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Missing Pieces Hardcover – February 2, 2016
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"Intelligent, thought-provoking.... If there's such a thing as a 'thoughtful thriller,' this is it." -Sandra Brown, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
"An action packed thriller... Gudenkauf's best book yet!" –Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl and Pretty Baby
"An emotional roller coaster of suspense that will keep you guessing until the final page is turned." -Jennifer McMahon, New York Times bestselling author of The Winter People
"This fast-paced read will appeal to fans of psychological suspense like that by Joy Fielding." -Booklist
"Atmospheric... sustains suspicion until the final pages." -Bookpage
About the Author
Heather Gudenkauf is an Edgar Award nominated, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Heather lives in Iowa with her husband and children. In her free time Heather enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and running.
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The book opens and we are on a farm in Penny Gate, Iowa owned by the Tierney family. Fifteen year old Jack and his eleven year old sister Amy are heading off to school as their mother Lydia is preparing a special dinner in celebration of the start of summer vacation. She heads down to the cellar to gather food for the dinner. While there she hears something, turns around and is stuck down by someone she appears to know.
PRESENT DAY: Jack is now married with a family and lives in Larkspur, Montana. Jack is a physical therapist and his wife Sarah is an anonymous advice columnist for the Midwest Messenger, the local newspaper in Montana. Jack receives a call from his sister Amy about their Aunt Julia. Jack has not returned to his home town in twenty years. It does not hold fond memories for Jack. Nevertheless Jack and his wife are on their way to a town with deep, dark secrets and a past he has not shared with his wife. Sarah soon learns his last name was Tierney, not Quinlan. Aunt Julia and Uncle Hal Quinlan had raised Amy and Jack after they became orphans. Sarah soon learns, Lydia was murdered and Jack’s father John has not been seen since. In this small town of Penny Gate there are many secrets. Sarah begins to uncover all sorts of lies. Why is Jack being so secretive? Why would Jack lead her blindly into a town filled with secrets, horror, evil and violence?What about Lydia and the murder from twenty years ago that was never solved? Sarah soon realizes that nothing about the Quinlans is the truth.
This book is full of suspicion, mistrust while nothing is as it appears. Two different accidents or falls turn into intriguing murders and a devilishly evil game of blind leading the blind. This is a whodunit mystery which will leave you 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 then begin to suspect someone else. There is a number of evil people with two sides, making it difficult to determine who the killer is.
Then his much loved Aunt Julia has fallen down a flight of stairs in her son's home and is in the hospital in critical condition. He and Sarah, who insists on going with him, must return to Iowa. Everything in Iowa is different than in her home state. Everything so creepy and strange. Evil seems to permeate this small town. The trip takes place during autumn, the most beautiful season of the year. Ms Gudenkauf fills her book with feelings of dread and foreboding.
Sarah Quinlan finds that Jack is not the man she married twenty years ago. He keeps his history secret from his wife. But how well can people really know each other? Are there secret parts in everyone that can't be revealed even to those close to them? Plus, those with unhappy childhoods tend not to speak about those times. A friend counsels Sarah that she feels Jack is keeping so much from his wife to protect her so she won't worry and be upset.
But this small town does contain evil doers. The two farm houses set in the middle of corn fields. When the corn has grown very tall a person can get lost in the fields. Plus Jack's relatives. His sister, who is mentally ill, drinks too much, uses drugs, who calls her childhood home a house of horrors, his bereaved Uncle Hal, whose wife Julia dies in the hospital, his big, burly cousin, Dean, and Dean's too perfect wife, Celia. Whatever became of Jack's parents who have been gone so many years? His mother was found beaten to death in the dark, musty cellar of her home, his father ran off when Jack was a teenager. His Aunt Julia and Uncle Hal adopted Jack and younger sister, Amy, when this tragedy destroyed their family.
Sarah does get too pushy about looking for facts present and past. She is determined to find the truth. In her past she was an investigative reporter and was excellent in her profession. "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." She wants so badly to go home, far away from this strange town of horrors. The presence of evil does prevail in the haunted, little Iowa town. A town filled with secrets and lies.
I started reading this book and couldn't stop until I finished. I needed to find out about all the tragedies and evil in Penny Gate.