Book Reviews

Gone Without a Trace: Reported Missing by Sarah Wray

It’s finally time for me to share my thoughts on Reported Missing!

Reported Missing Cover Image
Title: Reported Missing
Author: Sarah Wray
Publisher: Bookouture
Date of publication: July 14th 2017
Format: Digital Review Copy
Source: NetGalley
Number of pages: 346
Rating: ⭐️⭐️

Four months ago, Rebecca Pendle’s husband disappeared. So did 14-year- old Kayleigh Jackson.

Just a coincidence? Rebecca wants to believe so… But as the police start to draw parallels between Chris and Kayleigh, it’s getting harder for her to trust his innocence. Faced with an angry town that believes Chris has abducted the teenager, Rebecca tries to discover the truth. But what she finds shocks her more than she ever thought. How well does she really know the man she loves?

A completely gripping, suspenseful thriller, with a shocking twist. Fans of Louise Jensen, K.L Slater and and The Girl on the Train will be hooked until the very last page.


I am a victim. A cover love victim. There was no way my eyes would not catch the beautiful contrast of colors and the tagline that hints to my favorite trope: the suspect husband! No wonder why I don’t want to get married, haha!

The title gives you a good idea of what to expect in this book. Missing people. A teenager. A man. Coincidence? Crime stories and newspaper headlines have taught us not to believe in them, so I could totally see why the town, the police, and every Tom and Harry would think those two disappearances were connected. I would probably have thought the same! Yes, the police are supposed to “investigate all leads” but don’t we hear that the easiest explanation is the right one? Can we really blame them for looking at the first facts and drawing conclusions?

Rebecca trusts her husband. Trusted. But while his life got “suspended”, hers kept going, the town had to find someone to blame, and her life took a turn for the worst. Living in a caravan, she is only the shadow of herself. With a head full of questions, bottles around, and weeks since she’s heard anything from the man she was supposed to spend her life with, there is not much for her to look for anymore. I first felt so sorry for Rebecca. I understood her need to stick to her husband’s side, and I felt the unfairness of how the disappearances had been handled. After all, people go missing every day. The fact a young girl and a former teacher vanished the very same day could only be a joke from life, and I couldn’t help feel angry at the police for the angle with which they handled the case from the beginning. If Chris only had disappeared that day, the police would have treated the information differently, and I couldn’t help thinking he did not stand the same chance as a beautiful and lively teenager.

Rebecca feels in her guts that her husband has nothing to do with what happened to Kayleigh, but as time goes by, she can’t help but wonder, and when she witnesses strange happenings in town, she decides to dig a little. Only the digging brings doubts, and I can’t blame her for that! I can blame the alcohol and bad decisions, though. This is when I started to detach myself from her distress. I know not all women are strong and ready to fight for what they believe in, live for and whatever, but I was so frustrated to see Rebecca wonder and wonder without doing anything to prove her husband’s innocence, and her naivety and helplessness got on my nerves. I could only take so much of drinking, sleeping pills and feeling sorry for herself. She did not deserve some of the things that happened to her, but I was hoping it would trigger something, a reaction from her, and make things more exciting, but Rebecca never really left her shell.

I appreciated that the story explored what happens to the other side, the ones left behind with a wall of questions, a deafening silence, and a broken heart. I only believed it took too long for the plot to move on from the poor victim Rebecca to tangible facts and events. I admit I was wondering about Chris throughout the story, and as information was given to us, the shadow of a man appeared, a very different man than described by his wife. Rebecca is caught in the past, the good memories, and the life she had, and she cannot cope with the assumption that something happened. Except it did, whether or not the disappearances are connected. I wished a hundred times that I could shake some sense into her.

The mystery and possible link between the cases weren’t enough to keep me turning pages like a crazy lady. I struggled to finish the book. Maybe a more resilient main character and a slightly faster pace would have helped. I couldn’t find a way to connect and get curious about the teenager, and her friends did not help. I did however enjoyed the answers I got and the open ending. I felt it was perfect for this particular book. My only regret is that it took way too long to have me interested in what was happening.

Reported Missing could satisfy readers looking for a different perspective on missing people cases and lovers of assumptions, if they can handle a slow pace and a load of self-pity.

You can see if the book is for you thanks to the extract you can find here

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


sarah wray author pic

Sarah Wray is originally from Yorkshire but now lives in Newcastle-upon- Tyne where she works as a technology writer and editor. She won a Northern Writers Award (Arvon Award) in 2015 for an early version of her first novel.


You can find Sarah on TwitterFacebook, or her website.


28 thoughts on “Gone Without a Trace: Reported Missing by Sarah Wray”

  1. Hmmmm the idea of this book intrigues me but, like yourself I get annoyed at characters who don’t help their situation after while. Probably will end up reading this at some point but I’ll be prepared


  2. I already knew you wouldn’t like this one and I was actually looking forward to discovering your reasons why :-). It sounds too much like The Girl On The Train for me (I hated her drinking there too and I’m not a fan of weak character either) so I think it’s wise to give this one a miss…


  3. Great review Donna. Glad you enjoyed the answers at the end despite struggling to get there. I am reading this book next week but I have prepared and adjusted my expectations. Yes, that cover is gorgeous. Part of the reason I got the book 🙂


    1. Thank you! 🙂 The ending was good but I definitely can’t recommend it as it took way too long and the main character did not really do anything throughout the book! I really hope you enjoy it more than I did! I can’t wait for your thoughts. Damn cover :p


  4. Great review (as always) I love the premise and the idea of the different perspective but I would possibly struggle with the main character coming from a cynical social worker perspective (you can take the girl out of social work, but you can’t take social work out of the girl hahaha) You’re review has intrigued me as to what I would think, so may have to check this out in the future xxx


  5. Great review for this book Meggy, but oh I’m sorry it didn’t work for you. 🙂 I can completely understand where you’re coming from because we need characters to be relatable to keep reading, and if they’re not then the most interesting plot in the world can’t hold our attention. At least that’s how it is for me.
    Like you I can almost understand how Rebecca feels, but at the same time there’s only so much you can take before you need her character to do something about her situation.


  6. I just HAD to visit your blog today after you left me wanting for more the other day. 😉 Great review! It sounds like we had yet again very similar reactions… Like you said, it was a very interesting concept and an angle that isn’t used often, but the slow pace and character made it hard to stay focused.


  7. Ah yes, can totally see how the weak character eventually pisses you off. I’d feel frustrated, too… the ‘poor me’ mindset is inevitable and we all have it sometimes but there’s a time to move on and stop digging that mindset into further darkness.
    Pity the book didn’t work out for you 100% but it’s a great review, Meggy (wanted to say Donna 😀 so used to it!) 😀


    1. Exactly! I know life is hard, and sometimes we are knocked down so hard the climb up is more than a challenge, but I always want a book to bring me something, and here, it was just self pity and questions :-/
      Haha, I still answer to Donna anyway, so you can go both ways! Thank you for making the effort, I know it’s weird ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. hahaha oh don’t worry- we’ve all fallen prey to the cover love that’s gone wrong before 😉 I’m really not keen on characters that sit around feeling sorry for themselves :/ Also, I was getting deja vu about her character and then I saw someone else mention Girl on a Train and I was like *that’s it*!! Shame it was so slow and took so long to get into :/ Great review though!!


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