"The Missing," Shiloh Walker

Pros: Fantastically strong characters, situations, and story; incredible emotions and tension
Cons: None
Rating: 5 out of 5

Review copy (uncorrected proof) courtesy of Penguin Group.
Expected publication date: November 4, 2008.
Visit Shiloh Walker’s website.

 

Taige Branch has visions—painful visions of people in trouble. Sometimes she can save them. Sometimes she can’t. She doesn’t want attention and hates that people see her as a freak, but she can’t ignore the need to help those she can. She thought she’d always be alone, separated by her inability to block out the thoughts of those she touches, until she met Cullen—sweet, loving Cullen, who loved her as she was and whose emotions didn’t threaten to drown her when they touched. She gave her heart to him, and he broke it. When his mother died, he never forgave Taige for not preventing it.

Years later, both Taige and Cullen have changed. Taige assists the FBI in locating missing children, going through hell over and over in an attempt to undo what can never be undone. Cullen is a widowed father who can’t ever forget the only woman he truly loved, and whose daughter Jilly shares a mysterious gift with Taige—one that has finally given him an insight into just what it must be like for her.

The two of them still see each other in their dreams, but they don’t meet again until brought together by tragedy: Cullen’s daughter is missing, and only Taige can find her. Because Taige has been dreaming of this particular little girl since before Jilly was even born.

 

The Missing is not a romance of sweetness and light. It is not an easy read. It’s dark, and its characters face a great deal of pain. If you’re looking for a pick-me-up, look elsewhere. But if you’re looking for a suspense that can rip your heart open and leave you raw, this is that book.

I opened the first pages of this book when I needed to pass some time before we ran errands. That was a miscalculation. Shiloh Walker is so adept at sweeping the reader into the story that I immediately fell under her spell. I had a great deal of difficulty setting the book aside to run errands, and even as we were getting groceries into the house I was stealing glances at paragraphs while holding the door open for my husband.

Unlike so many romance relationships, this one makes sense at every step even as it breaks your heart. I never wanted to roll my eyes at a character’s stupidity—yeah, the characters make bad decisions, but they make bad decisions that make perfect sense. Their feelings for each other make sense. There was never that feeling that misunderstandings or anger were being used to artificially stretch out the tension. And for that matter, there was no need for it: the plot involving missing children and a serial killer provided plenty of tension.

The characters are absolutely fantastic, from the leads to the side characters. The setting is wonderful. The depiction of psychic abilities is self-consistent and logical, unlike some I could mention, and never felt like a plot device.

If you enjoy suspense/thriller/romance novels, heavy on the suspense, then I highly recommend Shiloh Walker’s The Missing. This is a tense and heart-wrenching book that gets under your skin in a flash.

[Usual adult material warning: sizzling explicit sex scenes!]

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5 comments on “"The Missing," Shiloh Walker
  1. Hi Heather~thanks for the review and glad you liked it! 🙂

  2. heather says:

    It’s my pleasure—although you aren’t helping the state of my wishlist any, you know! 😛 I think every book of yours that Amazon carries is on it.

  3. lyndsey says:

    You know, I love when I pick up a book and start to read it, and you are captured by that spell. I sort of use that as my gauge as to whether or not I will like a book I am reading. It is kind of hypnotic when that happens.

    Love the site! Lyndsey

  4. Jane Farmer says:

    I love this book I have not read a book in ages and this one just keeps me on the edge of the seat I cant put it down….

    cant wait to read the next book from this author…..

    love it Jane

  5. This is one of the best books that I have ever read. If you have a collection of books, you should definitely include this.

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