Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book to review.
The Missing Man by Nathan Dylan Goodwin
Finally! After being teased about Morton Farrier’s own mysterious family tree – through five previous novels, no less – Morton finally sets aside the time to fill in the spaces on his own family tree, not just names, dates and places, but with the stories of his parents’ lives.
This is also the first of the series to be set in the United States, specifically Massachusetts and California. It doesn’t have any of the neat historical details found in Nathan’s earlier books, but the author can’t be faulted for a lack of historical knowledge about Massachusetts life in the middle of the 20th century and nothing is lost from the story line because of it.
Morton Farrier has been told little about his birth parents. In fact, he didn’t even know he was adopted until he was a teenager. As this latest genealogical mystery, Morton is shocked to discover that his own family search mirrors his professional work, uncovering crime and causing him to be jolted by the same kinds of twists and turns felt by his clients.
Morton Farrier has just married long-time girlfriend Juliette, who surprised him with a honeymoon in Massachusetts, birthplace of the father Morton has never met, Roscoe Joseph Jacklin, born 3 April 1928 in Boston.
Morton soon discovered that his grandfather had died in a house fire in Hyannis Port in 1976; his father disappeared that same year.
Little by little, the story unfolds through flashbacks to the 1940s and Morton’s discoveries, which are both horrifying and gratifying to him.
Although The Missing Man is a much shorter book than the others in this series, there is no lack of complex clues to keep it moving along. Also like the earlier stories, there are several surprise elements, the last of which appears at the tail end of Morton’s Massachusetts visit.
After having met Morton Farrier some time back in the first volume, I definitely feel like he is an old friend. I commiserated with him during the low points of his search and jumped for joy at the high points, finally finishing with quite a sense of satisfaction at the outcome.
I’d have to give this story another 5 star rating. Anyone who loves genealogy and great mysteries will become as addicted to Morton Farrier as I have become.
Each book is a stand-alone story, but together, they read as a detailed personal and professional biography of Morton Farrier. Once again, I highly recommend The Missing Man, along with the first five novels in this series.
All of Nathan Dylan Goodwin’s books are available online at his website and in Kindle format on Amazon.