The Moon Pool [also published as The Missing Place]
Head of Zeus (UK: 9th October 2014; AU: 20th October 2014); Simon & Schuster Gallery (US & CA: 14th October 2014)
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SPOILER WARNING: This review contains a spoiler. (It doesn’t tell you whodunit, but who didn’t.)
TRIGGER WARNING: The novel contains ableist and racist slurs, but the review doesn’t.
Two mothers from different lifestyles band together to find their sons. In icy North Dakota, humble humans take on big business in an underdog story –
Well, that’s what I expected. And for two thirds, the book is like that: the heroines asking questions, getting shut down/threatened… So far, so good.
But in the final third, where the mystery is solved, the story takes a totally different turn. Admittedly, it’s been a long time since I regularly read crime novels, but I seem to remember that if the story is set in a certain place or occupation, it has something to do with the case.
In this novel, the oilfields – and reservations leasing rights to drill – are red herrings. The disappearances have nothing to do with those. This story could’ve been set ANYWHERE, but I thought the oil and money might’ve been important to the case. They aren’t.
Up until then, I really enjoyed this novel. But that final third doesn’t live up to the greatness of the rest of the book. Disappointing.