Where The Missing Go by Emma Rowley
MY NAME IS KATE.
I volunteer at a missing persons helpline – young people who have run away from home call me and I pass on messages to their loved ones, no questions asked.
I don’t get many phone calls, and those I do are usually short and vague, or pranks.
But today a girl named Sophie called.
I’m supposed to contact her parents to let them know their child is safe.
The problem is, Sophie isn’t safe.
AND SOPHIE IS MY DAUGHTER.
“Too late to go back now
He’ll be waiting”
Sixteen-year-old Sophie Harlow went missing two years ago. Her mother has been left devastated and isolated since her disappearance. The case remains open, but there is no active investigation. Her mother has dedicated herself to tireless work at the message in a bottle helpline. A helpline service for people who have ran away and wish to leave a message with their family members. With the police classing Sophie as a ‘voluntary run away’, her mother Kate has little hope……
‘The thing about the missing is that they don’t always want to be found’
One night working at the helpline with Alma, Kate receives a call. But this is no ordinary call. The line has quiet and broken at times, but Kate believes that the call is from her daughter. Calling alone, scared and in desperate need of help.
Is it really Sophie? Is Kate hearing what she wants so desperately to hear?
Come home Sophie
The novel then goes further into detail about Sophie’s past, her disappearance and her family circumstances. The disappearance has cost Kate heavily. Her desperation and questioning keep’s you in suspense throughout the novel.
Kate is more or less friendless, except for elderly neighbour Lily. Lily is confused and makes several references to ‘Nancy’ and ‘her little boy’. When Kate finds a connection to a missing teenager from 20yrs ago. She attempts to connect the dots.
‘She’s alive. She called me. She’s reaching out. That’s all I need to think about, for now’
What makes the case more complex, is Sophie’s note that she left and the postcards that Kate receives regularly. The postcards inform Kate, that Sophie is safe and wants to be left alone. They offer a different viewpoint and create more mystery in the plot. The note shows complicity and defiance from Sophie, in the aftermath of her disappearance.
“I’m sorry everyone. But I need to get away please try not to worry about me, I’m going to be fine.
I love you all, Sophie x x x”
Where is Sophie?
Does she need saving?
Is Kate headed for a breakdown?
What made Sophie run away?
The novel is a thoroughly modern crime thriller. With modern technology playing a huge part in the search. I can see the appeal of this novel for the fans of Angela Clarke and the social media series. The emotional pull of the mother’s love for her missing teenage daughter, had me glued to the page. 4*