Saturday, July 11, 2015

One Boy Missing

One Boy Missing by Stephen Orr
Text Publishing Company: 7/14/15
eBook review copy, 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1922147271

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 the case becomes difficult since no one seems to be missing a child.

When a 9 year old boy is found and identified as the child thrown into the trunk, Bart tries to make a connection with him and get him to speak, but winning the trust of this boy is hard to do and it takes a long time to just get him to admit his first name. While trying to solve this case, and another, Bart is experiencing flashbacks and dreams about his own son. Bart's father, George, is a real curmudgeon and seems to be becoming much more difficult to handle.

While this is 
a well-paced literary police procedural, it is also a character study of the men and their personal relationships while dealing with life's changes - especially between fathers and sons. The dialogue between characters is very well done. Bart along with almost every character in this book is suffering or keeping a secret and struggling with trying to find a way to heal or a direction to take. While solving the case is an impetus for action, the bigger resolution the characters need is an emotional healing.

Orr does an exceptional job keeping the interest high in his characters while the case is slowly being investigated. The pacing is good, but it is slow until a point toward the end of the book where an event happens that set
my heart pounding. It also marks an important change in the relationship between the characters.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Text Publishing Company for review purposes.

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