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SOMETHING MISSING by Matthew Dicks [Review]

If you’ve ever watched the TV show Monk (with Tony Shaloub), I want you to imagine Mr. Monk using his powers of observation for evil. Hilarious, right? That’s the basic premise for Something Missing, a book about a criminal suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder. Well, “evil” and “criminal” might be a little harsh. Martin really isn’t a bad person, he just makes his living robbing homes of things the owners will never miss—a third of a bottle of laundry detergent, a few canned vegetables, toilet paper, and the occasional heirloom. In his mind, he’s not “stealing,” just “acquiring” these things from his “clients.” In fact, he considers his clients practically friends, as he knows everything about them since he spends so much time in their homes while they are away at work. It’s this feeling of friendship that will ultimately change his life, and it all begins the day he accidentally knocks Cindy Clayton’s electric toothbrush into the toilet.

Something Missing is a charming story that I absolutely fell in love with. Its unique premise and main character were so refreshingly different than anything else I’ve read recently. Something Missing gives you a peek into Martin’s mind, and there’s a fascinating method to his madness. His rationale for targeting each particular client is brilliant and had me chuckling to myself. But more than that, I actually came to care about Martin and was really rooting for him. I found it impossible not to like what has to be the nicest criminal in history.

There’s also a sense of tension running through the book as you worry that Martin will eventually be caught in someone’s home. This meant that I simply could not put this book down until I found out how Martin’s story would end.

Besides Monk, I would also compare Something Missing to another one of my favorite books, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. If you like either of these, I highly recommend you check out Something Missing.

Quotes from Something Missing:

Martin found the Pearls’ pantry well stocked with vegetables and selected two cans of peas, a can of corn, and two large cans of whole, peeled potatoes. Had the supply of vegetables been low, he would have bypassed this item on his list, adhering to Rule #1:

If the missing item will be noticed, don’t acquire it.

Certain items could be taken from a home without anyone ever noticing, particularly if one is familiar enough with the homeowner’s inventory to determine how long a item has been in stock. A bottle of Liquid Plumber, for example, should never be taken during its first month on the shelf, because the homeowner has likely purchased it for a specific reason.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars | Publisher: Broadway | Pages: 304 | Source: Purchased | Buy on Amazon [2]

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