Book Review: Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf

Posted February 3, 2016 by Melissa in Book Review | 17 Comments

Book Review: Missing Pieces by Heather GudenkaufTitle: Missing Pieces
Author: Heather Gudenkauf
Publisher: Mira
Publication date: February 1st 2016
Target Audience: Adult
Genres: Thrillers, Suspense
Length: 400
Source: Publisher
Format: eARC
Find It: Goodreads
Buy It: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
My Rating:

A woman uncovers earth-shattering secrets about her husband's family in this chilling page-turner from New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf

Sarah Quinlan's husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. The case rocked the small farm town of Penny Gate, Iowa, where Jack was raised, and for years Jack avoided returning home. But when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, hospitalized in a coma, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded.

Upon arriving in Penny Gate, Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago—barely a trace of the wounds that had once devastated them all. But as facts about Julia's accident begin to surface, Sarah realizes that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Caught in a flurry of unanswered questions, Sarah dives deep into the puzzling rabbit hole of Jack's past. But the farther in she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a deadly truth she may not be prepared for.


The call, like many of its kind, had come in the early hours of the morning, waking Jack and Sarah from a dead sleep. Jack’s hand had snaked from beneath the covers, fumbling for the phone. He grunted a sleepy hello, listened for a moment, then sat up suddenly alert.

“Is it the girls?” Sarah asked as she turned on the bedside lamp. They had dropped the girls off at the University of Montana just a few weeks earlier and Sarah’s worst fear was receiving an early-morning call like this. Jack shook his head and Sarah breathed a sigh of relief.

“It’s Julia,” Jack said after hanging up, his voice thick with emotion. “She had a fall. I need to go home.”

My Thoughts

Although I can’t say that I walked away loving Heather Gudenkaul’s Missing Pieces, I will say that it was a compelling read. Heather’s writing style was not exactly to my taste but I must admit that the lack of flowery language made this a quick and fast paced read.

I never fully connected to any of characters. Sarah just seemed one dimensional and Jack was a complete mystery although that may be expected due to the lack of a backstory since most of his history was part of the mystery.

That said…I really wanted to know what the heck was going on here. Why was Jack keeping all of these secrets? I couldn’t imagine being with someone for 20 years and keeping the secrets that were kept within this marriage.

Missing Pieces is a book that makes you ask lots of questions. What exactly the difference is between a secret and a lie?When are secrets or lies ok if they’re told with good intentions? And at what point do they become a betrayal?

And ultimately, at what point is lack of faith in your partner a betrayal of the marriage?

About Heather Gudenkauf

Heather Gudenkauf

Heather Gudenkauf is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and These Things Hidden.
Heather was born in Wagner, South Dakota, the youngest of six children. At one month of age, her family returned to the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota where her father was employed as a guidance counselor and her mother as a school nurse. At the age of three, her family moved to Iowa, where she grew up. Having been born with a profound unilateral hearing impairment (there were many evenings when Heather and her father made a trip to the bus barn to look around the school bus for her hearing aids that she often conveniently would forget on the seat beside her), Heather tended to use books as a retreat, would climb into the toy box that her father’s students from Rosebud made for the family with a pillow, blanket, and flashlight, close the lid, and escape the world around her. Heather became a voracious reader and the seed of becoming a writer was planted.

Heather Gudenkauf graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in elementary education, has spent her career working with students of all ages and continues to work in education as a Title I Reading Coordinator.

Heather lives in Iowa with her husband, three children, and a very spoiled German Shorthaired Pointer named Lolo. In her free time Heather enjoys spending time with her family, reading, hiking, and running. She is currently working on her next novel.

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17 responses to “Book Review: Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf

  1. Hm. This one sounds like it would be a bit stressful for me Melissa, I have a hard time when secrets are being kept in a relationship. I get all anxious about the moment they’re going to come to light and how they’re going to affect everything! While you didn’t love this one, I’m glad it was at least a fast paced and easy read:)
    Jenny @ Supernatural Snark recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday: Heir to the SkyMy Profile

    • Melissa

      It wasn’t as stressful as you might think. Most of the time the reader was in the dark as well so you knew something would come to light but not what exactly…

  2. I know I enjoy this author, I’ve read her in the past and really enjoyed her style. So this might be one I’d like. I’d like more from the characters though so that’s disappointing that they didn’t wow you. I’m intrigued by this mystery though.
    Candace recently posted…Review: Unbecoming by Jenny DownhamMy Profile

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