Book Review: The Missing Place by: Sophie Littlefield

Publisher: Gallery Books

Publication Date: October 14, 2014

Origins:  From Publisher for Review

Synopsis: Twenty-year-old Taylor Jarvis and Paul Carroll go missing in Weir, North Dakota, where they have been working on rigs owned by Oasis Energy. The boys stayed in Black Creek Lodge, a "man camp" providing room and board. The mothers of the two boys come to Weir to find out what happened to their sons and form an uneasy alliance. Shay Jarvis, a 41-year-old single grandmother, has more grit than resources; for wealthy suburban housewife Colleen Carroll, the opposite is true. Overtaxed by worry, exhaustion, and fear, they question each other's methods and motivations - but there is no one else to help, and they must learn to work together if they are to have any chance of breaking through the barriers put up by their sons? employer, the indifference of an overtaxed police department, and a town of strangers with their own secrets against a backdrop of a modern day gold rush.

Review: Many young men are being drawn to North Dakota with the promise of money and becoming a man by working on Oasis Energy rigs. Two of the young men have disappeared and their mothers, Shay and Colleen, have come to Weir, North Dakota to find out the truth. They’re stonewalled by Oasis Energy who may have too much to hide, the police department, the townspeople, and they start to question each other. THE MISSING PLACE starts out very well and the reader is drawn into the anguish of both mothers. As they are blocked at every turn, their pain increases a hundred-fold. The writing is taut and gripping, but the suspense ends for the reader once the truth is revealed. The last part of the book, once everyone is back home, is a bit anticlimactic. I find it amazing how the behaviors and attitudes which have cost the characters so much persist once the drama unfolded. I did greatly appreciate the way the author approached the subject of learning disabilities and their effect on those afflicted and their loved ones. THE MISSING PLACE is, overall, engaging and dramatic with an important message about what the love of a mother truly means.


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