The Missing Husband by Natasha Boydell and Narrated by Rupert Degas, Penelope Rawlins

Title: The Missing Husband Author: Natasha Boydell Narrators: Rupert Degas and Penelope Rawlins Genre: Mystery & Thrillers Format: Audiobook Listening Length: 8 hours and 11 minutes Date of Publication: September 2, 2021 Description:  Kate and Pete have been the perfect couple ever since they were teenagers. Fifteen years later, they have two young daughters, live in a beautiful London townhouse, and seem like they have it all. But one day, Pete leaves for work and never comes home.   In a note Kate discovers, he confesses that he’s been unhappy for a long time and that he’s met someone else. Distraught, she later learns that he has left everything behind, including his mobile phone, and she sets out to learn the truth about his disappearance.  But is she prepared for what she will learn? My Thoughts: I really wanted to like this book as I love a good Mystery & Thriller. However, this was totally not what I expected it would be from the description of the book. The book moves v

Trace of Evil (Natalie Lockhart, #1) by Alice Blanchard

Title: Trace of Evil
Author: Alice Blanchard
Series: Natalie Lockhart
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Psychological Thriller
Format: Kindle ARC
No. of Pages: 378
Date of Publication: December 3, 2019

Description: Natalie Lockhart is a rookie detective in Burning Lake, New York, an isolated town known for its dark past. Tasked with uncovering the whereabouts of nine missing transients who have disappeared over the years, Natalie wrestles with the town’s troubled history – and the scars left by her sister’s unsolved murder years ago.

Then Daisy Buckner, a beloved schoolteacher, is found dead on her kitchen floor, and a suspect immediately comes to mind. But it’s not that simple. The suspect is in a coma, collapsed only hours after the teacher’s death, and it turns out Daisy had secrets of her own. Natalie knows there is more to the case, but as the investigation deepens, even she cannot predict the far-reaching consequences – for the victim, for the missing of Burning Lake, and for herself.

My Thoughts: This was my first Alice Blanchard book and also her first Natalie Lockhart book. The next book in the series is The Wicked Hour, which is available 12/01/2020. Let me start off with why I chose this book to read. I chose it because I like to read mystery, suspense, crime novels, if that is not already obvious by my previously reviewed books. I also am a fan of supernatural books that involve witchcraft, which is what this book sounded like it would be about. 

This book has a few different case going on, the death of Natalie's sister (which is already solved), "the Missing Nine" (which every new office investigates, in this case Natalie), the death of Daisy Buckner (wife of a cop), and then their is the childhood incident involving Natalie that she is still trying to investigate as an adult (she calls the person the Boogeyman). Given that their are so many different cases or investigations going on at any one given point, it can be hard to follow and keep all of the different characters, suspects, and case information straight. Having several cases/investigations going on at one time is one aspect of a book that makes it difficult for me to like the book, as I like a book where it is easy to follow and keep the story straight. 

As I previously mentioned, this book has a supernatural witchcraft aspect to it, at least it does minimally. The book even starts by giving you the history of Burning Lake, which has a witch trial history. It is a big part of the towns history and some of its citizens practice witchcraft, which include those still in Middle School and/or High School. The amount of witchcraft history starts off heavy and then it tapers off until near the end where it picks up again. I was quite disappointed by this, as I said I love a good witchcraft book. The book deals with the white and dark magic. It gets quite dark towards the end.

I was not quite fond of the end of the book. It got way too dark for me and not quite sure that it was truly necessary. The end of the book really handles Natalie's boogeyman, which I don't feel like adds anything special to the book and I feel like the story of the Missing Nine could have been handled better towards the end as well. I was really intrigued initially by the Missing Nine's story but there is not a lot of development into that story until the end where it explodes.

I will say that the story has one really good twist that I did not see coming, but that is the only twist. Otherwise, I found this story to be quite underwhelming.

Rating: 2 out of 5. I give it this rating because I found the story to be difficult to follow. There were aspects of the story that I felt were unnecessary and/or could have been written better. I also did not feel like this book drew me in and hooked me from the beginning. It took me a few months to finish. 

Purchase book: Amazon

About the Author: 
ALICE BLANCHARD is the award-winning author of several novels. She has received a PEN Award, a New Letters Literary Award, a Centrum Artists-in-Residence Fellowship, and a Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction. Her debut novel, Darkness Peering, was a New York Times' Notable Book and a Barnes & Noble Best Mystery book. Her work has been published in 17 countries.

Thank you Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book. This is my honest opinion.


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