends and to get it on the shelves in the library where I work! Yet again, be prepared for your housework to be put on the back burner, you'll want to read your way straight through this book!