“The Missing” by Jane Casey
The Garristown Village Book Club recently read The Missing, a crime fiction novel by author Jane Casey. The main character is Sarah Finch, a teacher in a secondary school in England. One sunny afternoon when Sarah and her brother Charlie were young children, Charlie went out to play and never came back. Now one of […]
The Garristown Village Book Club recently read The Missing, a crime fiction novel by author Jane Casey. The main character is Sarah Finch, a teacher in a secondary school in England. One sunny afternoon when Sarah and her brother Charlie were young children, Charlie went out to play and never came back. Now one of the students from the school where she teaches disappears and Sarah is the one who discovers the body. Our book club gave it 4 out of 5 stars and considered it one of our favourite books so far and one of the only books on which all of us shared the same opinions. It was a great read with plenty of twists, emotional highs and lows and some humour too. We enjoyed all the characters and how real they were. It was funny to read about the local librarian who preferred not to look like the stereotypical librarian but instead wore skimpy tops and talked ninety to the dozen!
Jane Casey was born and grew up in Dublin. She studied English in Oxford and also Anglo-Irish literature in Trinity College, Dublin. She now lives in London with her husband who is a criminal barrister. The Missing was her first novel. She has since written six books in the Maeve Kerrigan series about a London detective and she has also written three books in the Jess Tenant series for young adults. Jane was my class mate in secondary school. She was witty and animated and had a great way with words. Lots of fun. She was usually trying to make me laugh during class! English was her favourite class and she consistently got high grades for her essays. So it was no huge surprise when, years later, I started to see her books appearing on library shelves and in book shops. Several television appearances soon followed as well as features in newspapers and nominations for awards such as the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards. Just last month, in America, she won the Mary Higgins Clark award at the prestigious Edgars for The Stranger You Know, the fourth Maeve Kerrigan novel.
Throughout the story of The Missing I could see that Jane got some inspiration from our school days and I particularly enjoyed and identified certain aspects such as the girls’ school on the hill with the hockey pitch and the high-walled garden which was not overlooked which made it the perfect place for those who wanted to have a sneaky cigarette at lunchtime!
Delighted to see Jane doing so well I decided to try and contact her on Facebook. Despite her busy schedule and the fact that she was finishing off her last book, she replied enthusiastically and had this to say about her experience of writing The Missing:
“I wrote The Missing because the story stayed in my head for two years and I realised the only thing to do was to write it down! I was working as a children’s books editor at the time and started getting up early to write before work. I am not a morning person so it was a huge struggle, but somehow I did it. My goal was to finish it – no more than that. Once it was done, I decided to see if I could get a literary agent, but I didn’t think The Missing would ever be published. I had a few rejections before I found my agent, who sold it to a two-book deal and went on to sell rights around the world. I followed The Missing with The Burning, the first book in a series about a young female police detective in London, Maeve Kerrigan (and with a name like that, you’d better believe she has Irish parents). I’ve just finished the sixth Maeve Kerrigan book and I’m starting on number seven! I write full-time (well, as far as children allow it) and I will always love The Missing because it started me off on a new career that is hugely fulfilling and a lot of fun.”
Congratulations to Jane on such a successful career so far and plenty more successes to come, no doubt.
By Yvonne Boylan
After the Fire is the sixth book in the Maeve Kerrigan series. It will be out in June.
Hide and Seek is a book for young adults. It is the third book in the Jess Tenant series
About a Missing Teenager. It will out in Ireland and in the UK this August.