reviewed by Cara DiCostanzo
What would you do if your husband’s late wife, who was declared dead a decade ago, suddenly appears on your doorstep one night, asking to speak to your husband? And so begins the much buzzed about new book by Minka Kent, Unmissing. This is the 2nd book I have read by this author, and it does not disappoint!
Unmissing is narrated from the viewpoints of three people: Luca, his pregnant wife, Merritt, and Luca’s ex-wife, Lydia. One evening there is a knock at the door and when Merritt opens it, she finds Lydia, very much alive but in awful shape. Ten years ago, Lydia went for a hike and never returned. She was kept in a remote cabin where “the monster”, as she calls him, kept her alive, but barely. She was beaten, starved, raped, burned, and shot until one day, he shoots her and leaves her for dead. But she is not dead. She has come right back to Luca and wants what is rightfully hers, her husband, and his success.
When Lydia’s body is not found, Luca has had her legally declared dead, so he can move on. Now he is happily married to Merritt, and they have a beautiful little girl and a baby due any time. He has been successful in the little town they live in, with a popular restaurant and a coffee shop. But all is not what it seems. Who is Luca really and what does Lydia want? Merritt sees Lydia as someone who may destroy her idyllic life but befriends her in the chance that she can get Lydia to leave them alone, but also to find out what Lydia really wants. But we soon find out that Lydia is not going anywhere until she gets what she wants.
You know it is a proper thriller when you don’t figure out the twist until it actually happens. This was one twist that literally made me gasp out loud. The entire book is amazing. Why is it amazing? Minka Kent has kept the page count to a very acceptable level, but not only that, she managed to tell a story in under 300 words that had two plot twists, several outstanding characters and a “photo” finish. I also loved that most of the characters in her book had enormous secrets that came out at the perfect time, giving us the simple message that you never really know who people are. I can’t wait to see what this author does next.