Silence of the Missing

Silence of the Missing

Read Time: 3 Minutes

On the surface, “Silence of the Missing” by Rick R. Reed is a rather enthralling mystery/thriller involving murder, abduction, love and loss. Digging into it a little deeper though is where the cracks start to appear through some plot inconsistencies and where some plot choices require significant leaps that are hard to reconcile.

The story is mostly told from the perspective of Sam Blake. Starting back in the mid-eighties, the young Sam is falling for his boyhood friend Jeb. Together, they’re somewhat shyly exploring their feelings and coming to grips with what it all means.

During the Fourth of July’s fireworks put on by the small town they live in, Jeb goes missing without a trace. Never to be heard from again, until some thirty plus years later a man turns up on Sam’s doorstep, claiming to be Jeb.

In this time, Sam has moved on and married and has a reasonably happy, if dull, life. The arrival of Jeb throws everything Sam knows into question, and when Sam’s husband Marc suddenly vanishes, the stresses Sam is under began to take their toll.

There are, as mentioned, some inconsistencies I made a note of that took me out of the moment. One was where the young Sam comes out to Trudy, his mother, by telling her he’s in love with Jeb. Trudy acknowledges that she knew but wanted Sam to say it first. Then later in the story during a flashback, Trudy mentions to someone while on a date that Sam told her he is gay, even though that doesn’t happen until the following weekend.

The other major note I had was Jeb’s abductor had been in prison for multiple times, yet he hadn’t somehow moved on or escaped the life. Just a little hard to believe, doubly so when early in the book the older Sam talks of other abduction cases where the kids escaped at the first available moment.

Ignoring the inconsistencies, the story is actually engaging and kept me listening and needing to know exactly what the hell happened those thirty-some years ago, and why the sudden reappearance of Jeb in Sam’s life.

It’s not the most complex of plots, as I was piecing together a lot of the parts earlier than I think the author intended, but simplicity can be just as satisfying. More of a pulp-thriller if I were to boil it down to a specific genre.

This is the second book I have listened to recently that is narrated by David Allen Vargo. Like the first, Vargo delivers an excellent and immersive performance in his easy-to-listen-to voice. A range of distinct male and female voices, light effects and music sprinkled throughout, with excellent production and a clean, consistent read.

Ultimately, “Silence of the Missing” is an interesting and accessible thriller that, with a runtime of just under seven hours, can be finished in a few short sittings. While the plot may not withstand intense scrutiny, the surface-level story will draw you into a world of mystery and suspense, making it a great choice for those seeking a riveting and straightforward listen.


Mystery, LGBTQ+, Male Narrator, Abduction, Pulp-Thriller
Scroll to Top