Missing One Crucial Piece in This Small Town Mystery

Posted on February 8, 2016 «
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Book Review
Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf

I am a big fan of Heather Gudenkauf’s novels. I’ve read everything she’s released except for one book. I was shocked and surprised to get approved via NetGalley to read Heather’s latest release, Missing Pieces.

I was immediately sucked into Missing Pieces. The prologue pulls you in and from that point forward the story doesn’t really let up. Set in Iowa, Jack returns with his wife, Sarah, after a close relative is seriously injured. Jack left Iowa over 20 years ago and this is his first trip back. Through the course of the novel, Sarah discovers things about Jack that she never knew. It’s creepy. It’s scary. It will make you want to avoid basements in old farmhouses. It will have you looking at your significant other and asking, “There aren’t any secrets about your past that you want to share, are there?” I may or may not have asked my husband this several times during day it took me to read Missing Pieces.

The book is fraught with tension which Gudenkauf has mastered writing. As Sarah slowly starts to put the pieces together, your mind starts turning and you can’t flip the pages fast enough to get to the reveal. And that’s where this story falls short. It hits a sour note on the reveal. Not enough pieces were shared for me to make the connection until it was too late. This is my least favorite thing about mystery novels. I want to get to the point of discovery JUST before or JUST as the character figures it out.

That’s not to say that Missing Pieces is a bad book. It got my heart racing. I kept asking questions. I kept looking at my husband out of the corner of my eye. I finished the book in one day and said at the end said, “Well, I didn’t see that coming.” It also got me out of a funk of one bad novel that I finished and one bad novel that I decided to DNF. Gudenkauf’s writing certainly delivers even if the ending was a bit rough.


The Quick Book Review

Missing One Crucial Piece in This Small Town Mystery

Missing Pieces

Author: Heather Gudenkauf
Published on: February 2, 2016
Pages: 288
Genres: mystery, adult
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My Rating: Thumbs Up


I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

About Heather Gudenkauf

Heather Gudenkauf is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and These Things Hidden.


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6 responses to “Missing One Crucial Piece in This Small Town Mystery

  1. TheSeedQueen

    I just finished Gudenkauf’s “Little Mercies” this weekend, and I’ve read some of her other books as well. She knows how to lay out the pieces of a puzzle.

  2. You have me curious because I love when a mystery keeps me guessing. Usually I figure things out, and while I still enjoy it I want that OMG moment.

  3. I love when mysteries are creepy and intense. Usually I end up guessing the culprit early on, but I’d prefer to figure it out when the character does too, or maybe not even realise it and be shocked by the reveal (so that I flick back through the book in awe of how well crafted all the hints and clues I missed were)

    • That’s spot on how I like to participate in mystery stories, Bec. This one just didn’t drop enought hints so it was kind of a downer. However, the tension Heather builds is pretty amazing.