Missing Person

Missing Person

by Sarah Lotz


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From acclaimed thriller writer Sarah Lotz, hailed by Stephen King as "vastly entertaining," a new novel about a group of amateur detectives infiltrated by the sadistic killer whose crimes they're investigating.
Reclusive bookseller Shaun Ryan has always believed that his uncle Teddy died in a car accident twenty years ago. Then he learns the truth: Teddy fled his home in Catholic, deeply conservative County Wicklow, Ireland, for New York and hasn't been heard from since. None of Shaun's relatives will reveal why they lied about his uncle's death or why they want Shaun to leave the whole affair alone.

But Shaun has a burning need to find out the truth. His search is unsuccessful until he's contacted by Chris Guzman, a woman who runs a website dedicated to matching missing-persons cases with unidentified bodies. Chris and her team of cold-case obsessives suspect that Shaun is looking for the "Boy in the Dress," one victim in a series of gay men murdered by the same killer.

But who are these internet fanatics really, and how do they know so much about a case that has stumped police for decades? Soon armchair sleuths and professional investigators are on a collision course with a sadistic serial killer who's gotten away with his crimes for far too long - and now they're in his sights.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316396646
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 09/03/2019
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 218,283
Product dimensions: 9.20(w) x 5.80(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Sarah Lotz is a novelist and screenwriter with a fondness for the macabre. She is the author of The White Road, Day Four, and The Three, and lives in Wales with her family and other animals.

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Missing Person 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Twink 8 days ago
Missing Person is Sarah Lotz's latest book. It's a first read of this author for me, but won't be the last. Irish bookseller Shaun has always believed his Uncle Teddy was dead. But then he learns the truth - his family lied. Teddy ran away to New York twenty years ago - and the family declared him dead. But why? Shaun can't leave it be and keeps asking questions, despite being warned off. But when he's contacted by an online missing persons group in the US, he might finally find some answers. I adore epistolary novels - it feels like a more intimate read, like you're more 'in' the book. The group's questions, inquiries and internal conversations are all presented in a series of online chats, emails, messages, articles and more. Lotz does some great character building with the members of missing-linc.com. We are privy to their private lives, even though the members have not met one another. They're all battling something in real life and can be someone else online. But, one of those members has some personal knowledge of 'The Boy in the Dress' case. Shaun is just as well portrayed and I found myself quite drawn to him. There are four POV's - three members of the online group and Shaun. Lotz explores family, friendship, love, loss, grief and more through these characters alongside the investigations. I liked having two settings - the US and Ireland. As well as investigating the case from two different countries. I thought the crime was well plotted. Lotz provides unexpected turns as the search for whodunit progresses. I was kept engaged the whole time. A quite different, but really good crime novel.
whatsbetterthanbooks 5 months ago
Gripping, mysterious, and sinister! Missing Person is a captivating, slow-burning mystery that takes us into the lives of Shaun Ryan, a young Irish lad whose uncle has been missing for the past twenty years, a group of online amateur sleuths who take it upon themselves to identify and pursue new evidence in cold cases, and a ruthless killer who may or may not be willing to kill again. The writing is methodical and sharp. The characters are secretive, sly, and determined. And the plot told from multiple perspectives builds steadily as it twists, turns, and unravels all the behaviours, actions, motivations, relationships, and personalities within it. Missing Person is ultimately a novel about family, friendship, secrets, manipulation, jealousy, criminal fanatics, obsession, violence, and murder that does a nice job of reminding us that people aren’t always who they perceive themselves to be, especially online. And even though I would have loved a little more urgency and thrills it was still a dark, creepy, entertaining read.
JulieB 6 months ago
A unique and entertaining character-driven thriller, that has the vibe of a true-crime story. 480 pages! This is the first thing that came to mind when I started reading it. Not sure how I ended up requesting a book this lengthy, because I hate reading long books! But a large portion of the book is written in group chats and other communication that make the book read faster than expected and I really enjoyed it. Missing-Linc is a website based in the US. It’s made up of ordinary people that try to match missing people to unidentified bodies. This made me curious, so I did an internet search. Web sleuthing seems to be a popular hobby, that sounds pretty addicting. I found a lot of sites and even found discussions pertaining to a missing woman from the small town I live in. I guess you really can find anything on the internet! The web sleuths in the story are contacted by a young man in Ireland. Shaun sends them a picture of his Uncle Teddy. He grew up believing his uncle was killed in a car accident before he was born, but discovered Teddy went to NYC after a falling out with the family. There is a chance Teddy is still alive, but the subject is taboo with the family, and he hasn’t been heard from since he left. The whole backstory of this situation is crazy! The story is filled with complex and interesting characters...the dysfunctional Irish family and the web sleuths, who are like a dysfunctional family in their own way. Lots of secrets, lies, and some shocking surprises. I really admired the website members that invested so much time playing amateur detectives. The characters were so impressive and serious. At the same time, since everyone is anonymous, it’s easy to blend in. It makes you think about the people that interact on these sites in real life. They can present themselves anyway they want, which is pretty scary. We find out early in the story that the killer is a member of the Missing-Linc website. Killing isn’t enough for him , he secretly taunts the other members about their personal issues. He takes advantage of and deceives people that care about him. He’s just a completely disgusting, horrible and unlikable creep! The ending was a little anticlimactic, but the story was very intriguing and thought provoking. This is my first book by Sarah Lotz and I’m fascinated enough to try another. Thank you to NetGalley, Mulholland Books and Sarah Lotz for this ARC, in exchange for my honest review. My Rating: 4 ⭐️’s Published: September 3rd 2019 by Mulholland Books Pages: 480 Recommended: Yes
DG_Reads 6 months ago
I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Mulholland Books and Netgalley! MISSING PERSON by Sarah Lotz begins with Shaun Ryan, an introvert Irish bookseller. Shaun has always believed that his uncle Teddy died in a car accident before he was born, but he's recently discovered that this wasn't true. Teddy was gay and fled from his conservative family and county to move to New York. Shaun sets out to find him, but has no luck. His dysfunctional family urges Shaun to stop looking, but Shaun doesn't understand why. Chris Guzman is the woman who runs a website dedicated to matching missing persons cases with unidentified bodies. With a group of dedicated members, they use crowd sourcing and computer technologies to help find information missed in formal investigations. Her team has seen Teddy's picture and thinks they've found a match. They believe that Teddy is the young man whose body was found years before, the case known as the "Boy in the Dress". With the assistance of the website members, they begin to investigate to determine how Teddy wound up dead in Wisconsin wearing a dress. The concept of crowd sourcing investigations fascinates me and it is what initially drew me to this book. I haven't read any of Sarah Lotz's books before (though I do have one sitting on my shelves waiting for me to pick it up). The book is written in chapters that alternate POV between Shaun, Chris and a couple other key website members, each chapter labeled with the screenname of the character. Text messages and snapchat conversations are interspersed with the narrative as well. This is in some ways a difficult book to characterize. The best match for me would be mystery. Though you know some aspects going in, the story revolves around explaining the whys. Why exactly did Teddy leave town, why exactly did he wind up in Wisconsin, why exactly was he found wearing a dress. For me this didn't have the fast-pace that I would expect to label it a thriller, but there was enough suspense built up to keep me hooked on the story. It was interesting looking at this book as a character study of online personalities, especially since we all meet people in our bookish life that we only know online. The book draws attention to online bullying and the dangers of crowd sourcing. When the group feels that someone is to blame, there can be a lot of backlash and the target feels the pressure, deserved or not. The members of the forum also can't all be trusted. Are these people all there to help or might some be there to hinder. If you are looking for a good mystery with a very interesting premise, this is a book you'll want to check out when it is released on September 3, 2019!
suekitty13 6 months ago
Will appeal to true crime junkies or anyone who likes a good thriller With the fairly recent explosion in the amount of information online, police aren’t the only ones investigating crimes. It is now possible to track killers, identify bodies, and to use familial DNA to catch rapists and serial killers without any specialized training and right from the comfort of home. There are blogs, forums and social media accounts dedicated purely to cold cases that law enforcement seems to have given up on. I can only imagine the relief to know what happened to your loved one, even if their story ends with Jane or John Doe. To be honest, my true crime loving heart is never happier than when a group of regular people take down a dangerous criminal. There are several obvious pitfalls with this and lives can be ruined if the finger is erroneously pointed at an innocent person. It could put their life in danger as vigilantes decide to “deal with” the killers/molester/ rapist and keep them from committing another crime. The true crime forum in Missing Person has faced this problem in the past with tragic consequences and now is dedicated solely to identifying unidentified bodies. This sounds fairly benign and safe for everyone but the case of The Boy in the Dress leads to all kinds of trouble, including contact with a serial killer. Fairly early on we meet the killer who has joined the forum as a way of keeping tabs on their investigation and misdirecting whenever possible. He gets a thrill from being so close to people actively looking for the killer in a murder that he knows he committed. With the anonymity of user names you never really know who you are talking to online and this can be used for evil. The online group in Missing Person are just normal people who find they are unknowingly battling wits with a serial killer. This book checked all my boxes for a great story; I love true crime, cat and mouse games led by a serial killer, and regular people as crime fighters. Much of the text is taken directly from the forum which makes it like reading an actual forum. In my opinion this would be completely awful as an audiobook but written it comes off as authentic and makes it all feel more real. These same conversations could be happening hundreds of times in real life in various forums and that brings the action right home. As someone who on occasion reads true crime forums the dialogue felt typical and true to life. When things went truly wrong it becomes a good cautionary tale but it also demonstrated how effective “armchair detectives” can be. The story drew me right in and even before the action moved from the forum and into the lives of the members it is super exciting. The online content was interspersed with short sections that peek into the lives of the forum members, including the killer. I found it all fascinating. I think this book will especially appeal to true crime junkies, but it will be exciting and engaging for anyone who likes a good thriller. I wouldn’t say it is a happy story but there is some humour to lighten the mood. The characters are interesting and seem like real people and the plot is basically ripped from the headlines. This story is so effective because it feels real and could essentially be real. I very much enjoyed this one and I highly recommend it to Murderinos everywhere. Thank you to Mulholland Books for providing an Electronic Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley for review.