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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Missing Husband by Amanda Brooke
Published byHarper Collins
Published on 16.7.2015
Genres:women’s fiction, psychological thriller
Pages: 433

Is not knowing worse than knowing the truth? The next stunning novel from Richard and Judy pick, Amanda Brooke

He has a secret…

Jo is five months pregnant with the baby she always wanted, and on the surface she has the perfect marriage to David, the love of her life. The only thing marring her happiness is the secret she’s hiding from her husband.

She told a lie…

Then David disappears and there doesn’t seem to be any trace of him. Did the secrets inside his marriage chase him away? Or something much worse?

Would you rather know the whole truth or nothing at all?

I was lucky enough to win an arc of this novel on twitter, and was over the moon to finally read something by Ms Brooke. Many of my blogger friends have read and enjoyed her previous novels, so I was eager for my copy to arrive and start reading.

‘The Missing Husband’ is an interesting drama/psychological thriller that will keep you guessing till the very last page. It opens with yet another fight between Jo and David, and what seems to be just a little row between married couple turns into a tragedy. David is off to Leads for a training course and it’s the last time his wife, Jo will see him. Where did he go and why is he gone missing, that’s a question no one can answer, not even his family and Jo. Of course, Jo is devastated especially since she’s pregnant and feels responsible for his missing. She goes through all the stages of grieving, denial, worry, blame, and yet can’t seem to find an answer for David’s unhappiness. However, when she starts finding little clues, she starts to question David’s love for her and their unborn child. Though the police is looking for him, they’re not much of a help as they also strongly believe nothing bad happened to David. He’s an adult and probably left home wanting to start a new life somewhere else..or with someone else. But what is really behind his mysterious disappearance?

‘The Missing Husband’ was certainly gripping, psychological thriller and a real roller coaster ride. I couldn’t help but go through all the emotions Jo was feeling and being a mother and wife I strongly empathized with her. The pace might feel a bit slow to some, but I definitely enjoyed it as it gave me enough time to get to know/connect to the characters. All of the characters, starting from Jo and David, to their mothers, brother, sister, are flawed more or less, but it’s because of this that they felt so real to me.

Jo’s pain over her missing husband and her feeling of helplessness was so raw, yet so real. She’s not a character every reader might love, some might even think she’s too weak, but aren’t we all sometimes? Jo’s not afraid to admit it though.

However, while I expected the story to be focused on David’s missing (though, there’s a fair amount of that too), it’s more of Jo’s story and explores the dark moments and problems people who suffer from mental illness go through. I’m lucky not be very familiar with panic attacks and that awful feeling of anxiety, however I believe Ms Brooke authentically portrays what people experience once they have these panic attacks. But what felt strange to me is the fact that I imagined Jo completely different at the beginning. I won’t reveal anything, but by the end of the book I saw her in a much different light. Same was with David, and that’s why I’m saying the whole book was like a roller coaster, one minute I’d hate him, one minute he’d totally surprise me.

You know, I can’t help but feel (and hope Ms Brooke will not be offended by me saying this) that writing this book was truly a cathartic experience for Ms Brooke. As a single mom, Ms Brooke is very passionate about parental relationships and the troubles single mothers face every day. You know when you read a book and actually FEEL it? When you read the author’s words and you feel like they poured their soul into it? That’s exactly what happened to me and that makes this book really special.

The only thing that stops me from giving it a higher rating is the fact I was not too pleased with the ending, I honestly expected something more shocking. But, it still wasn’t predictable and that’s always good in my book.

Gripping and moving, ‘The Missing Husband’ was certainly an enjoyable read and I will most definitely be reading Ms Brooke’s previous novels. This is her 4th one, so I got some real catching up to do.

About Amanda Brooke

Amanda Brooke is a single mum in her forties who lives in Liverpool with her teenage daughter Jessica. It was only when her young son was diagnosed with cancer that Amanda began to develop her writing, recording her family’s journey in a journal and through poetry. When Nathan died in 2006 at just three years old, Amanda was determined that his legacy would be one of inspiration not devastation. Her debut novel Yesterday’s Sun was inspired by her experiences of motherhood and her understanding of how much a mother would be willing to sacrifice for the life of her child.

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