Missing

Missing, by Sam HawkenMexico is not just a land of brutal murder, it is also a hotbed for kidnapping.  Migrants are held hostage by the very people they’ve paid to help them get across the border, ransomed to their families.  Women and girls are taken for sex trafficking.  And sometimes, sometimes… people simply disappear.

Jack Searle is a straightforward man, working as a contractor in Laredo and doing his best to raise the teenaged daughters of his late wife.  He does what he can to indulge them, and when the elder asks for permission to cross the border into Mexico and attend a concert with her cousin, he reluctantly agrees.

She never comes back.

An extraordinary person, a hero, would storm the streets of Nuevo Laredo to find this missing girl.  Jack is not such a man, but that doesn’t stop him from doing it all the same.  With the help of a police inspector whose police force has been dissolved by the federal government for corruption, Jack plunges into a world he never knew existed — an angry, violent world of sex and killing and torture — because anything is better than acknowledging he’ll never see his stepdaughter again.  Even if he dies trying.


Nominated for the Crime Writers’ Association Steel and Gold Daggers.

“Hawken’s understated but razor-sharp prose never gets in the way of the building tension. . . . Powerful stuff.” — Booklist

“Hawken trades in gritty realism” — Irish Times

“Haunting … recalls the best of James M. Cain” — Financial Times

“A grim tale of foreboding … explosive.” — Alastair Mabbott, The Herald

“A fascinating, tense and engaging read that draws you into the lives of the characters with consummate ease until you reluctantly turn that final page.” — Crimesquad

“Raw and gritty.” — Shortlist


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