Найдите свой следующий любимый аудиокнига

Станьте участником сегодня и слушайте бесплатно в течение 30 дней
Missing Pieces

Missing Pieces

Написано Heather Gudenkauf

Озвучено Christina Traister


Missing Pieces

Написано Heather Gudenkauf

Озвучено Christina Traister

оценки:
4/5 (35 оценки)
Длина:
9 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Feb 2, 2016
ISBN:
9781511358613
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Также доступно как...

Также доступно как книгеКниге

Также доступно как...

Также доступно как книгеКниге

Описание

New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf returns with a chilling thriller about a woman chasing clues into a decades-old mystery that could have shattering repercussions.

Sarah Quinlan's husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. The case rocked the small farm town of Penny Gate, Iowa, where Jack was raised, and for years Jack avoided returning home. But when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded.

Upon arriving in Penny Gate, Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago-barely a trace of the wounds that had once devastated them all. But as facts about Julia's accident begin to surface, Sarah realizes that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Caught in a flurry of unanswered questions, Sarah dives deep into the puzzling rabbit hole of Jack's past. But the farther in she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a deadly truth she may not be prepared for.

Издатель:
Издано:
Feb 2, 2016
ISBN:
9781511358613
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Также доступно как...

Также доступно как книгеКниге


Об авторе

Heather Gudenkauf is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and Not a Sound.  Heather lives in Iowa with her family.

Связано с Missing Pieces

Похоже на «Аудиокниги»

Обзоры

Что люди думают о Missing Pieces

4.2
35 оценки / 21 Обзоры
Ваше мнение?
Рейтинг: 0 из 5 звезд

Отзывы читателей

  • (3/5)
    Not as good as others by her.
  • (3/5)
    When is a mystery not a mystery?Is it when you can work out the killer in the first third of the book and (rarely) doubt that you're wrong?Or is it when you're always several steps ahead of the main investigative character, rendering much of their hypothesising redundant?Maybe it's when you aren't convinced by the final reveal?The last two certainly applied in my reading of 'Missing Pieces'; the first should have applied, if I were paying sufficient attention.-- What's it about? --Twenty years ago Lydia Quinlan was brutally murdered in her own home. The murderer was never found.When Julia Quinlan suffers a bad fall and ends up in hospital, her nephew, Jack, returns to Penny Falls with his wife, Sarah. Jack has barely set foot in the town since his mother's murder and has refused to discuss his past with Sarah.Sarah is intrigued by the opportunity to learn more about her husband's past, but when Julia dies and a murder investigation engulfs the Quinlan family she realises someone is prepared to kill to keep what happened to Lydia a secret.Can Sarah solve the mystery before the killer silences her?-- What's it like? --Easy to read but ultimately unconvincing.The start is promising: we witness the beginning of the attack on Lydia, then shift forward in time and are stunned to learn Sarah believes Lydia and her husband died together in a car accident. Why does she think this? What's going on?Gudenkauf aims to sustain this level of drama and uncertainty throughout the novel as Sarah is wrong footed at every turn by discovering deeply worrying truths her husband had omitted to mention. To add to the tension, Sarah begins receiving strange messages via her agony aunt alter-ego email address. Throughout it all, Jack refuses to acknowledge that his lies have caused a potentially deadly rift in their marriage. Then again, that may be because they seem like strangers to begin with.Sarah and Jack are meant to have been married for twenty years and have two teenage girls together, but there is no sense of intimacy between them and it takes surprisingly little for Sarah to begin to suspect her husband of murder. Yes, he lied to her, but as a former journalist and current agony aunt I would have expected her to be more sympathetic to his reasons for lying and more considerate of his bereavement. (Let's experiment: can you think of any reason why someone might not want to talk about the brutal death of their mother that ended their childhood? Hmm?)Instead her attempts at support are limited to shouting, "Jack, are you ok?" through the bathroom door at him while he vomits audibly. She can hear him being sick so...probably not? Then she avoids him as much as possible while: threatening to go home by herself, getting jealous of his ex-girlfriend and speculating with a woman considered a gossip about whether or not her husband is a murderer. I bet he's glad he took her with him.Though equally, why did he take her with him? He must have realised his lies would come undone, as he hadn't given his family any instructions regarding hiding the truth from Sarah, let alone found a way to keep the whole town quiet. If he wanted to keep his secrets, he needed to find an excuse to leave her at home. If she insisted on coming with her, he needed to be honest upfront.Except, I suppose, he couldn't, because then it wouldn't be plausible to speculate about him being The Murderer and the plot would take a hit. Instead, the credibility of the plot / characterisation takes a hit. Does he seriously think Sarah will sleepwalk through Iowa without asking a single potentially difficult question about his past? Has he forgotten that his wife used to be a serious journalist?Although if he has, that's not altogether surprising, as Sarah seems to have forgotten it too, despite getting support from one of her colleagues. I would expect a journalist to be more on the ball and quicker to piece together what's going on. Instead, when all is revealed the murderer taunts her that, "It took you long enough to put the pieces together, Sarah." A chapter or so later and Sarah herself reflects, "Some investigative reporter I am." Indeed.-- Final thoughts --This is very easy to read and I was curious to find out what happened to Lydia and to Julia. I like that there is closure: you learn why and who and how and the epilogue gives a glimpse into the future (in which everything seems rather easily resolved). The clues that exist support the ending, though I could query the killer (I can't reveal why without also revealing who it is so will not add anything else here) and I think this would suit a reader who likes a sporting chance at solving the crime themselves.I could see what was happening far more easily than Sarah (if you read the prologue with sufficient attention then it's quite clear who must be responsible from the limited pool of suspects Gudenkauf introduces), which was a little frustrating at times as I wanted her to be quicker to make certain connections, but perhaps this is an unfair criticism which simply shows I have read too many crime fiction novels to be easily surprised!Most frustratingly of all, I felt the story lacked credibility. Sarah gains an awful lot of information from one source that is astonishingly easy to manipulate - but even this doesn't actually help her solve the crime. Instead, a killer who has managed to stay perfectly hidden until now chooses to send her deranged "clues" (which Sarah initially ignores) and then engages in a confrontation which brings about closure but which wasn't actually required (for various reasons). I can only assume the killer had more faith in Sarah's investigative skills than I did.Could Sarah really have gained the help she did? Actually, maybe. It's a small town; the first murder rocked them, the second murder has stunned them and everyone is desperate to see justice served. I think, ultimately, this was maybe just a little too 'cosy' for my crime tastes (yes, despite featuring quite a brutal murder!).I really loved the premise of this, the idea of hidden secrets and double lives promised by the press release. Gudenkauf wrote this story because she was fascinated by the idea of people leading hidden lives that their families and friends had no idea about. Unfortunately, while I was sufficiently engaged with the storyline to read the whole book, I felt the execution was a little lacking. Arguably, the murderer was simply insane, rather than leading a true double life, and this story is more about family tensions than double lives.
  • (3/5)
    Jack returns home to Penny Gate, the town he escaped some twenty years ago. His aunt Julia has fallen down the stairs in her home and is in critical condition. Jack's wife Sarah knows little about Jack's past and less of his hometown. Once there, Sarah using her past investigator skills, finds out that Jack's parents didn't die in a car accident when he was fifteen but his mother was murdered and his dad disappeared. When Julia dies at the hospital and it is determined she was murdered, Sarah begins to suspect her own husband.I really wanted to enjoy this story, but couldn't. I have no problem with the the writing and the little suspense that helped moved the story along. But I'd didn't care for the characters at all, especially the most of the Quinlan family. It also felt like I've read this premise before and wasn't surprised by the outcome. I figured out most of it way before the reveal. Just okay.
  • (3/5)
    Heather Gudenkauf is an Iowa author and sets her mysteries in small towns across Iowa. In her newest mystery, Sarah and Jack return to Penny Gate, Iowa from their home in Colorado. Jack's aunt, Julia, has had a fall and is now in a coma. Jack is forced to return home to the aunt he loves like a mother and to the place that is full of nightmares he has tried to forget. Sarah, his wife, has been kept in the dark about Jack's family history and finds herself in a frenzy of unanswered questions and maybe the next wife in Jack's family to find herself in danger.I read this novel on a long bus ride to Canada last month and it was the perfect pace and length to keep me interested and make the drive pass by. I love that Gudenkauf sets her novels in Iowa, because I always feel like I can identify with the characters and locations she describes. Penny Gate sounds like the small town in Iowa live in. I think my main issue with this novel is I didn't like the characters as much. I understood that Sarah was upset when she found out her husband had kept secrets from her about his past. But, I thought she was a bit too childish and nosy to make her character believable. There were too many situations in the novel that fell into place too easily or had too much of a coincidence. Even with those drawbacks, it still held my interest and kept me guessing as to who might be the murderer. Gudenkauf can tell a twisted story along with sharing the beautiful countryside of small town Iowa. She gives readers a glimpse into our lives.....with a murder or two thrown in. Her books make for quick reads and will fill your murder mystery need. I just may have to avoid going down into my parents' cellar at their farmhouse for awhile.
  • (4/5)
    How could you not know, spoiler alert******* how on Earth could somebody so blatantly not know the person that they married somebody you were with for 20 years and you have such a lack of trust. I spent the entire book thinking God I hope he divorces her unfortunately he didn't. I don't even like my ex-husband but I would know whether he's capable of murder (unless it was me, obviously no) or not let alone somebody that I actually made it to 20 years with. Yet she thinks he needs to apologize for lying. As distrustful as she was. I would have lied too.
  • (4/5)
    Sarah Quinlan's husband, Jack, returns to the place he grew up because his beloved aunt Julia has is in a coma at the hospital after falling down the stairs. While at Penny Gate Jack is taken back to a time when his mother was found dead in the cellar of their family farm, a time he did not tell Sarah about. As Sarah begins to learn the truth about what happened to Julia and about what happened surrounding the death of Jack's mother, she realizes that something is not quite right within the Quinlan clan.

    When I realized this was the same author that wrote "These Things Hidden" (which I hated) I wasn't expecting anything overly good. But I was pleasantly surprised. It was a page-turner that kept me guessing. The characters were three-dimensional. I liked the setting. And the plot was way more believable than "These Things Hidden"
  • (4/5)
    Not my favorite Heather Gudenkauf book but it wasn't bad either. I felt like this book was very formulated. Mystery wrapped in mystery.
  • (3/5)
    Jack and Sarah Quinlan are racing to get to Jack's Aunt Julia (who raised Jack and his sister, Amy, as her own children after their parents died tragically in an accident)'s side at the hospital after she fell down a flight of stairs. Jack had not been back to his hometown (Penny Gate, IA) in over 20 years and has since met, married, and started a family with Sarah in Montana. However, Penny As Amy warned Sarah in the book about Penny Gate, "people who stay around here too long either die or go crazy".The more information that Sarah comes across about her husband's childhood, the more questions she develops. The more questions that she asks, the more dangerous the town becomes. With more bodies piling up, Jack and Sarah are forced to stay in Penny Gate until the police complete the investigation. The longer they stay there, the closer they get to the killer.I had hoped for much more from this mystery book, especially after hearing so many great things about Heather Gudenkauf's other writings. However, this book lacked character development, activity, and depth. There were several chapters where the only "action" taking place was that she was digging into her husband's past and finding more about than he even knew himself. Instead of communicating this with her husband of 20 years, she avoids him (many times in a very immature fashion) both in person as well as avoids his calls and texts. However, when she tries to get in contact with her husband Jack, she gets angry that he does not answer her texts. Furthermore, the whole reason why Jack and Sarah are in town is for Jack's aunt being in the hospital in critical condition. However, a majority of the book is about how Sarah is hurt and upset because Jack never told her details of an event that happened before he even met her. Granted, it is a major event, but I felt that she blew it way out of proportion. Lastly, the jealousy that Sarah feels in regards to Jack and Celia, seemed out of place. I would have thought someone who had been married to her husband for 20 years would not be intimidated by the appearance of another woman. Particularly a woman who is the wife of Jack's cousin, even if Jack and Celia dated when they were in high school. It seemed to be too focused on jealousy of Celia's appearance. For example: "Sarah saw Celia with new eyes now that she knew she and Jack were once an item. She was beautiful. Slim and fit. Her black curls were pulled back from her face and she was perfectly put together in sharply creased khakis and a neatly pressed blouse. Sarah looked down and was dismayed to see that her long-sleeve T-shirt and jeans were hopelessly rumpled from being stored in her suitcase".In conclusion, I would have liked this book better if the main character had a better personality and if her husband had a stronger presence. Personally, I found her to be repulsively hypocritical, narcissistic, and immature. It did not help that the narrative was first-person in Sarah's voice which exacerbated her aforementioned characteristics. On the other hand, I did enjoy that I did not figure out the killer until he/she was revealed.For those who may be sensitive, there are themes of violence, domestic violence, mild language, and drug use.Please note: a copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
  • (4/5)
    This is an enjoyable psychological thriller about family secrets and their consequences.The story begins quite slowly, feeding the reader with little segments of intriguing information as it goes along. As the build up increases, it fills in the missing pieces of the equation and leads to an exciting finale. Most of the action does actually take place within the last couple of chapters or so, but this adds to the suspense. It does what it says on the tin as they say! There are a couple of grey areas which I did let go over my head - I just went with the flow. It's an easy and entertaining read which kept me turning the pages until the end.I thought this was an engaging mystery which should appeal to those who prefer a good plot to a chiller thriller.Many thanks to Lovereading.co.uk for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.
  • (5/5)
    Sarah and Jack Quinlan have lived in Montana during their entire marriage, never visiting Jack's hometown in Iowa but now Jack's aunt has had a bad fall and may not survive so Sarah and Jack fly to Iowa. Jack's mother and father died in a car crash, or did they? Soon after they arrive Sarah finds out that Jack has been less than honest. As details come out during their stay Sarah begins to wonder who her husband really is. Is she the man she's known for the past 20 years or is he possible of horrible things.I've been reading Heather Gudenkauf's books since her first book, "One Breath Away" and "Missing Pieces" is her best book yet. It had me interested from the beginning - it's one of those books you want to read it but yet you have to know what's happening so your tempted to read the ending - but don't because you'll miss a terrific story.
  • (4/5)
    Jack and Sarah Quinlan get a phone call to return to Jack's childhood home because the aunt who raised him has fallen and is in critical condition. There is a lot of mystery surrounding Jack's childhood - despite being married for over 20 years, all he has told his wife is that his parent's were killed in a car accident and his dad was drunk and at fault. When they arrive at PennyGate, Sarah finds out that Jack has been lying to her about his mother's death for their entire marriage and she begins to doubt his story and begins to doubt Jack to be the man he claims to be. There are a lot of interesting people in this book and its a real page turner. I thought that I had it figured out about half way through but I was totally wrong. My only problem with the book was the relationship between Jack and Sarah, they really didn't have a strong relationship for a couple who had been together for 20 years but then Jack kept himself very closed off from her and she just didn't seem like the kind of person who would live in a relationship like that - she was way too inquisitive. Other than that one minor issue, the book was great and I really enjoyed it.
  • (4/5)
    Sarah Quinlan thought she knew her husband well. However, when his Aunt Julia is hospitalized after an accident and they go back to his hometown of Penny Gate, she starts to learn about the death of his mother many years earlier. It seems that Jack has left out so much about his years before he met her that her feelings are starting to unravel. There are a lot of unanswered questions and Sarah wants to find out the answers before everything gets worse. Enjoyed this book.
  • (4/5)
    From my blogI have only missed out on one of Heather Gudenkauf's books so far, she has became a go to author for me when she releases a new book. This one didn't feel nor read like her others, there wasn't what I would say her style or voice that came through. The prologue drew you in immediately, a brutal murder, you knew you were into a great start to a who dun-nit story. Jack gets a call that his Aunt was hurt badly and was in a coma. Jack and his wife Sarah of 20 years head back to his childhood home and small community, Penny Gate, Iowa. Sarah knows the family from the wedding but immediately feels something is off, secrets. The Aunt has a brutal death in the hospital in front of all the family and then begins an investigation into her murder. All the family are questioned, fingers being pointed and for Sarah, secrets revealed making her second guess the life she built with Jack. Similarities into the death of his Aunt and his mother have everyone entangled into a family dysfunctional mess. Can you imagine planning a funeral while the family is being investigated, emotional turmoil. Jack had told Sarah his parents died from a car accident so to hear it was murder and now his aunts murder has similarities, who should she trust. She turns to her own instinct or is it morbid curiosity and becomes private detective which puts her in the fire pan also. All fingers point to the troubled sister of Jack, Amy and she called their childhood home, 'the house of horrors' which is occupied by cousins, so it is still within the family. Sarah is an advice columnist and when she checks her email she gets a strange email and when the 3rd comes in she knows it has something to do with the murders. The first part of the book was good but there was just something off, it may have been the flow, execution not the best but I thought the 2nd half was better. I think Heather is good with layering her stories to make mysterious and in this case it was the continuous secrets revealed which for Sarah were lies. She considered catching the next plane back home. Even though I knew who the murderer wasn't, the families reactions to everything didn't make sense to me and I think it was the lack of really getting to know the characters. This was a solid read, the ending was okay but you will still have so many questions and that is due to the lack of connection with the characters. The questions are not about the story but more.... how can a husband lie about the things he did, how can family live in a home where their loved one was murdered, why did the murderer do it and the additional bodies found, is that even possible?
  • (5/5)
    Penny Gate, Iowa, sounded like such a serene place, but Sarah found out it definitely was far from serene when it came to her husband's family.The Quinlans, and especially her husband, Jack, had many secrets about family accidents /murders that were 30 years apart. Sarah found out more about the secrets in the 24 hours she was in Penny Gate than she knew for the past 20 years of her marriage.Sarah needed to know why Jack lied to her about how his parents died and answers to other secrets she found out he kept from her.What brought Sarah and Jack back to Penny Gate after 20 years was an accident that his beloved Aunt Julia had that was similar to his mother's accident. Aunt Julia had raised Jack and his sister after his parents were gone.Every hour Sarah and Jack spent in Penny Gate was an hour that added more questions and more secrets being revealed about Jack and his relatives. The revelations were not pleasant. MISSING PIECES will have mystery lovers scratching their heads until the last pages as well as loving the intrigue.Ms. Gudenkauf's detailed writing style and marvelous storyline made MISSING PIECES a book that was difficult to put down. I stayed up way into the night to finish it. See if you can solve the mystery of the 30-year-old murder as well as the current one. The twists and turns along with the very suspenseful ending will have you on the edge of your seat and guessing until the end.Don't miss reading MISSING PIECES. 5/5This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
  • (5/5)
    received this book free from Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review.I have to say, when I realized I won this book, I was so excited. Heather Gudenkauf is definitely one of my favourite authors, I was in love with her books from the first one I read. , She weaves a story so wrought with emotion, you can't not become involved. I received the book the day before Christmas, Merry Christmas to me and I waited a couple of days, eyeing it longingly. I wanted to devour it right away, but I also wanted to put it off, since then it would be over and I'd have to wait another year or so for another of her gems. And once I started it, I couldn't stop.So enough of that. Initially I was a little surprised at this book, maybe a teensy weensy bit disappointed that this was little different than her usual books, more of a mystery/thriller than her usual drama novels, although this one does have drama, lots of it. Saying that though, it did not change the quality of her writing, her descriptions so vivid it's like you are there, and her ability to draw you into the story and engross you, her characters so real, nor did it change how I felt about the book and the enjoyment of the book, it is definitely still a five star book. Sarah's husband Jack is from a small town in Iowa, Penny Gate. He hasn't been back there in 20 years. He never talks about his past, all Sarah knows is that his parents died in a car accident. When Jack's aunt, who raised him and his sister Amy after the death of their parents, has an accidental fall, Sarah and Jack go back to the small town Jack grew up in. But almost instantly, things take a turn for the worse, actually really worse. Sarah learns that everything her husband has told her about his past was a lie, so many secrets he has never revealed. And how did Julia fall, is there more to that? The more Sarah learns, and she can't help herself, the more she learns about the man she married, does she even know him at all? Sarah is a likable character; although I didn't like how she just wanted to leave town and leave Jack in one of the worst times of his life. I tried to put myself in her position and wondered how I would feel in the same situation, would I doubt my husband, would I think my husband was capable of such terrible things? Would I truly resent him for keeping me in the dark or would I try to be more compassionate and understanding?This book kept me guessing all through as my mind went from one theory to another. Several times I would almost cringe at something Sarah would do in fear that it wouldn't end well. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone, this book and all of her others are fantastic reads. Thank you to Heather Gudenkauf, Goodreads and the publishers for sending this book to me and allowing me the privilege to read and review it.
  • (4/5)
    This book grabbed me from the beginning. It is filled with characters that just seem off. Jack is distant and not forthcoming about what happened to his parents when he was a child, or pretty much anything else pertaining to his life before leaving Penny Gate. His cousin Dean and wife Celia definitely seem to be hiding something and before you know it Sarah is entrenched in a decades old mystery.Sarah was a very genuine character but I had a difficult time relating to Jack and many of the other characters who just seemed to be there to move around Sarah. They mystery itself was very well done. There are a lot of different pieces that are uncovered like peeling away an onion. I found myself flip flopping around about who I thought was actually the bad guy.This was a quick read and had a very suspenseful ending that I really enjoyed.
  • (5/5)
    When I was chosen to be an advance reader from Net Galley of Heather Gudenkauf's new book "Missing Pieces" I couldn't have been happier. I have read all her books and she is one of my favorite authors. This book did not let me down. A great mystery that slowly builds and sucks you in to keep you reading wanting to know what the suspenseful ending will be. All thought I figured out the culprit before finishing the book it kept me reading to see how everything tied together in the end. I love Heather's writing style and this book is no exception to her fine work. I recommend this book to all who like her wonderful style.
  • (3/5)
    A decent middle of the road suspense novel. There's a high emphasis on creating DRAMA at every opportunity & I got a bit tired of the main character's constant mental meanderings. The relationship between her & her husband was very odd for a couple married 20 years, best described as polite. There are important things they've never talked about & I kept thinking really? this never came up in 20 years together? She jumped to conclusions very quickly & you'll often have to suspend your disbelief as the story reaches the end. Best described as a "light thriller".
  • (4/5)
    Sarah Quinlan and her husband Jack arrive in Penny Gate, a small rural village, where Jack and his family originate from. Their aim: visit hospitalized, aunt Julia who's in coma. The moment the family stands at Julia's bed, strange things unravel one by one. Amidst a whodunnit after finding out that Julia is murdered, suspicions rise that Jack had buried secrets of his past which were never told to Sarah.Where's Jack's father that went missing after his wife was found dead in the basement of their house? Has psychologically troubled sister Amy a hidden agenda? And what about the flirts between Jack and Celia, notably married to Jack's cousin Dean. And what's the role of Julia’s husband, Hal? Sarah not only collaborates with Penny Gate sheriff Verne Gilmore, but also discovers many missing pieces on her own. Ghosts from the past haunting the family farm and its past and current inhabitants. Who will be the next victims? Is there time for mourning and burial, or will the pace of shocking events stay that steady?Heather Gudenkauf's Missing Pieces is a fine combination of crime fiction and a rich painting of characters, unexpected twists and a search for the murder(s) while the protagonist is being chased herself. Once familiarized with this dysfunctional family members, Missing Pieces is a typical book you want to read quickly until the puzzle is complete.
  • (5/5)
    A special thank you to MIRA and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. A long-time fan of Heather Gudenkauf’s books, she returns following Little Mercies (5 Stars) with her best book yet, MISSING PIECES-a multi-layered, gritty, dark, mysterious, and suspenseful edge-of-your seat (action-packed) domestic crime psycho-thriller. I could not put down. Top Mysteries of 2016! A woman discovers dark chilling secrets about her husband’s family past. There is suspicion, mistrust, and nothing is as it appears. Two accidents or falls turn, into intriguing murders and a devilishly evil game of "three blind mice". A whodunit mystery, which will leave your head spinning, while trying to guess the identity of the murderer-- with twists and turns you do not see coming. Once you think you have it figured out, you suspect someone else. There are Missing Pieces of a strange puzzle hovering just beyond your reach. As the book opens we meet Lydia Tierney 1985, Iowa farm--she has sent her two children, Jack (fifteen) and Amy (eleven) off to school. She appears to be a happy homemaker planning a special dinner to celebrate their last day at school, prior to summer vacation. She is downstairs, to collect some things for dinner, from the cellar. She and her husband John had lived on the farm for fifteen years. She hears something and turns around, before being stuck down by someone she appears to know.Flash forward to present day. Jack is now married with a family in Larkspur, Montana. A happy family, Jack is a physical therapist, and wife Sarah is an anonymous (Dear Astrid) advice columnist for the Midwest Messenger, a prominent newspaper in Montana. A step down from her prior position. She had been a hard-news reporter traveling all over the world, covering major international news stories. After the girls were born she stayed close to home and the job had worked out well for the last seven years. Only a handful of people knew Astrid’s true identity. Her daughters did not know. The twin daughters in college, at the University of Montana were too busy with their own life. Some of her letters were from weekly people looking for unbiased opinions and a fresh perspective. But some were odd, disturbing, dark, violent, and needy. If so, she had been known to contact the police. Jack receives a phone call from Amy, his sister regarding his aunt Julia. She was the one who found her. Julia had taken a bad fall, and he needed to come home. Jack has not returned to his home place in twenty years. Penny Gate, Iowa does not hold fond memories for Jack. A three-hour flight from Montana, and the couple are on their way to a town of dark secrets. Hold on for a roller coaster ride. A past he has not shared with his wife. Plus, Sarah soon learns his last name was Tierney, not Quinlan? Why was he taking his aunt and uncle’s last name? Jack told Sarah his parents died in an automobile accident with the dad driving. This is what she has believed to be true for twenty years. Until now. Aunt Julia and Uncle Hal raised Amy and Jack, after they became orphans. Sarah soon learns, Lydia was murdered and Jack’s father John has not been seen since. An investigation eliminated a variety of suspects, (Jack being one of them), and it was assumed John was the killer; however, there was no such evidence and he has not been found.In this small town of Penny Gate there are many secrets. From parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, to siblings. Amy is troubled, and resents Jack for leaving. She calls their old home place a house of horror. Sarah begins to uncover all sorts of lies. Not only did her husband lie about his parents, he also was dating Celia, in high school. She now is married to Dean, Hal’s son, and Jack’s cousin. Sarah had never met Celia, previously. The last time he came was for their wedding and she had stayed home with the twins. Jack is in non-communication mode. He says he wants to forget it. Sarah is livid! There is a mystery surrounding Julia’s fall—and soon after their arrival, she dies. A full investigation is in force. All fingers point to Amy since she seems unstable with pill popping and alcohol, walking around like a zombie and losing her job. However, she loved Julia and Dean appears to dislike her. Soon thereafter Sarah with her former investigative reporting skills, wants to know more about Jack’s mom and dad’s death; however, he is not forthcoming with any answers. She begins to think the two murders may be connected. Why is Jack being so secretive? How will her marriage survive this? Why would Jack lead her blindly into a town filled with secrets, horror, evil and violence? She begins doubting her entire life with Jack and their family. Why? What is Jack hiding? Dean and Celia live in the house that Amy and Jack grew up in. In the meantime, blame is cast upon Amy, who says she is innocent. However, Sarah becomes to suspect Jack. She is trying to get Amy a lawyer, and then she then sees Dean and Celia fighting-- he has a temper. After the reports come back, appears Julia was poisoned and beaten. Who would do this to a lovely woman? What about Lydia and the murder from twenty years ago, never solved. A bloodbath in the cellar. What is Gilmore, the cop’s connection? Could John Tierney still be alive, and could someone have murdered him too? Sarah befriends Margaret Dooley, a woman dispatcher at the police department, who likes gossip. Partners in crime, she feeds her information and between the two, they are a riot----sneaking evidence, from a twenty-year-old case, copying files to flash drives, slipping into library and coffee shops, bars; gathering bits and pieces from the old and current murder. Both houses are now a crime scene. To make matters more intense, Sarah is receiving these cryptic emails about three blind mice. She ignores them, because she has too much other to worry about here in Iowa. Work can wait and she deletes them. She has not had time to answer her editor's calls. She has not a clue they could be connected to what is going on here in Iowa. However, when someone runs her off the road, and leaves a broken watch on her car windshield, and photos of a crime scene, and other texts and emails – someone here in Penny Gate could be the one behind the three blind mice? There are so many suspects: The cop, the uncle, the father, Jack, Amy, Dean—each time someone goes down the steps to a cellar or basement, I am holding my breath! Who would murder two farmer’s wives and why? Similarities between Lydia and Julia’s deaths. What is the motive?Sarah realizes that nothing about the Quinlans is the truth—trust or not? Each secret uncovered adds another crack in Sarah’s marriage. Wouldn’t someone capable of murdering show some signs of insanity, being unbalanced? Is she married to a psychopath or someone in this family? Does she even want to stay here? She has to learn the truth before she leaves. “You can’t catch me.” A text. Her cell phone.When Sarah gets her hands on the old evidence, she is afraid of her own husband. Who is this man? Nothing could prepare for darkness and evil of this town. A race against time Sarah is in the middle of danger, the closer she comes to learning the identity of the killer. Clues surface and the missing pieces of the puzzle come to light for an explosive climax. Wow, this was one intense mystery! Loved Sarah’s character and Margaret (she was a former babysitter for Jack and Amy). The two female feisty sleuths were creative, innovative, and pushed all boundaries—smart, edgy, taking risks, witty, sneaking around making excuses about the food, and uncovering the web of deceit. (they need to be PI partners). A case no one could crack years earlier. These two made the story. A number of evil players with two sides, making it difficult to determine the killer. Cryptic message, clues, beatings, murder weapons, dark cellars, poisoning. Loved the front cover Perfect title. There are so many missing pieces, clues, and mystery surrounding the two murders----an ideal book for book clubs and discussions. Different personalities and perspectives. Nice character development and plot planning-- the author hands out small clues and pieces, as the story unravels. Very clever twist with the Three Blind Mice nursery rhyme, clues, poisoning, and the eyes being covered, see how they run, etc.…There is so much unknown--and each character has flaws, making more than a few likely suspects with possible motive. By the time you reach the end, you will find another huge piece. Even though I have enjoyed all Heather’s books, MISSING PIECES is my favorite. Action-packed and a different twist than her previous books. I hope she continues to write more of these fast-paced crime psycho-suspense mystery thrillers; she is in her “element,” and since this is my favorite genre--a glowing 5 stars! Can’t wait to see what’s next! (More of this, please)
  • (5/5)
    Small town life can be so simple, so easy. A simple stroll down the sidewalk can turn into coffee with a friend. Neighbors look out for one another and are usually willing to lend a helping hand. Days flow into one another with pure simplicity, until something happens that shakes a small town to its very core. It was an event such as this that brought Jack Quinlan and his wife Sarah back to his hometown of Penny Gate, Iowa. His aunt had taken a bit of a tumble, if you will, down the stairs in her home. Jack and Sarah thought they would just be dropping into town for a few days to help in his Aunt recovered from her accident, but little did they know that shortly after their plane touched down, their lives were about to be altered forever.In true Heather Gudenkauf fashion, this tale unravels in a creepy way that will give you goosebumps and an urge to keep turning the pages. Missing Pieces, Gudenkauf’s latest release, is truly a murder mystery with a very modern spin. As strange events start to occur, Sarah finds herself questioning everything she has ever known about her husband Jack and the life they have built together. She finds herself befriended by a local and together they ask the questions that no one else has the nerve to ask. By doing so, a truth is revealed – a truth that this small town was not ready for and it will never be the same.In this action-packed thriller, Gudenkauf weaves a tale that only she can. This story is thought-provoking and a page-turner to say the least. While it is questionable as to whether this is her best novel so far, it will definitely leave the reader with goosebumps.