The Missing Place by Sophie Littlefield is an intriguing mystery story. It follows two women’s desperate search for their sons Paul and Taylor, who have gone missing whilst working away at the Oil Rigs in the remote town of Lawton. Weaving through North Dakota and encountering people of many different classes and occupations as they try to piece together what’s happened, the women’s story takes the reader to a different world to that which I am used to in England (or so I felt, anyway!)
Told in a different way to the usual crime/ mystery novels, it’s narrated from the perspectives of three people only: the two mothers and another boy named T.L., which means that we don’t see any events from the police’s point of view. Because of this I felt that we get a more personal and emotionally charged story.
The two mothers have never met before and are very different- Colleen is from a rich family who smothered son Paul, whilst single mother Shay struggles by on her minimal wage and takes a more relaxed way of parenting Taylor- but both are united in their worry for their sons’ whereabouts and each have their own interesting qualities.
This novel really drew me in from the very beginning, when we are unaware of what level of danger the two boys could be in; it might just be that they’ve decided to run away, but as the story continues it becomes clear that Paul and Taylor could be in real trouble, and the fact that everyone seems afraid to speak to the two mothers only adds to the tension throughout. I feel that the way Colleen is so worried about what people might think of her son Paul, with his short temper and behavioural problems growing up, was really touching; it highlights the way people who are different are often judged which can only make the problem worse. You don’t know whether Paul has harmed Taylor and this doubt, which even Colleen has, about Paul is quite disconcerting as this is one of he main characters that the reader is supposed to be rooting for.
I really liked the way the author Sophie Littlefield writes, with a fast pace that still is descriptive enough when it needs to be. It’s never too dramatic or ridiculous and the storyline seems well researched and realistic. I never got bored whilst reading The Missing Place as it wasn’t too long or tedious, and the various twists kept me guessing throughout.
I really enjoyed this novel and definitely intend on reading other titles by Sophie Littlefield.
Disclaimer: This novel was sent to me by review by the publisher in return for an honest review. The Missing Place is released in the UK on 14th October- you can pre-order it now on Amazon.