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Missing by Barry Cummins

Writing.ie | Book Reviews | Non Fiction

By Swirl and Thread

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Missing is not an easy read. The women and children discussed in this book are still very present in the hearts and minds of their many relatives today. Most Irish people over a certain age have a very strong memory of the images of the disappeared, these women who just vanished into thin air. these high-profile cases that were an all too common news item during the 1990s. There was a terror in the air, a tangible fear at the time that a serial killer was on the loose but as the bodies were never discovered, our lives moved on….and while we never really forgot, we put it to the back of our minds.

But for Barry Cummins, this was not the case. For decades he has followed very closely any new developments and leads. He wrote the original edition of Missing in 2003 and now Gill Books have just released the updated version containing new insights and updated facts.

‘Close to 9,500 people are reported missing in Ireland every year. That’s more than five times the annual figure when I wrote the first edition of this book in 2003. The vast majority of those reported missing will eventually be found, but many will not….Amid calls for more action to be taken by the State and the gardai, the devastating effects of the loss of a loved one are evident in the homes and the hearts of Ireland’s missing….’

Missing is most certainly a hard-hitting book with a very comprehensive overview of dates and times. It is obvious, as you turn the pages, that Barry Cummins has gone to great lengths in researching all of these cases, with his own personal frustrations evident from the pages. I did, at times, find sections a little repetitive and I did get a little perplexed with the use of the word murder, when no body has been recovered to date in some of the more high-profile cases, but, as I am clearly not an expert in this area, this could be just my own issue.

Missing is quite an exhaustive, almost encyclopedic study of a very frightening period in Ireland’s history. For the families involved, books like Missing, are the oxygen for them to keep their stories alive and in the public eye, making Missing quite a significant and important book for all.

(c) Swirl and Thread

Order your copy online here.

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