4 star reviews, Book reviews, contemporary fiction, thriller, Women's Fiction

Three Days Missing by Kimberly Belle

4/5 stars


From the Publisher:

When a child goes missing, two mothers’ lives collide in a shocking way in this suspenseful novel from the bestselling author of The Marriage Lie.

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: the call that comes in the middle of the night. When Kat Jenkins awakens to the police on her doorstep, her greatest fear is realized. Her nine-year-old son, Ethan, is missing—vanished from the cabin where he’d been on an overnight class trip. Shocked and distraught, Kat rushes to the campground, but she’s too late; the authorities have returned from their search empty-handed after losing Ethan’s trail in the mountain forest.

Another mother from the school, Stef Huntington, seems like she has it all: money, prominence in the community, a popular son and a loving husband. She hardly knows Kat, except for the vicious gossip that swirls around Kat’s traumatic past. But as the police investigation unfolds, Ethan’s disappearance has earth-shattering consequences for Stef, as her path crosses with Kat. As the two mothers race against the clock, their desperate search for answers reveals how the greatest dangers lie behind the everyday smiles of those they trust the most.

My Review:

Three Days Missing is about a young boy, Ethan, who goes missing on a class trip.  The story is told from the point of view of his mother, Kat, a single mom, struggling to make ends meet after she left her abusive husband and from the point of view of Stefanie, wife of the mayor of Atlanta (the city where they live).  A lot comes out about Kat and Stefanie’s personal lives.  I will be honest, I did not care for Stefanie and I wanted to discipline her uber privileged, entitled, spoiled son, Sammy.  I did not mind her husband, Sam; I actually thought he was doing a good job and was sincere.  I did, however, really like Kat and found her a very sympathetic character.  I wanted to see a romantic relationship between her and Mac, the policeman who comes to her home in the middle of the night to tell her that her son is missing and stays with her for the rest of the novel; although of course, I realize it was only three days and would have been inappropriate for her to get romantically entangled while her son was missing.  I would LOVE to see another novel with these two characters as well as with Lucas, Kat’s friend and mentor, who is an older brother figure to her, an ex-marine, very tough and rugged and sexy as hell.

While I did figure out who did it about halfway through, I still gave this 4 stars because it addressed the issue of bullying in a very honest and straightforward way.  It shows how some kids are privileged and how their parents are complicit and easily perpetuate the bullying cycle.  It also shows the heartbreak of the parent whose child is being bullied and how that feels, how the memory of holding that perfect infant is what all parents always go back to with their children.  I loved how the final chapter is the only one told from Ethan’s perspective and it dove deep into the bullying.  I also like how Kat developed a backbone in the story and how much better she felt when she finally realized what was bothering her.

I would like to thank Netgalley and Park Row publishing for my copy in exchange for my honest review.