Missing is Sam Hawken’s third release from respected UK publisher, Serpent’s Tail. Following on the heels of critically acclaimed work like The Dead Women of Juárez and Tequila Sunset, Missing returns readers to the crime-soaked borderlands between Mexico and Texas.
Hawken’s previous novels were nominated for Crime Writers Association Daggers, and so was Missing. The novel was nominated for two Dagger Awards, the Steel Dagger (Best Thriller) and the Gold Dagger (Best Crime Novel of the Year). Readers worldwide have experienced Sam Hawken’s hard-hitting crime fiction. Missing roars ferociously into those readers’ hands, granting no mercies and taking no prisoners.
A paperback bestseller in the UK!
Jack Searle, an American widower, is bringing up his two stepdaughters, Lidia and Marina, alone in the border town of Laredo.
One night, Marina crosses the border into Mexico to go to a concert with her cousin Patricia in Nuevo Laredo — a dangerous city, controlled by drug cartels and devastated by violence and corruption. They never come back.
A frantic hunt begins, with Jack and Inspector Gonzalo Soler leading the way. But soon the whole police force is suspended due to endemic corruption, the army takes over the city and missing girls are forgotten. Jack and Gonzalo must take the law into their own hands, but in their efforts to find the girls they uncover truths about Nuevo Laredo that neither of them ever wanted to face.
Jack Searle rose just as the first pink shades of morning colored the sky over Laredo, Texas. He did not shower, but brushed his teeth and checked his stubble. He wore a goatee that was starting to grow a little shaggy and there were gray hairs in it that sometimes he dyed. Tonight he would shave things back into shape.
Breakfast was cornflakes and milk, buttered toast and orange juice. A few strips of bacon would have been welcome, or a couple links of sausage, but the doctor said beware of nitrites. The cholesterol was no good, either. Jack was 57 years old.
He took a moment to check in on the girls in their rooms. They were both asleep and would probably stay that way until ten. Even on days when he wasn’t working, Jack woke early and could not sleep in even if he wanted to. Maybe once when he was a teenager he might have slept an extra hour or two, but he could not remember anymore.
It was still cool outside when he closed and locked the front door. Jack took a moment to pull up a few sprouting dandelions on the lawn and tossed them onto the driveway. Like his goatee, the grass was looking unkempt. That was something to look into on the weekend.
Jack went to his truck. It was a Ford F-250 that started out white but had picked up dirt and scrapes and dings over time so that it was shabbier than anything else. He took good care of it and the engine ran well, so it didn’t matter that it was almost ten years old. It dwarfed the little Galant that shared the driveway. Jack noticed that the Marine Corps sticker on the cab’s back window was starting to peel.
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