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Publisher's Summary

The hole they dug was not deep. A white flour bag encased the little body. Three small faces watched from the window, eyes black with terror.

The child in the middle spoke without turning his head. "I wonder which one of us will be next?"

When a woman's body is discovered in a cathedral and hours later a young man is found hanging from a tree outside his home, Detective Lottie Parker is called in to lead the investigation. Both bodies have the same distinctive tattoo clumsily inscribed on their legs. It's clear the pair are connected, but how?

The trail leads Lottie to St Angela's, a former children's home, with a dark connection to her own family history. Suddenly the case just got personal.

As Lottie begins to link the current victims to unsolved murders decades old, two teenage boys go missing. She must close in on the killer before they strike again, but in doing so is she putting her own children in terrifying danger?

Lottie is about to come face to face with a twisted soul who has a very warped idea of justice.

©2017 Patricia Gibney (P)2017 Bookouture

What listeners say about The Missing Ones

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Surprised at how many missing ones

The list grows as you listen/read about the missing ones and who the missing ones are? There is the mystery. I totally enjoyed this novel and the narration by Michele Moran. I will definitely pursue listening to future novels by Michele Moran because she does keep you guessing and involved.

1 person found this helpful

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Gripping Story!

Great store from Patricia Gibney, at times sad and painful as you get invested in to the characters. Michele Morgan has great emotion and depth in her voice and is excellent in narrating the thriller!

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Just OK. I wouldn't continue the series.

The narrator was good, but I found the story kind of boring. Normally I zip through audiobooks but this one seemed to drag. I couldn't get invested in any of the characters, or even the storyline. I do have an appreciation for "abrasive" characters like DI Steel in the Logan MacRae series by Stuart MacBride, when they are written in an engaging & entertaining way, but that wasn't my experience here. I didn't ever have that "just one more chapter before I go to bed" feeling that I love so much. I'll admit that I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to writing, maybe comparing most stories to authors like Tana French or Louise Penny, who do a superb job of writing complex, compelling stories with deep, layered characters. I was hoping for another series like the Shetland series by Ann Cleeves, or the DI Nikki Galena series by Joy Ellis. I guess I'll have to keep searching. I'm not interested in continuing this series.

1 person found this helpful

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ok

If the cover says anything similar to "an absolutely gripping thriller.... with a jaw dropping twist" you know exactly the kind of book you're getting. And it's neither gripping nor shocking of twist. Instead, you inevitably get a serviceable procedural with a messed up female protagonist with a touch of sleaze (or sex and romance, depending on your point of view). I'm not a fan of the romance in my thrillers, but hey, it's a hugely popular genre and I'm not going to hate on it. That said.
I'm re-listening to this series. I like it enough to do that, but I don't love it. The mysteries are actually really entertaining, but I can't stand the parts about Lottie and her personal life. She has to be one of the least likable protagonists of all time. A woman-child with substance abuse issues who neglects her kids (who are all varying levels of obnoxious and not well adjusted at all) and had a terrible relationship with her mother (who she relies on for help with her kids). Her mother also had a repellant personality. Like, if this was an AITAH, the overwhelming consensus would be ETAH. Everyone is so unlikable. And Lottie is also not that great at her job, so there isn't even that. Oy.

But yeah, it is still worth a go, because the mystery is quite clever and compelling. Not exactly breaking new ground (sex abuse scandals feature), but solid.

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super good

I loved it, I'll be binging the series for sure. I definitely recommend it! :)

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Great story and narration

I had a good time listening to this original thriller. you should too! Enjoyed the narrators accent and pace.

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Lots of Contradictions

I don't usually read detective novels, but I thought I'd give this one a go. It was ok, but I found a lot of contradictions jumping out at me that made the story much less believable. Examples that really stood out: 1) She was describing one of the boys being tied up and gagged and then he was 'vomiting down himself'. With a gag? Don't think so. 2) The 2 boys were in a 'pitch black room'. They managed to get the Swiss Army knife and then they were looking through all of the attachments on the knife so see what would help. I thought it was 'pitch black?'. 3) After Lottie's son got stabbed - 'The wound wasn't deep but he felt faint'... then seconds later 'the wound wasn't as deep as he first though'. Huh? 4) Lottie and her colleagues were informed of a baby being buried under a tree. Did they ask the informant to come with them to the site to show them where? No. They didn't seem all that bothered about looking for a body (as well as a young boy's body that was supposed to be there) until the end of the story. If that were real life, the detectives/police would have immediately gone to the scene. With the informant. One more phrase that was weird - 'she said through closed lips'.... Is she a ventriloquist? I guess some would say these aren't a big deal, but when you're listening and your mind is picturing the scenarios, details are super important. It makes you stop dead in your tracks when things are contradicted. Overall, it was ok.

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WOW

An excellent ingrossing story. I stopped twice to caught my sanity. can't wait to read the next one in the series
So well written.

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Great listen

This was an excellent book for listening. It was a little slow to start but it certainly picked up and ended up being a suspenseful exciting listen. I would recommend this book for sure!!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • A. Palla
  • 2017-11-09

Lots of layers

This is a detective story with church-sponsored child abuse, murder, bribery, abuse of municipal office, extortion and blackmail with some working mother's guilt and distress sprinkled in. It kept my attention and I found myself thinking about the story too often to rate it any lower. And I highly recommend Ms. Moran's narration. Her voice is lovely and her accent and cadence do justice to the history and suffering of the Irish.

26 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Calliope
  • 2018-05-04

I'm trying to like it, but it's hard.....

I'm not even sure what the plot is here, even though I'm already a quarter of the way in. The writing is melodramatic and overwrought, and I really don't like the primary character Lottie Parker. It was recommended to me by someone in a discussion about strong female protagonists, but I'm just not liking it.

10 people found this helpful

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  • green ice cream garden
  • 2017-05-11

Hard to put down

Great cast of complex characters and character development. Even though I'm not into church scandals, fact or fiction, this story gripped me from the first few lines and had me nail biting at the end. The one thing that I don't normally like but was present in this story is that everything - everything - revolves around or is connected to the main character. This however will still rate as one of the most enjoyable reads this year. Can't wait for more.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Cassandra
  • 2017-05-22

Tangled, strange murder mystery a disappointment

Irish church and state history of corruption erupts in vengeance and violence- to what end?

I am left scratching my head after finishing "The Missing Ones," perhaps more so than after any mystery/suspense novel in recent memory- and not in a positive way.

The mystery or mysteries(?) exist, that is true. In retrospect I can untangle a few different strands of mystery-type plot that either run throughout the whole book or start somewhere and maybe end somewhere, some resolved to some satisfaction or sense, some not at all. I felt that some of the many tangential plots going on were not helpfully contributing to what I think was the author's intended main idea. Some of them were not interesting. Some were just strange.

For example, DI Lottie Parker herself is the root of many odd side-plots and anachronisms that I could barely stand. I found this character extremely unlikeable. Often, a main character who is prickly of personality has other redeeming qualities, such as, loyalty to her team, or brilliant detective skills, or extreme dedication in search of the truth. Here, I saw an attempt at a cliched "flawed personality" taken to an unpleasant extreme, if that makes sense. She is unlikeable. No sense of humor (only her loyal sidekick Boyd thinks she is endearing when she swears at him and puts him down constantly, and I mean constantly, and uses him as a drunk-dial when she's black-out drunk, which he falls for every time). To me, no underlying heart of gold. She acts unkindly to pretty much everyone. She is disrespectful to her investigative team. There is no sense of morale. The author deftly describes the cold weather at every turn. We can imagine the cold, gray expanse. We can also imagine a cold, gray incident room. For example, when one of her DCs tries to actually do his job and draws a diagram to try and connect different victims, she publicly insults him, meanwhile sitting at her desk bemoaning it's messiness and making fun of Boyd for being so neat and orderly.

DI Parker "solves" the main mystery, kind of, through the use of archival records which she accesses only through the kindness of a rogue priest who risks excommunication for her. Then she gets lucky when other people sort of show up out of the woodwork and tell her stuff. She doesn't do much, truly. She sends out her people, then yells at them for doing a bad job, but I'm serious- she doesn't really do a lot of detective work unless it falls in her lap, and even then she has trouble connecting the dots when the reader has figured it out 250 pages ago.

Overall, I finished the book because I wanted to see a resolution. The last 1/4 finally got good. The first 3/4 dragged with little progress. DI Parker was not pleasant or interesting enough to make up for the lack of action happening. The other characters were mediocre. The boss cop was a bad caricature of a cranky boss again taken to painful extremes. The crimes were strangely evil without ever really being explained or their reasons examined. The snapshots back to 40 years ago could have been so much more interesting, but they were just blips. I didn't get it.

I won't even discuss her family life. It was just as annoying if not more so than her sad performance as a detective and leader.

I am disappointed with The Missing Ones and disheartened that this first in a potentially great new series is a let-down. I will, however, give the next one a try, because I don't give up easily. I hope that the author gives Lottie Parker some redeeming qualities in the next book, and also tightens up the plot for a more suspenseful and interesting mystery.

51 people found this helpful

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  • Brenda Harris
  • 2017-08-15

Thriller with a twist!

A good story with unlikly villians and sad victums. Enjoyed the reader and the tale.

12 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Lia
  • 2018-03-03

Too Long and Too Dark

I gave three stars for two reasons. First, this book started off at a good pace, I was interested in the main character and there were enough events to keep my interest but that quickly declined. The investigation dragged and dragged....I kept checking the percentage I was at and feeling frustrated because I just wanted to be finished and felt the book could have been wrapped up much more quickly. By the end I was just annoyed. The second reason is because I was really disappointed by the ending. There is a character whom I feel has an unnecessary death that really didn't contribute to the story-line. Also, many of the characters were very flat because the author provided minimal information about them.

Michele Moran was good with the delivery of the story

26 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kitty Lagorio
  • 2017-05-02

Gibney's research lacking

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I stopped listening when I got to the place where Lottie (the main character) the detective doesn't call the police when she's attacked. It makes no sense. The attacker could've dropped something to provide a clue. She was attacked. Her children were threatened and she doesn't call for help? The story stopped making sense for me.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Oh, the narrator was quite good.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment. The story started out and I was invested. But when I hit that moment that had me leave the story to say, "What the heck? Why didn't she call for help?" I had no desire to forgive and go back to the story.

Any additional comments?

13 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sharon
  • 2018-03-04

Worth the Read

Not the best book I have read and did not keep me on the edges of my seat but definitely worth the the read on a lazy weekend. The story is steady and interesting, the characters are varied and well developed with a strong ending.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kirsten S.
  • 2017-12-19

Painful

This was painful to listen to. The only thing Detective Parker does worse than "detecting" is parenting! There are many amazing strong detective characters - Lottie Parker isn't one of them! She stumbles cluelessly through a VERY obvious storyline. Painful to endure. Sadly. I had high hopes for this series.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Rob
  • 2017-07-22

okay story

We will not listen to it again but it was an intriguing story. The narrator was good.

6 people found this helpful