The past comes back to haunt crime scene detective Darby McCormick when she begins investigating the case of a missing girl named Carol Cranmore. As she learns more about the case, it begins mirroring her own past - a past which includes her and her two friends stumbling across a man murdering a woman in the woods. All those years ago, Darby watched one of her best friends killed in her own home and her other best friend disappear, taken by the murderer they had seen in the woods. Darby thinks she’s gotten over her past but realizes that’s not the case the deeper she gets into Carol’s case.
A haunting past is not the only thing Darby has to contend with. She must also deal with her dying mother, feelings for her handsome but selfish partner, and a power struggle between her department and the federal agents who want to take over Carol’s case.
The pages of The Missing by Chris Mooney fly by quickly as the reader gets into both the case of Carol Cranmore and the even more interesting case of Darby’s past. However, the book is not that original, nor does it leave much of a mark on the reader. One of the reasons for this is that none of the characters really stand out. Darby is a spunky heroine, but she really doesn’t have that distinctive a personality, and none of the other characters make much of an impact.
The storyline does have quite a few twists and turns but few surprises and nothing that makes it stand out from the rest of the thriller crowd. Readers will enjoy reading The Missing, but it’s unlikely that it will spur them on to read more of Chris Mooney’s work or that they’ll remember it for long after they’ve finished.