Colleen and Shay are two very different women. Colleen comes from a wealthy background and is an intellectual, professional type of woman. Shay is the opposite: unsophisticated, rough but also very determined and tough. Usually, these two women would never even meet. But when their sons, who were both working on an oil rig in North Dakota, go missing, the two mothers must come together in order to unravel the mystery and find their missing boys. Along the way they’ll encounter some fierce competition, so it’s only by working together that they can possibly succeed.
The Missing Place is all about character. Sophie Littlefield’s character descriptions are absolutely marvelous. You’ll really get a deep sense of the characters as you read, and you’ll feel for both mothers in their nightmarish circumstance. Sophie Littlefield successfully portrays how far two mothers will go in order to save their sons. You’ll be routing for them, and also booing the oil company who they were working for—there’s a marvellous 1% VS the 99% type of societal conflict at play in the book.
Sophie Littlefield has handled the mystery well, keeping the reader uncertain of what’s happened until the end. I did find the plot in need of a little work, however. The main action doesn’t really begin until about 30 pages in. The beginning is unnecessary and should have been tidied up. There’s a sense that the plot would have been stronger if the information in the beginning of the book was merged into later scenes, instead of being written as its own chapter. This made the beginning of the book slow, which is a shame because once things get heated up the book truly comes to life.
I have to applaud Sophie Littlefield’s descriptive work. The characters are believable and the environments are alive. But at the same time, the story could have used a little reworking.
Overall: 3.5 out of 5.