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Missing Pieces

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  9,006 ratings  ·  1,215 reviews
A woman uncovers earth-shattering secrets about her husband's family in this chilling page-turner from New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf

Sarah Quinlan's husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. The case rocked
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 2nd 2016 by MIRA (first published January 26th 2016)
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Tillie I did. I read the entire book and loved it. It had so many twists and turns. I certainly did not figure it out until the end.
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Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,006 ratings  ·  1,215 reviews

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Jul 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Heather Gudenkauf has written quite a few novels and I think I've read all of them or at least the majority of them. I have really enjoyed all of them especially Little Mercies which is my favorite.

Unfortunately for some reason I didn't enjoy Missing Pieces nearly as much as her previous novels.

The story is told from Sarah Quinlan's point of view. Sarah and her husband Jack have returned to his hometown of Penny Gate, Iowa because his aunt Julia has had an accident and is now in the hospital. H
A Traveling Sister read with Norma, Brenda, Lindsay, Jan, Holly and Linda (sister’s mom!)


This book has been sitting on my kindle shelf for nearly a year now. After Norma's gentle nudge, it was finally time to click on and change the status to “currently reading.” (Or it may have just sat there for another year.)

Sarah returns to her husband Jacks’ hometown after his aunt has a tragic accident, leaving her in the hospital clinging to life. Soon, past secrets and long-buried lies come to light
Aug 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Traveling Sisters Group Read Review by Brenda, Norma, Lindsay, Kaceey, JanB, Linda (Sisters Mom) and Holly

We love how everyone experiences the same book in such differing ways and we really value each other’s opinions. So with that being said this gets 5 Stars for this sister reading experience!  

So we were split on our feelings and ratings on this one for some of us we rate 3.5 to 4 stars for others it gets a rating of 2 to 2.5 stars.  So for the purpose of this review we have a combined rating
Chelsea Humphrey
I would like to thank Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

If I could sum up this entire book in one word it would be this- meh. While the plot was enough to keep me from giving up, it wasn't anything spectacular as I figured out all the "answers" before the halfway mark. For such a short book it felt like something was missing but simultaneously felt too wordy and repetitive at times. Constantly something would be revealed in real time and then Sarah would rehash it all over
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf is a 2016 MIRA publication.

I checked this book out in order to participate in a group read, but I didn’t get around to it in time. But, since I’ve enjoyed several other books by this author, I decided to keep it and read it solo.

How well do you really know your husband?

Sarah is about to find out how well she knows Jack, her husband of twenty years, when they are called back to Jack’s hometown after his aunt suffers a critical injury.

Jack left Penny Gate, I
I never was able to get on an even keel with this story. The premise sounded interesting, but in the execution it ended up coming across as hammy. No real depth to the characters, and the relationship between Sarah and Jack was paper thin. These two have been married for over twenty years, raised two daughters, yet the dialogue between them was as awkward as a couple on their first (bad) date.

(view spoiler)
Holly  B
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I couldn't decide between 3.5 or 4 stars!

This was my first Heather Gudenkauf novel and my first traveling sister group read with Brenda, Norma, Kaceey, Lindsay and Jan and Linda (sisters mom)! We had a lot of fun and great discussion comparing notes on this one! Everyone has a fun side and unique style which added to my reading!

I think I liked it more than the others! I found it to be a quick and well-paced book that I enjoyed. It had just enough action and suspense to keep me turning the pages
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
2 stars.

This was a Traveling Sister Read with Brenda, Norma, Kaceey, Holly, Linda (sisters' mom) and JanB. It was very interesting to read with this wonderful group of women because this book worked for about half of us and didn't work for the other half. I loved discussing everyone's reactions and seeing how this book affected many of us so differently.

Unfortunately, I fell into the category of not liking this book. I simply couldn't connect with any of the characters or the storyline. I had a
When Jack Quinlan received the phone call to say his Aunt Julia had been in an accident at her home, and was in hospital in a serious condition, Jack knew he needed to go to her. Julia and her husband Hal had been his surrogate parents since his own parents had died, and although he hadn’t been home in over twenty years, he felt the pull to return. Jack’s wife of twenty years, Sarah decided to accompany her husband as their two girls were old enough to remain at home.

But their arrival after two
Dec 04, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
3.25 stars

This was just OK for me. One of those non-thinker books that didn't hold many surprises but there was enough there to keep me reading.

I know exactly when the author lost me from taking this book more seriously...
It's a pet peeve of mine when authors take extreme liberties that are so non believable to the reader. I do understand that at times its needed to help get the story moving forward, but sometimes it is just too much.
In this case, it was the 'average civilian convinces someone (
Mary Kubica
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Dark, edgy and suffused with shady characters, constant tension and plenty of twists and turns. I couldn't put MISSING PIECES down. I am a big fan of all of Heather Gudenkauf's work, but this is my favorite book of hers yet! Can't wait to see what she comes up with next! ...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Nov 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-2016
Jack and Sarah Quinlan have been married for 20 years, but during that time have they never traveled home to Penny Gate, Iowa where Jack grow up. But then his aunt Julia is in an accident and they quickly travel to Penny Gate to be by her side. For Sarah is this visitation the start of a nightmare. She has always believed that Jack's parents were killed in a car accident, but it turns out that his mother was murdered and that the main suspects were Jack's father who later disappeared. But, that ...more
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-reviews
This is my first Gudenkauf novel and I was not disappointed at all. Missing Pieces was exactly the type of mystery I needed for a good, summer read!

Jack and Sarah rush back to Jack's hometown where the elderly aunt who raised him has been hospitalized. Sarah has never been to the town, nor has she really met Jack's family or friends. It appears there are many secrets that Jack has kept hidden, this man whom Sarah has known for twenty years, and as more secrets are revealed the danger to Sarah i
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
I have to say that normally I really like Heather Gudenkauf and this read certainly started off well but by the end of it I was really disliking it. Sarah and Jack have been married for 20 years. They have never really had a great deal to do with his family but when his Aunt Julia, who raised him from a teenager, suddenly has a fall, they return to his home town. Once there, Sarah discovers that Jack has been lying to her for the past 20 years about the death of his parents, and in particular th ...more
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am a great fan of Heather Gudenkauf. I have read The Weight of Silence and These Things Hidden. I also bought my daughter One Breath Away to read.

You can imagine the scene with the May sunshine and Lydia making Waffles topped with strawberries and freshly whipped cream. But everything went horrible wrong.

As Lydia went in to her cellar to get something out of her freezer, someone gave her a striking blow. Lydia knew who it was before being struck in the temple, their eyes locking one last tim
For what it was, I enjoyed it. Easy read and suspenseful enough to keep me turning pages. 3.5 stars
Cat Tutt
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thriller/Mysteries are not the first thing I reach for, but I read this one for a book club. I learned, not for the first time, how much a genuinely talented writer can make a difference. The book I read prior to this one was also a Thriller/Mystery and was sort of a slog to get through. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great, and I didn't realize until I got into this one that the missing thing in the previous one was a genuine way with words. Plot is obviously important, in this genre more than mo ...more
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This is my first time reading a Heather Gudenkauf work. I am grateful to the author, Harlequin, and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

How well do you know your spouse? After twenty years of marriage, Sarah Quinlan discovers secrets about her husband that rock her world. In Gudenkauf’s new novel, Missing Pieces, when Jack Quinlan’s Aunt Julia is critically injured in a fall, Jack and Sarah leave their home in Montana and rush to Jack’s hometown
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
This was a Traveling Sister group read with Brenda, Norma, Lindsay, Kaceey, Linda, and Holly. It was so much fun reading with the group - we all agree the discussion was a 5 star experience, even though we didn't all agree on the book :-)

This was my first book with this author, and I've read reviews from fans that it wasn't their favorite so perhaps I'll give one a try someday. To be honest, this read to me like a debut author who got super lucky getting published.

The book just didn't work for
Dec 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Right off the bat, I'll admit fighting the urge to give this one 3.5 stars. But the plot seemed believable to me, the pace was fast enough to hold my attention throughout and better still, for the most part kept me guessing all the way to the end. At issue is the fact that I had a tough time relating to the main character; but in all fairness, my objection touches on a personal bias that really doesn't have much bearing on the quality of writing, so I upped my score to 4.

The story begins as Sara
Nov 28, 2016 rated it liked it
How well do you know your partner? Sarah and Jack are about to find out. They return to Jack's home town as Jack's aunt has been injured and is in a coma. Jack's parents died when he was a teenager and once he grew up, Jack left his home town. As the book moves on Sarah discovers there may be more to Jack than meets the eye, she is a reporter and instinct tells her there is something going on that she knows nothing about. I enjoyed this but not as much as her first book, the character of Sarah I ...more
Mar 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: apr-16
Missing Pieces, by Heather Gudenkauf, is a good, eerie murder mystery with several twists and turns.

Sarah and Jack Quinlan return to Jack's home town when his aunt is seriously hurt after taking a fall. During their visit Sarah learns that Jack has been lying to her throughout their marriage, not only about his mother's death, but about many other things as well. Sarah investigates Jack's family history and is determined to find the reasons behind the lies. She quickly realizes there is somethin
Judy D Collins
Top 50 Books of 2016!

A long-time fan of Heather Gudenkauf’s books, she returns following Little Mercies (5 Stars) with her best book yet, MISSING PIECES-a multi-layered, gritty, dark, mysterious, and suspenseful edge-of-your seat (action-packed) domestic crime psycho-thriller. I could not put down. Top Mysteries of 2016!

A woman discovers dark chilling secrets about her husband’s family past. There is suspicion, mistrust, and nothing is as it appears. Two accidents or falls turn, into intrig
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017, suspense
I've read all Heather Gudenkauf's books and enjoyed them all. If you are a Jodi fan I recommend you try them. Not this one though. The characters and relationships between them felt obe-dimensional and unbelievable. ...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

Penny Gate, Iowa, sounded like such a serene place, but Sarah found out it definitely was far from serene when it came to her husband's family.

The Quinlans, and especially her husband, Jack, had many secrets about family accidents /murders that were 30 years apart. Sarah found out more about the secrets in the 24 hours she was in Penny Gate than she knew for the past 20 years of her marriage.

Sarah needed to know why Jack lied to her about how his parents died and answers to other secrets she fou
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An unexpected phone call turns the lives of Jack and Sarah Quinlan upside down. Their twin daughters, Emma and Elizabeth, are away at college, so they are able to quickly arrange to leave their home in Larkspur, Montana, and to fly to Penny Gate, Iowa.

Jack’s Aunt Julia has taken a bad fall and is in critical condition. Soon, they learn that there is more to the story, and that Julia’s accident might not have been accidental.

But just when Sarah thinks she knows everything about her husband’s fami
Linda Strong
This book looks at a woman who has been married 20 years to a man she knows inside and out ... or so she thinks.

Sarah and Jack are called back to Jack's hometown. His aunt, who raised him as second mother, has been terribly hurt and is in a coma. Jack's mother and father were killed when he was a teenager. When he was old enough, he left and never looked back.

When his aunt dies in the hospital, the sheriff starts looking at the family as prime suspects.

Top of the list is Jack's sister, Amy. Amy
Jan 20, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

I was really looking forward to this book, but something about it simply didn't grip me. I struggled with Jack and Sarah, who despite being married for 20 years, seemed to have little to no chemistry. Sarah used to be an investigative reporter, and is now a professional agony aunt, but she really doesn't know her husband or his family well at all, nor does she seem that adept at reading other people. In fact, without an old family friend who happens to be an emergency dispatcher repeat
Dale Harcombe
Three and a half stars
The story starts with the murder of a woman in 1985. The woman, Lydia, is Jack’s mother. His father disappears at the same time. Many in town believe him to have been the murderer, though he was not the only suspect. Jack and his younger sister Amy are taken by in by his Aunt Julia. When Jack learns that Aunt Julia has been badly hurt in a fall, he knows he needs to return to the place he left years before. This is the first time he has been back in many years. His wife of
Lisa B.
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Sarah has been married to Jack for many years. While she may acknowledge to herself that she did not know much about his past prior to their marriage, she is totally unprepared for what she discovers when they return to his hometown.

Slowly but surely, Sarah’s perception of her husband changes, and it is not for the good. She has to work on her own to unravel her husband’s past and as the pieces fall into place, she actually becomes frightened of her husband. Just who is this man she married?

I a
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Heather is the NYT and USA Today Bestselling author of THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE and NOT A SOUND.

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