This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Kay Brooks
When Rex appears dramatically and suddenly in Gina Adler’s life, he sweeps her off her feet, making her forget the misery of her recent past. He seems almost too good to be true and within six months, despite concerns from both family and friends that the smitten couple may not know each other as well as they think they do, they are married.
After a short period of basking in Rex’s adoration, Gina is left heart-broken when he disappears from her life in the same sudden manner that he entered it. It is easy to assume that Rex has drowned while surfing in the choppy Tarifa sea but if that is the case, why does Gina feel that the connection they share is still alive? Unable to bear the suggestion that her husband may be dead, Gina attempts to continue with her life, awaiting his return. But life is about to throw a lot more at Gina than just a Husband, Missing.
From the prologue which explains how Gina and Rex met, I was hooked. Gina is such a real character and it was easy to empathise with her throughout the novel. Williams uses the most beautiful and startling imagery, managing to completely avoid cliché even when describing the seemingly mundane. Her comparison of eye colour to the ‘jaunty blue of a deckchair stripe’ is a perfect example. The consistently vivid description creates atmospheres that match each event and mood.
Each character is introduced to the reader and then revealed gradually, from Rex’s cold and distant mother, Clarice, to his brother’s glamorous, career-driven girlfriend, Fran. As the novel progresses, the characters grow and develop in subtle ways. I actually re-read the first chapter after reading and was surprised to see how much Gina had altered as an effect of the challenges she faces throughout the novel. This made me feel that Gina had been part of my life for a much longer time than the three days I read the novel in. When I came to the end, I felt that I was saying goodbye to a friend!
Husband, Missing is full of twists and turns that took me by surprise but were completely plausible when I thought back to the foreshadowing hints that Williams had scattered through the previous chapters. My only criticism would be that the blurb does not sell the novel well enough. I was delighted to realise that Rex wasn’t the only character with a hidden past. As one of the characters says towards the end, ‘lives have just collided.’
A relentlessly addictive read!