Missing is about a family torn apart. A gritty novel, both suspenseful and stylishly written, it tells how a school bully's actions force a troubled teenager to run away, leaving his younger sister to cope with grieving parents in a house devoid of love or hope for the future. She is misunderstood and alone--despite all of the voices around her claiming they understand and that they want to help.
Maxine Moody's world was turned upside down when her older brother Derek went missing. Ten months later he is presumed dead--but that has not stopped Maxine's parents from hoping that he will be found alive. While they investigate possible sightings of their missing son, Maxine is packed off to stay with relatives. She feels unwanted and unloved. She harbours guilty feelings of resentment for Derek's disappearence and plays truant from school--a place where she has few friends and several enemies. There seems no way out for Maxine until a body is discovered in London, dressed in the clothes Derek was wearing when he was last sighted. Can Maxine's pain and confusion be finally over?
Missing, however, is never that simple and underneath the bleak subjects at its core lies a compelling examination of what it means to love somebody--and what it might feel like to be unloved. Many lives are affected by Derek's actions. All are laid bare and examined. It's a highly readable, honest and mature novel that should be a part of growing up for everybody. (Age 12 and over) --John McLay