Jenni Lou's Reviews > The Missing

The Missing by Shiloh Walker
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Dec 05, 2010

liked it
Read in November, 2009

Sometimes I just browse my local library’s shelves and peruse the backs and dust jackets of random books and check a few out. Shiloh Walker‘s The Missing is one of those books I came across. It had an intriguing premise and I was in the mood for a story that had a little romance in it after reading a number of novels that were of quite a different persuasion.

Once I got into it–and it didn’t take too long–I definitely found The Missing to be a page turner, although I can also deem it forgettable. And though it was classified in the fiction section at my local library I feel like it almost belongs more to the romance categorization. The story is not inundated with the purpley prose I assume so common in the romance genre, but there is a sprinkling of that in there. Strangely, one of the most prevalent thoughts I had upon completing this book was how highly sexualized it was. There’s a more than a few sex scenes in the book and they do get a bit explicit and that is not something I often encounter in the things I read. Sex scenes are usually brief or introspective, perhaps slightly nebulous or merely suggestive. Not so descriptive and capturing the blow-by-blow (minds out of the gutter, people!) such as this novel does. And I have to admit, when I read “cock” it makes me think of erotica, as it is a word that fits in swell in that genre–and maybe romance, too, though I haven’t really read much romance to know for sure–so it sorts of takes me out of a story I am trying to take more seriously than some light porn.

Overall, the prose is fluid and unabashed. A benefit to the novel is its third person perspective. You get a large dose of Taige and a sampling from the other characters, most notably Cullen. It makes the narrative’s scope widen and the implications of events and their effects on the characters more widely understood than if it were only focusing on the singular Taige instead. There is a somewhat minor mystery at the core of the story–the catalyst that ignites the reunion of Taige and Cullen–but I am afraid it is so absolutely predictable that I’m not sure if it was meant to a real mystery at all. But I suppose that’s all irrelevant because in the end, this is a story about a love so intense it survives time and guilt and tragedy. And in that respect, it is a successfully executed story.

However, one of its shortcomings is Cullen. He feels very underdeveloped to me. Even now, though I only finished the book about two weeks ago, I can’t get a clear sense of him. The only things that stand out are that he is a dedicated father and is pining for Paige. He doesn’t have many distinguishing characters I can recall, neither physically nor psychologically. He could be any guy. Taige, on the other hand, is strong and willful and compelling. And because we are introduced to her as a teenager and witness the grief and horror her gift supplies, she is easy to sympathize with and root for.

A second slight failure is the poor attention to the way the law works and how crime is investigated. But because Taige is a psychic guided by her sixth sense, you can give into suspension of disbelief and accept what liberties the writer has taken to tell her story.

A good read. I don’t know if it is a book I will remember much about as time goes by, but I was entertained and intrigued well enough through the journey. I may give the author another go around at some point.

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