The Missing Place

10 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 11¾ hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2014. ISBN 9781480543676. $19.99; 10 CDs. library ed.; 1 MP3-CD. library/retail eds.; digital download. F
Set in the oil fields of North Dakota, Littlefield's (Garden of Stones) latest is told from the points of view of two women from vastly different economic and social backgrounds. Boston sophisticate Colleen and California single mom Shay become unlikely allies searching for their sons, new best friends, who have gone missing from the oil fields. The police and the oil company see Colleen and Shay as meddling amateurs and block their pursuit of information at every opportunity. The book contains lots of innuendo regarding payoffs following oil company safety violations, Native American mineral rights manipulations, and some nice drama built up along societal conflict lines. Not all of the conjectures work to form a coherent, convincing story. Still, there are enough good psychological character studies and compelling social interactions to make this a rewarding listening experience. Excellently read by Joyce Bean.
VERDICT Recommended for adult mystery fiction collections. ["The mystery aspect is the novel's weakest part. Red herrings abound, and the eventual resolution is disappointing, given the strong buildup…. Those looking for a family drama with an unusual setting would enjoy this book," read the review of the Gallery pb, LJ Xpress Reviews, 10/3/14.]

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