Currently Reading and Dilemmas

I’m in a bit of a dilemma. I’m currently reading The Missing by C. L. Taylor, and I think I’ll be done by tomorrow. I’m absolutely steaming through it, not necessarily for all positive reasons, and I now have a gap of 4-5 days before my holiday. (Holiday Reads post coming soon!) Honestly, I expected this book to last me the whole week, but the unexpected good weather has had me laid in the garden, reading constantly since Sunday. Therefore, I haven’t planned my next book. I’m not even sure I can fit another book in. I like to start a book the day before I go on holiday; I don’t like taking one that I’m already halfway through, so I have until Monday, or five days, to finish whatever I read next. That’s assuming I do get The Missing finished tonight. If I don’t, then you can scrap and ignore this post.

Of course, 5 days is a perfectly reasonable time to read a book in, and I don’t have any plans this weekend, other than packing, so I do have time. The problem is choosing something that I know will be an easy read. I don’t want to have to rush something to get it finished by Monday. Ideally, as I’m reading a thriller at the moment, I’d like to balance it out with something different, but that also means risking it not being fast paced. At least I know a thriller is likely to be suspenseful, and I’ll not want to put it down (assuming it’s good, of course). I’ve decided to go with Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin. I bought this a week or so ago, and it is a book I’ve been looking forward to reading for a while. It has good reviews on Goodreads, and is described as being very suspenseful, so hopefully this will suit my needs perfectly. It’s also 423 pages long, which is one of the shorter books on my TBR list.

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Now onto what I’m actually reading at the moment. I received The Missing as a gift for my birthday, along with C. L. Taylor’s other two thrillers. This is the most recent of the three, and the one with the best average rating on Goodreads, so I thought it was probably a pretty good place to start. The synopsis is as follows:

When fifteen-year-old Billy Wilkinson goes missing in the middle of the night, his mother, Claire, blames herself. She’s not the only one. There isn’t a single member of Billy’s family that doesn’t feel guilty. But the Wilkinsons are so used to keeping secrets from one another that it isn’t until six months later, after an appeal for information goes horribly wrong, that the truth begins to surface.

Claire is sure of two things – that Billy is still alive and that her friends and family had nothing to do with his disappearance.

A mother’s instinct is never wrong. Or is it?

Sometimes those closest to us are the ones with the most to hide…

Sounds great. Exactly my sort of thing, with a concept I haven’t read much of before; a missing child. Anything with the word ‘secret’ in it immediately draws me in and unlocks the curious and nosy child in me, and this sounds like it’s full of them.

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As I’ve already said, this is such an easy read. I suppose that is helped slightly by the weirdly large font that is used. Really, it is huge and the pages fly by really quickly. I saw this, because I’m not sure the plot itself is what is keeping me reading. It is, that’s harsh. The plot is fine, I’m just not absolutely loving it, nor am I at that edge of my seat. I do want to keep reading and I do want to find out what happens, I’m just not gripped. Perhaps a twist is coming? I’m not sure.

The characters are good. I’m finding Claire as relateble as a 40 year-old woman with teenage children can be to a childless 22 year-old, but the family unit as a whole is making me uncomfortable. Maybe I’m supposed to feel like that? Everyone is keeping secrets from each other, but that’s not really the thing I don’t like. I’m a little confused by their relationships, and the language they use to speak to each other. Conversation seems forced and a little too formal. Maybe that’s intentional, but I’m not sure.

It’s not putting me off reading Taylor’s other two novels, but I’m not as gripped as I hoped. Maybe the last 150 or so pages will be better. I’ll find out tonight and report back.

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