Out of Mind Review
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When reporter Melanie Jacobs goes missing from HazPrep, a military training camp for journalists, Melanie’s mother asks Robin Ballantyne, Melanie’s colleague (who also happens to be creating a documentary series about people who have gone missing), to help uncover the truth. Robin’s search takes her from London to Cambodia, where she meets Mike Darling, the last person who saw Melanie before she disappeared.

As Robin tries to determine whether there was a crime involved—or whether Melanie just had enough of her fast-paced, high-pressure, dangerous job and decided to leave it all behind—she meets a lot of people who seem to be telling her only part of the truth. Melanie’s boyfriend, Fred, admits that they’d been having problems in their relationship—but he also claims that Melanie had been suffering from post-traumatic stress. When Melanie’s friend comes forward to tell Robin that Fred had threatened Melanie’s life, Robin doesn’t know who to believe. Mike Darling claims that he barely knew Melanie—yet, as it turns out, they’d met before, and Robin believes he’s shipped himself off to work in Cambodia in an attempt to cover something up.

Meanwhile, Robin’s superiors at the Corporation are trying to prevent her from digging into Melanie’s disappearance—and she’s not sure what they’re trying to hide.

Out of Mind definitely grabs readers right from the beginning with its frantically-paced teaser of a prologue. From there, readers are left to follow along with Robin as she tries to figure out what could have possibly happened to Melanie—all the while dealing with the guilt of being a mother-on-the-run, trying to figure out where her relationship with her cop-boyfriend is going (especially now that his ex is in town, trying to get him back), and facing her estranged father who’s camped out in her mother’s home while her mother is out of town. Though the subplots are given more attention than necessary (and they often tend to distract attention from the central plot), the story is still pleasantly perplexing. You’ll never really know who’s the criminal and who’s just another victim—until everything comes together in an unexpected conclusion.

Despite its overgrown subplots, Out of Mind is a carefully-constructed mystery that makes for an intriguing read.

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