Lucy Atkin’s “The Missing One” – A review

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*This review was originally posted on Skattered Notes Blog.com*

Dear ones,

I am finally taking the time to write this long awaited review of Lucy Atkins’ debut novel! As they say, better late than never. Since the release of this book, Lucy Atkins has written a second novel, The Other Child.
Author
Story   
Writing
Cover  
Mystery

PROS
Captivating
Thrilling
Strong characters
Beautiful narratives
Tense

CONS
Long narratives
Slow beginning

BUY THE BOOK
Amazon

FOLLOW LUCY ATKINS
Website
Facebook
Twitter

MORE INFO
Language: English
Genre:General Fiction
Adult Fiction
            Thriller
            Mystery

ISBN-10:

9781623659899

Published: Feb 3, 2015
Publisher: Quercus

DISCLAIMER
The Missing One, debut novel of Lucy Atkins, was kindly provided for an honest review by NetGalley and its publisher Quercus.

What drew me to this book was not only the beautiful cover, but the mysterious title. I had questions such as “Who was missing?” and “What is the whales connection?” when i picked up my copy of the novel. Because this was Lucy Atkins’ debut novel, I had no previous background on her writing style.

As Lucy Atkins shares in the video above, the story starts with the death of Kali’s mother – Elena. Kali is going through a lot at this period of her life, a lot due to her uncertainties about things and the people in her life. As I turned the pages, it was obvious that Kali holds a grudge against her mom, while desperately seeking closure. The novel is written from two sides: as a flashback from Elena’s life, and as a present scene depicted by Kali.

Although I found this going back and forth between the past and the present a bit difficult to digest the novel and progress through it, I also was surprised by how well each scene was described. Lucy Atkins had me wrapped up in her beautiful imageries, and I felt transported to the British Columbia she so well describes. Despite the fact that at times some narratives seemed a bit too long for my taste, I couldn’t resolve to leave the book without having reached its end.

As Kali meets Susannah, the woman who has been sending her mother postcards for years, in an attempt to learn more about the woman her mother really was, the story starts to take a very interesting turn. The novel becomes darker and darker, with angry landscapes and muted notes. I found my heartbeat pick up a bit as I felt the danger nearing Kali and her baby Finn. I wanted her to stop searching for the truth regarding her mother and just go back to England, to her comfort zone. But as I worried for her and Finn, I also wanted to discover the secrets that had been hidden from her her whole life.

As a debut novel, I must say that Lucy Atkins set the bar pretty high. The tone was right, the narratives and characters were strong. There was no unnecessary word uttered, no unnecessary scene. Everything fell into place by the end of the novel, just like a puzzle game, revealing the big picture. It took me a while to get through the book, because it was so intense with descriptions of whales and Elena’s work with them, I felt the  need to put it down to absorb it fully. I could have done without such detailed accounts of whale-studies,but I understand that they were necessary for the sake of the story-line. Now, I will admit that it also took a while to even understand where the story was going, with all the back and forth between Elena’s past and Kali’s present. However, I am glad I stuck with it, as as soon had Kali reached Susannah, the book began to climax. Overall I did enjoy this book, which is really packed with intensity leading to a discovery of a really dark past.  I think readers of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and lovers of anything thrilling/dark will enjoy this book.

Book Review| The Therapist by Lori Lesko

Book Review: The Therapist by Lori Lesko

Author  

Story     

Writing 

Cover    

Mystery ★

 

PROS

Good structure of the book

Easy to read

Easy to follow

Multiple (unexpected) plot twists!

CONS

Too short

ORDER THE BOOK

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Book Depository

MORE INFO

LoriLesko.com

Language: English

Genre: Fiction,

           Thriller,

           Psychological thriller,

          Mystery

ISBN-10: 1508994951

ISBN-13: 978-1508994954

Published: April 15, 2015

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

DISCLAIMER

All opinions generated in this review are purely my own. No compensation was received for this review.

I have been exchanging tweets with Lori Lesko long before I purchased her latest book. There were many reasons for me to acquire the book: I had witnessed Lori’s perseverance as a writer, which has also been stimulating me with my own writing, and I was very intrigued once the synopsis (and cover!) was revealed to the public. I knew then that I wanted to read this book, and since it would be supporting and encouraging the writer, it didn’t take much of convincing.

“Lindsey CarMichael was a gifted child with an IQ of 190. Her father had high hopes that she would follow in his footsteps and practice law. Instead, Lindsey decided to pursue psychology as a career and her father relented, with one caveat: Lindsey was to be the very best. And she was. But the combined stress of recovering from a past trauma and the frustration of being stuck in an unhappy relationship has left Lindsey overwhelmed and anxious. She definitely needs a vacation, but her boss isn’t willing to let her go. Exhausted, Lindsey’s life begins to unravel quickly. If she’s not careful, she’ll be the one in need of therapy.”

Not having read Lori’s previous work, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew that this was her first attempt at writing a thriller/mystery type of novel. When I picked up the book, I could hardly put it down. The storyline was great, the characters were all very captivating. Lori has a gift with words, as they seemed to flow naturally, and I never felt prompted to criticize the writing style. For a debut novel in this genre, I found The Therapist quite surprising. Every time I thought I had the plot figured out, there was a twist in the storyline, which kept my interest going.

Although this was a great read, I felt a little bit unsatisfied by its brevity. I think the characters and their troubles could have been dived into deeper, with a couple more chapters exploring Lindsay’s ghosts of the past, as well as the devious plan of her patient and the outcome(s). Maybe even get more insights of the devious personality of each supporting characters? I think it would have contributed more to the psychological part of the novel.

However, despite finding the novel a bit too short, I think Lori Lesko did a wonderful job at providing the readers with an engaging book full of twists. I am really looking forward to reading more of her work!

Side Note: This review was first published on my personal blog.