The Missing Ones(Detective Lottie Parker #1) by Patricia Gibney

missing-onesAbout the Book

When a woman’s body is discovered in a cathedral and hours later a young man is found hanging from a tree outside his home, Detective Lottie Parker is called in to lead the investigation. Both bodies have the same distinctive tattoo clumsily inscribed on their legs. It’s clear the pair are connected, but how?

The trail leads Lottie to St Angela’s, a former children’s home, with a dark connection to her own family history. Suddenly the case just got personal.

As Lottie begins to link the current victims to unsolved murders decades old, two teenage boys go missing. She must close in on the killer before they strike again, but in doing so is she putting her own children in terrifying danger?

Lottie is about to come face to face with a twisted soul who has a very warped idea of justice.


The Missing Ones by Patricia Gibney begins with a dark prologue set in the 70s at a children’s home run by the church. The first chapter then starts on the present day with the murder of a woman at a cathedral. Detectives are soon called to the scene and that is when we are introduced to Detective Lottie Parker. The murder scene is not the only bizarre thing in this case. Soon enough, the body counts starts increasing, matching tattoos are discovered and the detectives start making connections between the victims.

One thing that stood out for me in this book was how detailed the investigation was. The author didn’t just gloss over the details but she went deeper. We were privy to each piece of evidence collected. We even got to know the detectives thought processes, daily discussion and hence the reason behind their actions. The story is narrated over a period of days from the first murder to the last one and each day; the picture becomes clearer as clues come together until the case is solved. I think that fans of cop procedural or crime thrillers will really love this aspect of the book.

The story has multiple narrations. We get to learn more about the case through different characters’ perspectives. Detective Lottie’s is the main perspective but her chapters alternate with other narrations hence giving a deeper insight into each character and the progression of the case. I liked the lead detective in this case. She was far from being one-dimensional. Lottie came with baggage. She was a widow with three children and a past that included a number of personal struggles. She was also being haunted by a personal, unsolved case. However, she was smart, feisty and determined. I liked how the author portrayed her personal and work life hence creating a well-balanced, realistic character. I also liked her partner Boyd although I wish there was more to him than just a few glimpses through the chapters.  One of the support characters who I really liked was Father Joe. I remember Annie (The Misstery) mentioned the priest to me before I read the book. I kept wondering about that until I finally met him when I started reading the book. Father Joe is definitely not the usual kind of priest and I really don’t think that I will ever look at priests the same way again lol.

So there is a lot that I can say about this book. It is fast-paced with a number of twists and well-developed characters. The story is brilliant and unique. I liked the fact that it sort of had a Da Vinci Code vybe. The whole involvement of the church and the priests added to the darkness, intrigue and definitely fascination (looking and winking at you father Joe) of this brilliant crime thriller. The book is huge but it is not boring or tiresome. It was definitely worth the ride.

I recommend The Missing Ones by Patricia Gibney to all fans of this genre.