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Among the Missing: A Novel Hardcover – Jun 21 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (June 21 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385342748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385342742
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #701,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Alison S. Coad TOP 50 REVIEWER on Aug. 24 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Among the Missing," by Morag Joss, concerns several different characters whose lives intertwine in the course of events: There's Ron, recently released from prison after serving time for his part in causing the deaths of several children and a pregnant woman; he was driving a bus filled with school-children and their teachers when he somehow fell asleep and crashed the vehicle. There's Silva, an illegal immigrant living in a run-down trailer near Inverness, Scotland, with her husband Stefan and 2-year-old daughter Anna, constantly fearful of being caught and sent back to her country. And there's a first-person character whose name is never given until she comes up with an alias, "Annabel," who has married late and just discovered that she's pregnant; when she tells her new husband, his reaction is essentially either you abort and stay with me, or you have the kid on your own, so she leaves. The three find themselves thrown together when a bridge spanning the river near Silva's trailer suddenly collapses, killing numerous people who were unfortunate enough to be driving on the span at the time. How the three of them cope with their altered lives, and how they help or hinder each other is the meat of the story, as the evolution of their dependence on each other slowly unfolds....I like Morag Joss a lot, she's an excellent writer of suspenseful, psychological stories, but I really hated this one. I hated what she put the characters through, especially "Annabel," and I completely disbelieved the sudden turnaround in the reasoning and behaviour of Silva, although I suppose a psychotic episode is meant to explain it. It didn't help that I live in Montreal, a city on an island in the middle of the large St.Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 31 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Uh, did I miss the last chapter or something? Dec 15 2011
By Viva Poodles - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I listened to the audiobook, and enjoyed it overall. Interesting characters and pretty good plot. But what the heck happened to the ending?
SPOILER ALERT. Silva comes unhinged and takes the baby to the middle of the river with the intention of drowning them both. Annabel is bleeding--"too much blood"--on the shore after delivery. At the last minute, Silva makes a call to Ron, saying... well, we never find that out, but Ron does come to the rescue, with Annabel's estranged husband in tow. He apparently rescues Silva and the baby, and the last thing Annabel hears are male voices and people sloshing ashore. The end.
Now, I don't require that stories be tied up in a bow at the end; some ambiguity is fine. But I would have liked to know a little more! Annabel could have had some conflict about Ron vs Colin, and that could have been left unresolved... but did she live or die, for heaven's sake? Does Silva come back from the brink? Has Ron's relationship with the two women changed him so he is able to live in the world, or does he just fade back into the night?
If the author is setting up for a sequel, that's kind of a cheap trick. And if not, couldn't she have written one more chapter?
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Psychological Study that Will Stay with You April 27 2011
By Smokey - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
The collapse of a bridge in Scotland brings three strangers together and affects their lives in dramatically unexpected ways in Morag Joss' novel, Among the Missing. The story unfolds primarily from the perspectives of "Annabel", a forty-two year old pregnant woman, and Silva, a young wife and mother who is in the country illegally. The two women seem to drift into living together in increasing isolation, while Ron, a fifty-year-old ex-convict hiding the terrible secret in his past, unwittingly facilitates and finally serves as witness to the climax of the women's relationship.

Chapters written in the first person from the perspective of each woman, interposed with chapters written in the third person that focus on Ron, skillfully engage readers by meting out insights into the characters' lives and thoughts, gradually revealing what they are and are not capable of and how they change within the action of the book. Joss uses the natural environment -- particularly the river -- and the man-made environment -- particularly the re-building of the bridge and the "homes" where the women live -- to underline the emotions of her characters; both environments impact the characters' thoughts and actions.

The novel is reminiscent of Sophie Hannah, Minette Walters, Tana French, and other authors who are so skilled at hooking readers on characters. Although the title of the book seems straightforward early on, its meaning can be interpreted on several levels. The book raises a number of issues, including if and how individuals can change and how our involvement with self colors the way we view others.

Among the Missing is a difficult book to review without giving away too much of the plot. The novel is both psychological study and psychological thriller. The author teases readers into following the path of the plot, luring them gradually and irresistibly into twists and turns down a road that leads to a stunning climax. It is a book that will be hard for me to forget.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Among the Missing Oct. 12 2011
By Ashley Wintters - Published on
Format: Hardcover
A bridge filled with cars collapses in Scotland. The vehicle license plates are captured on film. Few people escape, some are found dead and the rest presumed dead, but are in reality `missing.' This unfortunate incident entwines the lives of three very different people.
One of the missing is Annabel. Newlywed and pregnant, she uses the opportunity to escape from a husband who has no desire to let her keep her baby. Ron, recently out of prison for an `accident' and has no one to turn to. Silva, an illegal immigrant who is waiting for her husband and daughter to return and fearing it may never happen.
The three are brought together because of tragedy and focus on Annabel's baby. As the story progresses, each of their true characters show through as well as their deceit. Each has their own hidden secrets and agenda!
This is an interesting look at human character. This book will stay with you for a long time to come.

Reviewed by Ashley Wintters for Suspense Magazine
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Among the Missing July 20 2011
By Callas - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I must declare at the top of this review that I am a huge fan of Joss's work and therefore familiar with all of her books, but the brilliance of "Among the Missing" is breathtaking. She is at the very top of her powers and it is thrilling to be taken on such a wonderful, terrifying and deeply moving journey by such a confident writer. It is not just the characters who are presented with the possibilities of another existence, a new identity, for this reader couldn't help but imagine what advantages or disadvantages could be presented if I, too, had been caught up in such a catastrophe. In Scotland, a bridge collapses into the roaring river below, taking with it unknown numbers of people driving across, the hazy details captured on a CCTV camera, We follow two women from entirely different worlds, both existing on the fringes of society; they would never have met if it had not been for the disaster. They are eventually joined by Ron, a boatman and form an alliance, a family. This book explores the whole experience of identity in a mesmerising, twisting, thrilling tale; I must resist the temptation to tell more about the plot - just READ IT!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Joss is as haunting as ever... May 14 2011
By Kristi - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I forgot to review this book right after I finished it. With some books, that would have been a problem ("er, what was it that happened again, exactly?") However, this, like the other books by Morag Joss, is one that sticks with you. That's good, because it was a good book, but, well, you're never quite rid of them, either...

This book charts the intersection between an illegal immigrant family and a middle-aged woman who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant. The lives of all are intertwined when a Scottish bridge collapses, destroying one family and creating a new one.

The writing is haunting, evocative and almost poetic at times. Joss has a tremendous gift for taking an unlikely scenario and making it seem not only plausible but downright historical -- you're surprised to remember that this didn't really all happen.

A very well-written book, with an ending twist that one can't possibly review, which is frustrating, as I would so like to know what other readers thought!

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