Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Missing/Caroline Eriksson/222 pgs

The Missing is a Swedish-language book that's been translated into English. I thought the translation was well done, though of course I have no idea how closely it hews to the original.

The book begins with Greta, Alex, and 4-year-old Smilla heading out across Lake Malice in a motorboat. They dock at an island in the middle of the lake, and Alex and Smilla get out to explore. Greta is urged to accompany them but she declines. Next thing you know, Alex and Smilla are missing. Greta searches for them but does not go to the police, at least initially.

This story is told almost entirely from Greta's 1st person point of view. To be honest, I found it very difficult to be inside of Greta's head. There is a lot going on there, much of it confusing, depressing, and frustrating. I found I couldn't read very much of this book at one sitting because of this. And I have to say that I am shocked the book is only 222 pages long because it felt like it was at least twice that.

I must warn that this book deals with a number of issues that may disturb readers, including but not limited to:  child in peril, animal abuse, graphic domestic violence, assault, and murder. The main focus of the story is domestic violence and while I don't expect sunshine and roses from my suspense novels, parts of this story situation just felt too real. The book was compelling in its own way but I can't say I enjoyed reading it. I will say that despite the grim subject matter the story did end on a somewhat positive note.

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