Morag Joss's Among the Missing is a brilliant take on a theme explored by Thornton Wilder in his famous novel, The Bridge of San Luis Rey--how fate or coincidence causes the lives of random people to converge in extraordinary ways. The three characters presented in the novel are all at crisis points in their lives. Ron has just been released from jail after serving time for causing a bus accident that took the lives of a group of school children. Anabel is a slightly frowsy forty-something whose marriage to a man she met online is disrupted when she learns she is pregnant. Sylva is an illegal Polish immigrant who lives with her husband and child in an abandoned trailer.
When a bridge collapses in Inverness, Scotland, these three people are thrown together in circumstances that will test their collective courage and their individual sanity.
Joss is the author of a popular mystery series and several stand-alone thrillers. This is a hybrid--part thriller, part literary fiction. She combines a beautiful writing style with rich characters and taut plotting. I picked this up with the intent of skimming it for casting purposes, but ended up reading it in one sitting. Couldn't. Put It. Down. The casting was challenging, especially the role of Sylva, but I couldn't be happier with the results. In fact, our proofer, Alison Raleigh, emailed me just yesterday saying she was completely blown away by the book and the performances, and was off to the bookstore to find more by this author.
Among the Missing is narrated by Robin Sachs, Kate Reading and Cassandra Campbell for Blackstone Ausio and will be released on June 21.
My previous entry in the "Couldn't Put It Down" Department was Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, which has become a huge hit with rave reviews for the novel and the audio production. If you haven't listened to that one yet, by all means do so. And don't miss Among the Missing, it's a winner.