Review of Missing People

Missing People by Brandon Graham                          Book cover image from




Missing People is  the heartbreaking  story of the Messenger family unable to carry on after eldest child Etta vanishes.  In the years following Etta’s disappearance, her family and her boyfriend’s wounds are still fresh and angry.

Meg, the mother, is a house cleaner who has conversations with Etta as she works.  Charlie, the father, goes on searching for Etta aided by the original investigator, Ruther. Townes, the brother, tries to mask his pain behind meditation and yoga. And lastly Newton, Etta’s boyfriend, a disabled Afghanistan war veteran has anger issues he can’t overcome.

On the sixth anniversary of Etta disappearance, Meg asks Charlie, Townes, Newton and Ruther to a memorial service for Etta.  She hopes the service will allow everyone to finally start the healing process.  Instead as the day draws near each affected person without being aware of it, unexpectedly heads down a path that could either break them or finally lead to healing.

Initially the story pulled me in but as it reached the second act, the heartache thickened and I struggled continuing the novel.  Thankfully in the third act the story recovered.  Missing People does not solve what happened to Etta but instead  the story’s events lead to a catharsis for her family and Newton who got left behind.


Review of Missing People by Brandon Graham