The Missing by Sarah Langan

What started out as an innocent field trip to the woods in the neighboring town of Bedford turned into a nightmare for the inhabitants of Corpus Christi, Maine. Lois Larkin, grade school teacher beloved by most everyone in the small affluent town was troubled by a broken heart and broken dreams, or maybe she would have thought better of the ill fated trip.
A disturbed young boy awakens an evil hiding in the woods. A malicious evil waiting to spread and an unsuspecting town is its breeding ground. But Corpus Christi is just the beginning.
Sarah Langan proves with her second thrilling novel that she’s no fluke. THE MISSING is an intellectual scare-fest that will have you pondering the survival of mankind. More than just an apocalyptic tale, we follow patient zero and the newly infected on a path of ideological malevolence and those who are fighting to survive it. These aren’t mindless vampires or zombies and that’s one thing that makes it so disturbing. The people infected keep a part of themselves as they are driven insane and given a new purpose.
As with THE KEEPER, Langan’s debut novel, I found myself more horrified by my own imagination as she allowed the reader to let the circumstances play out. I enjoyed being given the benefit of letting the disturbing events unfold without having the details ruined by verbosity. That’s not to say that she doesn’t paint a vivid picture of the circumstances and rich characters with a spellbinding and gruesome brush. That kind of talent is a valuable commodity and shows a maturity that’s exciting in a new writer.
The supporting characters are ones we are familiar with. The wife struggling to overcome her infidelity, the psychologist trying to save one more patient, the teenager trying to find love and acceptance, the little boy who doesn’t understand why he does bad things. It’s what gives us resonance with the characters as they struggle though the horrific circumstances we are too afraid to imagine.
It’s not necessary to read THE KEEPER to enjoy THE MISSING, but you will be rewarded with creepy details if you don’t deny yourself the pleasure. While THE KEEPER made me sleep with the lights on, THE MISSING had me bolting my doors and checking my windows.
Review courtesy of CK2S Kwips and Kritiques

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