Labels: BAM08, eBook, SWalker, Triple8Challenge08
I recently had the pleasure of reading Shiloh Walker’s newest book The Missing and my first impression was Wow! I enjoyed the book to the extent that I am eager to share it with you all. Since I cannot give away my own copy I’m going to purchase a copy to share, so make sure you read on to get details.
Now to the Review:
Taige Branch has had to live her life in isolation because she is 'gifted' with psychic abilities. She has the ability to 'see' things. As an orphaned teenager living in Gulf Shore, Ala with her religious zealot of an uncle, her prospects are low, as is her patience for the summer boys that come to vacation at the beach front town. Until one of those boys proves to be more than just a pretty face with deep pockets.
Cullen Morgan is not from old money and he lives in a loving family so he knows how a girl should be treated. Regardless of her social standing, they deserve respect, so when he encounters two boys trying to rape a local girl he is compelled to step in and help. That the girl is the one that recently saved the life of a drowning boy bowls him over. He discovers that there is more to the girl than the mysterious air around her and over the summer, he falls in love. He returns to her every summer and every summer their love deepens. 4 years after they first meet, tragedy strikes at the heart of Cullen's family and with his heart torn he lashes out at Taige, destroying her faith in him.
At this point the book jumps forward 12 years, where Cullen has become a successful writer. He is a single parent of a 9 year daughter who appears to have some 'gifts' of her own. Taige also has achieved success but in a whole different area. She went on to college and after graduation became a consultant for the FBI on a special task force that helps the missing. She uses her abilities to find the lost but at a great emotional price. She has learned to master her gift but every time she uses it to save a child or to find one that is already lost, the toll weighs heavy on her.
Over the years she never has forgotten her only love and although she believes she loved more than she was loved, she dreams about him often. Vivid dreams that haunt her. They are more disturbing to her than the monsters she saves kids from. Unbeknownst to her, Cullen has been dreaming about her too. Dreams that wake him in the middle of the night, that make him yearn for the girl he chased away, that make him relive the loss.
When Jillian, Cullen's daughter gets abducted, he remembers those dreams and knows that Taige is the only person that can help him. When he shows up at her door she knows what he is looking for but seeing him again doesn't make it easier to accept. She would never say no to a missing child but knowing that the child is Cullen's makes the case more compelling. But there is more to the kidnapping than we are first lead to believe, there have been others that have gone missing, and the children share a commonality, something that has made them a target and if Taige cannot stop the madman, there will be even more lost.
The story is not just about lost love that is found again. This is a thriller that has you on the edge of your seat. The desperation that Cullen feels when he loses Jillian is palpable; the distress that Taige goes through every time she taps into her gift has you tensing. The villain is well hidden and you don’t suspect who it is (or I didn’t) until a little before it’s actually revealed in the story. But when his deeds are unveiled you feel him. The feeling was like when I saw Silence of the Lambs and Clarese was talking about the lambs being slaughtered. The same hushed disturbing visual, the same screams giving me the chills.
The relationship between Taige and Cullen is VERY believable. They have never really been apart, although they never realized it, because they have been linked through their dreams. So when he demands a place in Taige's life it doesn't come off as arrogant or presumptive. Cullen knows he messed up but he also knows that the love they had is still there. Taige's reluctance in accepting Cullen's feelings could have been annoying but Ms. Walker did not dwell upon that and made the reader know that Taige knew in her heart the truth but her mind rebelled against it. The internal conflict she felt for Cullen just made the story more grittier.
The book was reminiscent to works by authors like Sandra Brown. It was all about the romantic suspense. The darkness in Taige's visions, the evil the villain committed and the pursuit to find that person had you keeping your eyes glued to the page and refusing to put the book down.
I can't imagine the effort it took to write this, because I was exhausted by the end of the book. Like when you tense yourself for so long your body is tired when you finally relax. One of the best Romantic Suspense books I’ve read this year.
Now to the Giveaway, I really felt the need to share this one with you all so I will pick at random one name amongst those that leave a comment (make sure you also post your email address so I can contact you) and send them a brand new copy of the book when it’s released on Tuesday. Since postage can be pricey I need to limit this to those in the US.
Shiloh Walker is also having a giveaway at her site for those that pre-order their copy of The Missing or buy the book on release week (READ ALL ABOUT IT) where you can win, not just an ARC of her next release Fragile but also a $40 gift certificate to the bookstore of your choice and other goodies.
So, to give you a chance to get in on her giveaway, I’ll be picking my winner by Midnight EST on Sunday November, 2nd. That way if you didn’t win my copy, you can still pre-order your own copy and get in on Shiloh’s Giveaway.
I know you will enjoy this book as much as I did, so post away!