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The Missing Boy

Rachel Billington

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Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

The disappearance of a teenage boy tears a family apart in this poignant, highly topical and searching story.

Thirteen-year-old Dan hasn't returned home and his parents don't know whether he's run away, been kidnapped - or something worse. For one family the world as they know it is about to fall apart. At first Dan is sleeping rough, revelling in his independence. But with every passing day, his world is becoming darker and more frightening. A hundred thousand children run away each year. Most come back. But will Dan?

Dan's mother, Eve, a drama teacher, can't focus; his father, Max, only knows how to flee his own demons; and his aunt, Martha, while trained to control difficult situations as a prison officer, struggles to hold it all together. Dan's story is told against a grown-up drama of love and shifting loyalties and two sisters who were best friends until Max came between them. Gradually, all three begin to recognise just how badly they have failed the missing boy.

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Rachel Billington

Rachel Billington has published twenty novels and nine books for children, as well as several non-fiction works. She is also a regular journalist, feature writer and reviewer. She is co-editor of Inside Time, the national newspaper for prisoners and a Vice-President of English PEN. She has four children and five grandchildren and lives in London and Dorset.

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