THE MISSING by Melanie Florence


Age Range: 14 - 18
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Feather’s life is changed when one friend and then another go missing.

The Cree high school student lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, with her single, successful mom and her brother, Kiowa, studying to be a doctor. Her friends, other Aboriginal young women, are not so lucky. Carli, the first to disappear and later mistakenly be ruled a suicide, has lived with many foster families. Mia, the second, lives with her neglectful mom and sexual-predator stepfather. Feather and her family and friends are modern, urban Natives whose lives are far from “the rez” but who are aware of the gulf between them and white society. Feather’s mom says about people in power: “They believe that we are bringing it on ourselves. They think women in our community deserve to be victimized just because of the colour of our skin.” In fact, Kiowa is erroneously arrested in Mia’s case, launching the mystery plot. Feather tries to get her brother out of jail and find the real killer, putting herself in danger when she tries to lure the killer. Issues drive the plot (a subplot concerns homophobia aimed at one of Feather’s friends) in this very brief contemporary novel, making for an informative, swift read but an unsatisfying mystery. Feather’s first-person narration is punctuated by the killer’s effectively creepy thoughts about his victims, raising tension, but a deus ex machina ending both thwarts earthly justice and cheats readers.

Well-meaning but unsatisfying. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4594-1088-6
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: James Lorimer
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2016


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