EXCERPT: I flicked through a white envelope – bank statement – brown envelope – bill – white, with the name of a loan company on the front that I tossed into the bin without opening. Then I came to another brown one. Maybe it was the fact that my name and address had been written in block capital letters that piqued my curiosity. Most of my mail had computer generated labels or window envelopes that showed my postal details.
I slipped my forefinger underneath the flap and ripped it open.
As I slid the photo out, I didn’t really register what I was seeing initially. Yes, of course, I knew it was of my husband, but I couldn’t comprehend what that meant for a moment.
It was in colour, printed on good quality paper, but those details barely registered at first.
I frowned, my heart slamming to a sudden stop. What the hell? Why would someone send me a photo of Mason?
But before I could even think of possible answers, my gaze was already drinking in the details. His hair was longer than I’d ever seen it before, curling up at the edges of his shirt collar. A beard covered a face that was thin and gaunt. He sat at an outside café table, holding a newspaper across his chest.
I brought the photo closer to my eyes, studied the name of the newspaper, read the date on it. Two days earlier. It felt like my brain was melting inside my head. That couldn’t be right. Mason was dead.
ABOUT THIS BOOK: The Widow. The Secret. The Liar.
On a routine flight from Africa to England, Dr Mason Palmer is tragically killed when the light aircraft he’s travelling on crashes and disappears in dense bushland.
Ten months later, Nicole Palmer is still trying to block out the grief of her husband’s sudden death. Until one morning she receives a photo of Mason through the post, along with a cryptic message. A message only he could’ve written.
But when Nicole tries to find out if Mason is really alive and what actually happened to him in Africa, everyone she turns to for answers ends up dead.
Determined to find the truth, Nicole uncovers a conspiracy that spans the globe, and discovers there are powerful people who are prepared to kill to keep her silent.
Who’s lying? Who’s watching Nicole? And can she expose their murky secrets before they catch up with her?
MY THOUGHTS: The Disappeared crosses the borders of so many genres, that I simply don’t know where to start! I wasn’t expecting an action-thriller when I picked this up. And although not my favorite genre, and I had to suspend my belief at some of the ‘coincidences’ that occurred, I enjoyed this and powered through it in record time for an audiobook.
Sibel Hodge is an animal and human rights activist, and in The Disappeared has brought to my attention an injustice of which I was previously unaware – child slave labour in the harvesting of the cacao bean for making chocolate. Hodge has clearly done her research into this topic, and I did wonder if she has based her novel loosely on real events. The treatment of the slave children had me in tears.
Her main theme is wrapped up in a mystery concerning Nicole’s husband, Mason, who was declared dead following the crash of the flight he was on in the African jungle. Ten months on, she receives a photo of him taken with a newspaper only days old. . .
While this is not my favorite of Hodge’s books, it is a story that needed to be written, and needs to be read. If you like a lot of action, and have an interest in human right’s stories, then I heartily recommend The Disappeared.
The narration on the audiobook was excellent.
THE AUTHOR: Sibel Hodge writes in an eclectic mix of genres, and is a passionate human and animal rights advocate.
DISCLOSURE: I listened to the audiobook of The Disappeared by Sibel Hodge, narrated by Henrietta Meire, and published by Tantor Audio, via Overdrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbooksday.wordpress.com
This review and others are also published on Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads.com