One Boy Missing

One Boy Missing

3.58 (101 ratings by Goodreads)
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It was a butcher on smoko who reported the man stashing the kid in the car boot. He didn't really know whether he'd seen anything at all, though. Maybe an abduction? Maybe just a stressed-out father. Detective Bart Moy, newly returned to the country town where his ailing, cantankerous father still lives, finds nothing. As far as he can tell no one in Guilderton is missing a small boy. Still, he looks deeper into the butcher's story-after all, he had a son of his own once.But when the boy does turn up, silent, apparently traumatised, things are no clearer. Who is he? Where did he come from and what happened to him?For Moy, gaining the boy's trust becomes central not just to the case but to rebuilding his own life. From the wreckage of his grief, his dead marriage and his fractured relationship with his father may yet come a chance for something new. A mystery, a meditation on fatherhood, a harrowing examination of love and loss: a new departure in literary crime from Stephen more

Product details

  • Paperback | 283 pages
  • 152 x 232 x 24mm | 379.99g
  • Text Publishing Co
  • The Text Publishing Company
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • English
  • 1922147273
  • 9781922147271
  • 492,155

Review quote

`In his fifth novel-why haven't we heard of him before in the UK?-Orr gets everything right. Introspection is never overdone, time and place are stunningly portrayed and the pacing perfect....To say more about the plot would be a spoiler for what is a genuinely literary crime novel. Read it yourself. You won't be disappointed!' * Crime Review * `Not your traditional crime novel, One Boy Missing is engaging, moving and sometimes discomforting. Love it when something like this comes along and breaks a few rules.' * Reviewing the Evidence * 'A sensitive and sometimes-moving look at a man drowning in the sorrows of his past, with a prickly relationship with his father and with a child who desperately needs to trust someone...A sweetly told tale of fatherhood and loss.' * Kirkus * 'Totally absorbing, emotionally gripping it is one of those books that sinks its teeth into you and doesn't let go.' -- John Page * Pages & Pages * 'A study in character, masculinity, and specifically the relationships between fathers and sons...deftly written.' * Australian Book Review * 'Stephen Orr spends time drawing out his characters' foibles and the novel is all the better for his attentions.' * Sunday Examiner * 'Stephen Orr's detective is sunnier than Kurt Wallander, but his talkative characters and bitter realism stands comparison with Henning Mankell. He's a sincere storyteller with a flinty eye for the landscape and the sadness that drives good stories forward.' * Dominion Post/Waikato Times/Weekend Press * 'Two of Orr's novels are complex variations on the themes of loss, isolation, the difficulties of putting a self back together. His prose is measured and eloquent, his imaginative reach considerable, and his next novel worth the wait.' * Sydney Morning Herald/Age * 'The novel is not so much a typical crime novel but a more contemplative exploration of the relationship between fathers and sons. Stephen Orr spends time drawing out his characters; foibles and the novel is all the better for his attention.' * Sun Herald * '[Stephen Orr] is adept at partnering highly charged associations with emotionally arid landscapes.' * Adelaide Advertiser * 'Orr creates an evocative landscape, the characterisations are truly wonderful, and because of that, the resolution of the crime at the heart of the novel is less important than seeing how these three can find some kind of peace with who they are and what life has done to them.' -- The Hoopla 'In One Boy Missing, [Orr] realises the slow rhythms of country Australia, its language and landscape...skilfully...It is great holiday reading, whether at home or abroad.' * Australian Bookseller & Publisher *show more

About Stephen Orr

Stephen Orr is the author of several published works of fiction and non-fiction. His novel Time's Long Ruin was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award in 2011. He lives in more

Rating details

101 ratings
3.58 out of 5 stars
5 17% (17)
4 39% (39)
3 34% (34)
2 8% (8)
1 3% (3)

Our customer reviews

One Boy Missing is the fifth novel by Australian author, Stephen Orr. Unable to put behind him the accidental death of his son, Charlie, and his subsequent divorce, Detective Sergeant Bart Moy returns to his rather dreary home town of Guilderton in outback New South Wales. His father, George is ageing and being there to help out is as good an excuse as any to escape the city. When the local butcher sees a young boy being roughly shoved into a car boot, the police are puzzled as no-one in town claims to be missing a child. While apparently only going through the motions with his duties much of the time, this case strikes a chord with Moy and he is determined to get to the bottom of the abduction. Interspersed into Moy's narration of present-day occurrences are the flash-backs to the events surrounding Charlie�????�???�??�?�¢??s death that constantly haunt him. The characters with whom Orr populates his novel will be familiar to many readers: the cranky old bloke (who is especially well-drawn); the nosy neighbour with the casserole offering; the laconic desk sergeant; the belligerent old hermit; the contemptuous young shop assistant; the apathetic cop. The dialogue is completely natural and the interactions between Bart, George and the boy are often funny and sometimes quite poignant. The feel of the country town and its inhabitants is expertly rendered. As well as exploring the father/son relationship, Orr touches on the destruction of reputation, the loss of a loved one, the sense of community and what it takes to become a "local", and loss of independence in ageing. This literary crime novel tootles along at country town pace then rushes headlong into a gripping climax. Fans of Orr's novels will not be disappointed with this one; newcomers to his work will no doubt seek out more of more
by Marianne Vincent
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