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One Boy Missing

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  136 ratings  ·  43 reviews
It was a butcher on smoko who reported the man stashing the kid in the car boot. He didn't really know whether he'd seen anything at all, though. Maybe an abduction? Maybe just a stressed-out father.

Detective Bart Moy, newly returned to the country town where his ailing, cantankerous father still lives, finds nothing. As far as he can tell no one in Guilderton is missing a
Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 29th 2014 by Text Publishing
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Average rating 3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  136 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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 Li'l Owl
A butcher was out having a smoke behind his shop when he hears screaming and sees a man forcing a small boy into the boot of a car, then speeding away. He calls the police.

Detective Bart Moy identifies himself and begins taking the report from the butcher, Justin Davids. Davids says that the boy was maybe 10 years old, medium height with brown hair, wearing dirty pajamas, and no shoes.
He describes the man as big, muscly, in his 30's, dark hair, a goatee, wearing a T-shirt. Moy asks for a descr
Feb 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ozzie-gems
A lost child is a classic Australian trope and is the center piece for what is an intriguing story. Orr's new novel despite it's aptly named title turns this trope on it's head. The story goes a man who witnesses a young boy being forced into the boot of a car in the small wheatbelt town of Guilderton. Detective Sergeant Bart Moy is assigned the case that is a mystery at first as there is no child reported missing in the area and when the boy is found after being apprehended by a shop owner afte ...more
Jun 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: murder-mystery
I've had this sitting on my Kindle for ages and picked it up 3 days ago when unable to bother reaching for the short stories I was reading.

The author is a South Australian and the book is set in a fictional sleepy Mallee town, a setting which caused me some confusion as he seemed to grab bits of other towns I know to make up Guilderton.

The story moves along well and the characters are well developed, even if the plot is a little improbable. I'm pretty sure that if there was a crime involving mu
Dale Harcombe
Three and a half stars.I was so looking forward to reading this after reading some reviews of it. I adored the cover, both in appearance and feel, and felt happy to dive right in. By the time I got to page 3 and was confronted with two incidents language I find offensive I was beginning to think that maybe I wasn’t going to enjoy reading it or even finish it at all. But it’s hard to turn away from the story of a child being shoved into the boot of car and someone looking to solve that crime and ...more
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One Boy Missing is the fifth novel by Australian author, Stephen Orr. Unable to put behind him the accidental death of his son, Charlie, and his subsequent divorce, Detective Sergeant Bart Moy returns to his rather dreary home town of Guilderton in outback New South Wales. His father, George is ageing and being there to help out is as good an excuse as any to escape the city. When the local butcher sees a young boy being roughly shoved into a car boot, the police are puzzled as no-one in town cl ...more
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Jul 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
One Boy Missing by Stephen Orr is a highly recommended police procedural set in Australia.

Detective Inspector Bart Moy is tired and close to being washed out as a detective. He has returned to the small agricultural town of Guilderton, New South Wales, to help care for his aging father and also to try and recover from the loss of his son, Charlie. When a butcher reports that he saw a man stash a young boy into the trunk (boot) of his car, Bart is looking at the case as a possible abduction, but
Oct 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Detective Sergeant Bart Moy has accepted his decline. He’s lost his son and his wife, realised he’s reached the peak of his career and has returned to his hometown to look after his ailing father – a town he will always be an outsider in. When a local butcher reports seeing a young boy thrown into a car boot, but no one seems to be missing a son or know anything, Moy finds himself stirred from doldrums of his life to try and make sense of what happened.

One Boy Missing is a bit of a disappointmen
Yes it features a police officer who returns to the town where he grew up to find a new life after he accidentally killed his son. Yes there is a missing child, a murder and mystery. But no, this is more a story about finding hope, love and family than a crime novel.

I liked the crisp writing style, the honesty of the copper, the dialogue he has with his ageing father and the way he communicates with the lost boy (once he was found). Easy to read and very enjoyable.

Siobhann Wynn
Feb 28, 2014 rated it liked it
A mystery to the was not just a crime book but a story of a number of lost people, and in the end what makes up a family?
Adam Eric
Mar 17, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I wanted to give this novel more but I felt it was held back by a few structural issues. The story is solid however lacks any urgency which a book like this requires to push the narrative forward. And in an opposite effect, the last 10% of the book feels rushed, with the plot amped up and over almost too quick. The ending didn't land 100% for me however it was resolved. The relationships and the outback Australian setting are rounded and descriptive, but sometimes I feel lack flare an ...more
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
The writing was quite good but the story didn't grab me.
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. A good book. As an Australian I could completely picture this rural town, and believe the towns folk. Great imagery.
Helen Goltz
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great read; local and character driven.Ideal for readers wanting mystery, a sympathetic protagonist and a 'yarn' that winds you in.
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Set in the heat, dust and community of the South Australian Mallee there is much that is visceral in ONE BOY MISSING. From the opening in which a young, vulnerable boy desperately tries to avoid a pursuer, to the character of DS Bart Moy who is back in Guilderton, possibly because his elderly father needs help, but mostly because he's running away from his past. He's lost and damaged, and there really doesn't seem to be much reason for him to be in the town that hasn't had a Detective presence f ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
‘People don’t just appear from nowhere and then disappear into thin air.’

In Guilderton in country South Australia, a butcher reports seeing a boy being stashed in a car boot. Detective Bart Moy, who has recently returned to Guilderton to be near his aging father (George), finds nothing. No one seems to be missing a boy, but Moy keeps looking. Bart Moy once had a son of his own, and the thought of a missing boy aged about eight or nine weighs heavily on his mind.
The boy turns up, but he won’t an
Feb 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: c21st, australia, 14review
The publisher’s blurb calls Stephen Orr’s new novel, One Boy Missing ‘literary crime’ but this novel is more about the search for hope than for a solution to a crime.

Detective Bart Moy returns to a dreary country town to look after his cantankerous old father, and finds himself trying to solve a case that picks open the barely-healed wound of losing his own child. It is not until late in the novel that we learn how this happens so I won’t spoil things by explaining, except to say that Bart is re
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, crime, australia
Finished reading “One Boy Missing” by Stephen Orr, March 2014.
This was really good. The first chapter almost put me off – the writing seemed quite jerky, as though it needed some editorial help. But then it settled down and flowed. You could overlook the improbability of the situation, that a policeman would take a lost-boy-found into his home while he very slowly looked into the details of the case.
The dialogue was excellent. The prolonged extraction of information from the boy was entirely cr
John Bartlett
Feb 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book was quite a disappointment for me despite the promotion that preceded it.
It follows the tried and true crime formula, a traumatised detective returns to his home town to care for his ailing father and is caught up in the disappearance of a young boy.
However, the formula becomes quite stereotypical, never moving past the detective's pessimistic world view. Orr appears to have a low opinion of life in a small Australian country town and his negativity becomes tiresome.
I found a lot of th
Sep 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Set in a fictional South Australian rural town, DS Bart Moy has returned to his hometown to head up the small police department, look after his aging father and recover from the grief of losing his family. While reacquainting himself with the town he left so long ago and the father he never got along with, someone witnesses the kidnapping of a young boy who no one recognizes. The boy is eventually found but he is traumatized and unwilling to say anything. As the ‘investigation’ proceeds, orders ...more
Danielle Burns
Jan 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Have been saving this one to read on my trip and so glad I did. Once I picked it up, I just couldn't put it down.

One Boy Missing would have to be one of the best Aussie/YA/Small town crime books I've read since Jasper Jones. All the characters are so well defined but they're also just that little bit off centre too. The setting is Guilderton, a remote wheat belt town that carries just enough small town prejudice and gossip to keep the pace moving along. A good dose of intrigue is added through
Jan 24, 2014 rated it liked it
I've enjoyed every Stephen Orr novel that I read, but this one was a little less satisfying. One of the things I enjoy is the sheer "South Australianism" in his characters and settings. Usually they are much more identifiable than this one, which I found way too generic at times, especially when he used the term "wheat belt" it seemed more West, than South Australian. I found the story of the missing, then unidentified, boy to be fairly uninspiring and predictable. Also, there were far too many ...more
Feb 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: aussie-author
I liked this one - I can't say I loved it, but I liked it. It had a real small town Aussie feel, complete with the dust and heat and community spirit.

The butcher is on smoko one day and sees someone shoving a child into the boot of a car and speeding off. Did he just witness a kidnapping? How can it be, when no child is reported missing? There are more questions than answers and Detective Sergeant Bart Moy is assigned the puzzling case.

I found the story a little slow in parts, and a little unbel
Dianne Hamilton
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Would rate this at 3 1/2 stars if I could. This is not your stereotypical crime novel and explores the nature of relationships and family as much as the crimes committed. Some other reviewers have commented negatively on the language used in the book. Yes, there are a few swear words in the book but they are completely authentic to the dialogue and are not gratuitous at all.
Some parts of the plot may stretch belief just a little - for example an elderly man participating in a police search, but
Jun 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
A great, great story. A butcher observes a boy being manhandled into the trunk of a car, and the car then beats a hasty retreat. He reports this to the police, but they can't find any evidence of a boy missing. Nobody has called the police. All the boys in his age range [10-12] are in school, and the two who aren't have been accounted for. What in the world is going on?? A boy missing when there's no boy missing???

But Detective Sargeant Bart Moy just can't let go. He puzzles and investigates and
Tony Nielsen
Jan 19, 2014 rated it liked it
A read from a fairly new Australian author. The key character is a just about past his use by date country cop called Detective Brett Moy, who goes way beyond the call of duty to take in a very disturbed boy. Moy has problems of his own, recovering from a failed marriage and the loss of his own, dealing with his own Dad in poor health, and now a young boy who is lost in every way. However he takes on the challenge and also tries to find out where the boy has come from, and what happened to his f ...more
Feb 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-great-reads
Set in a lonely and dying town in the wheat belt, this is a literary mystery with an outback voice. Detective Sargent Bart Moy moves back to Guilderton to look after his father and to recover from the accidental death of his young son. He finds the connections between three crimes, and in doing so manages to gain a small amount of redemption for himself. A quiet book about loss, and the country and isolation. I am looking forward to Stephen Orr's next book, highly recommended.
May 23, 2014 rated it liked it
I wasn't a fan of the use of the overly masculine, vulgar language, particular at the start. However, the author was adept at making me imagine scenes and I marvelled at this ability, because it was quite impressive. Although the story's language was a little awkward, I wanted to know what happened. I enjoyed the story between Bart and Patrick, but I felt let down by the lack of resolution about what really happened, and why it happened.

Sarah Shrubb
Jul 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really liked this. It is very very Australia. There are a few places where I thought a little editing would have improved it, but on the whole, terrific characters (Bart Moy, the cop, George, his elderly father and the young boy). They are all types, but they are all done well, and become better than the stereotypes. There are really sad and really glad bits. Definitely keen to read more of this author (but please, editors, be a little tougher on him!).
Mar 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a slow burner. It took me a few chapters but then couldn't put it down till I finished it. It is set in rural Australia (South?) but it seemed more like small town USA. A boy is found but no- one seems to have missed him. The story is told from the perspective of a tired cop who has lost his boy and still seeks him everywhere. Very well knitted together.
Ystyn Francis
May 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: australian-crime
While this is yet another Australian crime novel that captures a unique local setting in wonderful detail, I didn't think the narrative was substantial enough, suffering from a number of moments of repetition caused by the inadequacies of its jaded and world-weary protagonist. It was interesting enough to retain my focus, but it doesn't really pull-off its attempted character study.
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Stephen Orr is the author of six novels. He contributes essays and features to several magazines, journals and newspapers. His last novel The Hands was longlisted for the 2016 Miles Franklin Literary Award

Stephen lives with his family in Adelaide.

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