ARC REVIEW: Missing – by Monty Marsden

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Title: Missing
Author: Monty Marsden

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: December 1st 2016
Publisher: Aria
Finished reading: February 1st 2017
Pages: 266
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“Patience is like a tree – the roots are bitter, but the fruits are most sweet.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Aria in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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This story was actually published over two months ago, but somehow it got mixed up with other ARCs and I didn’t read it on time. Oops? I always have a weak spot for a good thriller and I have an (unhealthy?) obsession for stories about serial killers. Add an Italian setting and I was sold as soon as I read the blurb of Missing. The author Monty Marsden is actually Italian; something I didn’t realize immediately, but it shows in the detailed descriptions and this book is in fact actually a translation. I was completely ready to dive into this serial killer mystery, but I ended up taking a very long time to finish it. I’m not sure if part of the essence of this story is lost in translation, but it all just felt way too chaotic and it took a long time before things started to make sense for me. The many POV switches distracted from the main plot and had me confused which characters were actually important in the story. That said, the introduction of Claps, suffering from aphasia (the struggle to comprehend and use words and verbal expressions) added a whole different level to the plot. He is a truly fascinating character and I enjoyed following his development. All in all Missing is not the best mystery I’ve read, although part might have been lost in translation and it did have its charm.

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Ami lives with her family in a little village in Lombardy, a seemingly safe and dusty place. But that is until one day Ami steps out of her house to go to school and never comes back nor did she ever make it to school. Her father raises the alarm and they start an immediate search for the little girl. Police Commisioner Sensi leads the investigation, and they seem to have found a trail straight away. But three months later, they still haven’t found Ami and they don’t have a solid lead as to what happened to her. Sensi decides to talk to his old friend Dr. Claps, a renowned criminologist who had to retire after suffering from aphasia. Because Ami doesn’t seem to be the only little girl who went missing, and Sensi needs all the help he can get to solve the mystery…

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I was really looking forward to Missing, especially after I found out about its Italian setting and the involvement of a serial killer. It’s not that the case itself isn’t intriguing and I really enjoyed the setting, but I somehow I had a really hard time reading this story. It just all felt chaotic with too many different characters/POVs being introduced without a proper connection… And I had a hard time understanding the relevance of some of the chapters. Things started to make sense later on in the story, but for me it was too little too late. Missing is a story with a lot of potential and interesting characters, and I kind of wish my Italian would be good enough to read the original version just to see if it was just the translation that let me down…


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WWW Wednesdays #123 – February 8th

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’m currently reading one of my pending Netgalley ARCs, Little Girl Lost by Carol Wyer. I requested this one after hearing a lot of great things about it, and it definitely doesn’t disappoint so far. I’m also about to start Rebel Of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton… I’ve been wanting to pick that one up for a while, and now I’ve been approved for the sequel there is really no excuse to pospone it any longer. 😉  I haven’t made any progress with my newest audiobook (Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison) this week though.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I was able to finish since last week is Missing by Monty Marsden. This one sounded like such an intriguing read and I still like the setting in Italy, but it took me a long time to finish it. I know this story is actually a translation, but it just all felt too chaotic and it took a long time before things started making sense. The many POV switches distracted from the main plot and had me confused which characters were actually important in the story. Claps was an interesting character though.
* I then read The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak, which was actually published yesterday. It’s such a brilliant read! I completely fell in love with the writing style, plot and characters and it just such a great feel-good story full of nostalgic feelings and flashbacks to the 80s. And even though I grew up in the 90s myself, it was really easy to connect to the story anyway.
* The last book I managed to finish is The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. I was really looking forward to this one and maybe my expectations were just too high, but this story wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. I was actually confused by the chapter introductions for a while and didn’t get a proper feel for the story straight away. I’m not saying I didn’t like it, but it took me longer than I thought I would to finish it and frankly I expected something a little more ‘mindblowing’. Note to self: get the Chaos Walking sequels ASAP!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I’ll probably pick up my Netgalley copy of Traitor To The Throne by Alwyn Hamilton as soon as I finish the first book… Although I have been wanting to read both The Song Of Achilles by Madeline Miller and Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult for the Beat The Backlist challenge as well.  My latest TBR jar pick is still The Five Stages Of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson


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You can also find me at Goodreads. Twitter. InstagramBloglovin’.

WWW Wednesdays #122 – February 1st

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’m currently reading The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness; I’ve been wanting to read another of his books for ages now and I’m glad I finally decided to pick one up. It’s not as mindblowingly good as I thought it would be so far though… I’m also reading Missing by Monty Marsden, a pending Netgalley ARC I wasn’t able to read before the publish date last December. Lastly, I’ve started a new audiobook: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. So far it’s without doubt interesting, although it’s going to take me some time because the file is HUGE (18+ hours…)

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I was able to finish since last week is Stake-out by Lily Luchesi, a paranormal fantasy story with vampires I ended up enjoying a lot better than I thought I would given I’m normally allergic to fanged characters. There were a bunch of other supernatural creatures as well and I liked the whole clash between ‘real’ world and supernatural.
* I then finished Blink by K.L. Slater, which was BRILLIANT. I was already looking forward to this psychological thriller, but boy this one is definitely a treat. Basically I was on the edge of my seat the whole time trying to figure out what was going on, and I ended up being SO wrong about everything. Excellent prose, excellent plot and plot twists, excellent use of suspense, excellent character development… The main characters maybe are not all that likeable, but I didn’t care. I loved every single minute of this story anyway. Also the ‘paralyzed’ chapters are without doubt intriguing and add an extra original touch…
* And just when I didn’t think it could get better, I was presented with another title that would give me a book hangover. I had already heard great things about Making Faces by Amy Harmon, and that’s why I basically broke down the request button as soon as I saw it at Netgalley. All the raving reviews were right: this story is a little masterpiece. I fell in love with both the characters, writing style and plot, and this story will definitely stay with me for quite some time. Sure, some of it might be a little cheesy. But if you have characters like Fern, Bailey and Ambrose, it’s really easy to forgive the story for it. I LOVED the war veteran elements as well; it’s such an important topic and definitely deserves more attention.
* The last book I picked up on a whim after browsing my kindle: The Wrong Side Of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne. It turned out to be a bittersweet read after all the immigration chaos that is going on right now in the US IRL… I did appreciate the immigration elements in the story, but it took me a while to really connect to the main characters and it all just felt a bit too cheesy for me. Not a bad read, but maybe not exactly for me.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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The first book I’m picking up next is another pending Netgalley ARC: The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak, which is due to be published next week. I also want to read Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, as well as the ARC Little Girl Lost by Carol Wyer. My newest TBR jar pick is still The Five Stages Of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson.


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You can also find me at Goodreads. Twitter. InstagramBloglovin’.

WWW Wednesdays #119 – January 11th

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’m currently almost finished with The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon. I’ve heard a lot of people complain about this book and to be honest I was a bit afraid to pick it up, but the story has pleasantly surprised me so far. I like the main characters and the fact that they belong to different ethnicities rather than the typical stereotype ‘white-American’ main character. I guess as an immigrant in Argentina, I can really relate to some of the problems they have to face. As soon as I’ve finished it, I’m reading The Thankful by Jamie Campbell, an ARC set during WWII I’ve been meaning to read for a while now. I’m also still reading Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, but I haven’t been in the mood for classics so I’m not sure when I will actually finish it.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* I first picked up The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner, a title that has been recommended to me over and over again and wasn’t able to pick up before the end of 2016. And boy do I wish I would have read it sooner! I can understand why so many people seem to love this story, because I’m now one of them. I was a little worried about the amount of religious talk included when I first started about it, but that soon went to the background. The story is exceptionally well written and basically an emotional rollercoaster. What an excellent way to start 2017!
* I then read a pending short story ARC I have been meaning to for too long, Americosis Vol. 3 by Haydn Wilks. I had forgotten just how weird and messed up this story is! In one word MADNESS, although you have to be in the mood to absorb such an amount of crazy action and weirdness.
* Afterwards, I picked up one of my most-anticipated-2017 releases, The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda, and it turned out to be just as good as I thought it would be. Well written, fast-paced, plot twists, suspense… Without doubt an excellent psychological thriller and my first 5 star read this year.
* I then decided to pick up Mosquitoland by David Arnold on a whim; another title I have been wanting to read for a long time now. I literally flew through the pages, and enjoyed every single minute of the ride. Another well written story with interesting characters and (road trip) plot… Looks like I have been lucky with my reading choices so far!
* Next up was another pending ARC, That Burning Summer by Lydia Syson. I enjoy reading historical fiction, especially if they are set during or around WWII, but I wasn’t too convinced by this one. It took me a long time to get a proper feel for the story, although I cannot put my finger exactly on the why. It might have been the tone, it might have been the pace, but it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be.
* The last book I picked up is You by Caroline Kepnes, a book that has been on my radar ever since I found out it had a serial killer element. I was so excited about this one, but to be honest I don’t understand why so many people seem to love this book. It might just be that this isn’t for me, but I had to make the tough decision to DNF it after only 5%. Between the annoying prose and constant swearing and sex talk/scenes, I just couldn’t take it anymore.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have to Netgalley ARCs pending I want to get to first: Those Who Lie by Diane Jeffrey and Missing by Monty Marsden. I’m also searching for my next fantasy read, which will probably end up being Splintered by A.G. Howard since I’m in the mood for an Alice In Wonderland retelling. My newest TBR jar pick is still The Five Stages Of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson.


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WWW Wednesdays #116 – December 21st

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I was in the mood for a psychological thriller and couldn’t resist the temptation of my Netgalley copy of The Gift by Louise Jensen any longer. I’ve seen a lot of raving reviews around, and they are totally right when it comes to this story. Such an original and refreshing plot! It’s well written and fast-paced as well; definitely worth it. I have also started From Sand And Ash by Amy Harmon, which is turning to be another well written story with beautiful prose. I’m having a feeling I will be able to finish both soon! I’ve also made some progress with my second audiobook ever and a classic: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. I’m about 5 hours into the story now and I’m liking it better than I thought I would. It’s going to be the second classic in a row I actually enjoy reading in a while!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished is The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I’ve heard a lot of positive things about this classic, and I can definitely agree with those who enjoy this classic now that I’ve read it. The first part is probably the strongest of the story, as the pace slowed down considerably in the middle and there were a lot of long ‘pointless’ lists where Dorian went on and on about random things. The final part is again better and all in all it is still a pretty fast-paced story for a classic as well. Recommended!
* I second book I was able to finish was Down The Rabbit Hole by Julia Crane. My copy was a granted Netgalley wish and I was really looking forward to it, but unfortunately I can’t say it lived up to expectations. I was so happy when it turned out to be an Alice In Wonderland retelling, but my initial excitement turned into disappointment. It started out promising enough and Alice is an interesting character, but there are a lot of innecessary and annoying romance scenes (including annoying tropes like insta-love and love triangle) included that didn’t add anything to the plot. The Lacie chapters are weak and the last part of the book was a little too ‘weird’ to my taste. All in all not what I was expecting at all.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I’m a bit behind with my Netgalley ARCs, so I have three titles up next. Witness by Caroline Mitchell and Missing by Monty Marsden will work perfectly to feed my thriller addiction… And Point Of No Return by Martha Gellhorn was actually published yesterday and I need to read it ASAP. It sounds like such an interesting story! My next TBR jar pick is still Little Women by Louise May Alcott, which I’m hoping to read before Christmas but probably won’t be having time for.