Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Missing by Drake Braxton

Reviewer: Alan Chin
Publisher: Seventh Window Publications
Pages: 214

While attending a 20th high school reunion in Alabama, Blain Harrington’s husband disappears. The police are no help. Blain sets out to find the love of his life, only to discover that everything is not as it seems. What starts as a search to recover his lover, morphs into a hunt to find himself.

The first half of Braxton’s debut novel is a bit difficult to read, because the protagonist quickly turns into a whiny, self-absorbed, unlikeable fellow. At the halfway point, the author turns the plot on its head and the reader discovers everything that came before is not what it seemed. That’s when the book becomes interesting.

The story follows Blain’s journey of grief, drugs, booze and sex all the way to the bottom, and then the long climb back up. I’m not sure Blain becomes any more likable in the second half of the book, but the reader understands the character’s motives and hardships. Helping Blain along his journey are two close friends, one a saint and the other a devil, who seem to mirror the battle going on inside Blain’s head.

There are sections of this story that are extremely well written, although sizable portions of it are told through tedious dialog.  Also, I feel the plot lacks imagination. All in all, however, Missing is an interesting read that I can recommend.

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