Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf

About this book..

New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf returns with a chilling page-turner about a woman chasing clues into a decades-old mystery that could have shattering repercussions.

Everyone has secrets…
Sarah Quinlan’s husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. The case rocked the town where Jack was raised, and for years Jack avoided returning home. But when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, hospitalised in a coma, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded.
Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago—barely a trace of the wounds that had once devastated them all. But as facts about Julia’s accident begin to surface, Sarah realises that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Caught in a flurry of unanswered questions, Sarah dives deep into the rabbit hole of Jack’s past, but the farther she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a hard reality she may not be prepared for.

My review..

I have left this book until nearly publication day before I read it mainly for the reason that I was worried I was going to be disappointed! I have enjoyed Heathers previous books and I had seen some reviews that were less than complimentary. But I needn’t have worried as this is now possibly my favourite of her books that I have read since One Breath Away.

Sarah and Jack are returning to Penny Gate as Jacks aunt has had a bad fall from which she may not recover. It’s Sarah’s first time in Jacks hometown and even Jack himself hasn’t been back for over 20 years. Although Jack and Sarah have been happily married for many years with twin daughters now in college, Sarah realises how little she really knows about her husband now that he is back on his home turf. The death of his Aunt Julia, who brought up Jack and his sister Amy since they were teenagers, creates waves of mistrust and Sarah must question wherever she really knows her husband at all.

This book starts off with a fabulous prologue that brings you into the story with a short sharp shock! The normality of a mum waving her kids off to school, looking forward to school holidays to spend more time with them and planning a delicious treat for their tea but then an act of shocking violence! The story then moves forward to the present day and becomes more of a slow burner, building up to a breath-holding finale. It fitted that Sarah had a career in journalism as it added more realism to her search for the truth about what happened to Jacks parents. I did find her a bit naive at times and wondered why her inquisitive nature hadn’t kicked in when she first met Jack but that’s just a quibble as there were have been no story otherwise! And I loved the character of Margaret, her co-conspirator, who put her job on the line to help Sarah investigate her husband’s past. This is one of the strengths with Heathers books, and why I enjoy them, as she writes about communities and how they come together in times of crisis.

I was up until late finishing this book as I wanted to see if who I thought was responsible really was and, although I was right, I enjoyed the way it all came together. Normally I can fall asleep reading Heathers work but this is a compliment not a complaint-I find her writing style very relaxing! A recommended read for fans new and old.

I received a copy of this book via netgalley in return for an honest review.

Available to buy here

Published by


I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

3 thoughts on “Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf”

  1. A great review and as a fan of her books I’ve been looking forward to this one but alway worry it might be a let down on her previous novels. Thank you for dispelling my fears.


Comments are closed.