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Paperback The Missing Person Book

ISBN: 1400031389

ISBN13: 9781400031382

The Missing Person

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

When art history grad student Lynn Fleming finds out that Wylie, her younger brother, has disappeared, she reluctantly leaves New York and returns to the dusty Albuquerque of her youth. What she finds when she arrives is more unsettling and frustrating than she could have predicted. Wylie is nowhere to be found, not in the tiny apartment he shares with a grungy band of eco-warriors, or lingering close to his suspiciously well-maintained Caprice. As...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Nice, offbeat debut novel

Most books are bought and read for just a few reasons: you like the author or you like the subject/genre. Occasionally, however, you buy a book on a mere whim; such was the case for me and Alix Ohlin's The Missing Person. All I really knew about the author came from a talk I saw her give on mysteries on public television; I decided to check out what she'd written and the description made me think this might be worth reading; if nothing else, it would expand my horizons a little bit. The Missing Person is the story of a summer in the life of the narrator, Lynn Fleming. Lynn is a graduate student living in New York, but she is persuaded to go back to her home town of Albuquerque by her mother, who is concerned about Lynn's brother, Wylie. Wylie's disappeared, but, then again, he's a rather flaky individual, so it's not really cause for alarm. Wylie appears soon enough, but not before Lynn meets some of his friends, in particular Angus, with whom she soon develops a romantic interest. Angus and Wylie are members of a loose confederation of environment pranksters; their efforts create bits of havoc, but are not really harmful. Meanwhile, Lynn, who is pursuing an art degree, seeks information about a mysterious painter from the 1970s named Eva Kent. Who is the missing person of the title? The obvious choice is Wylie, although his being missing is only the initial motivation for Lynn's excursion. It could also be the enigmatic Eva Kent, who offers Lynn a chance at academic redemption. Maybe it's Lynn's late father, whose absence continues to be felt by the entire family. Finally, it could be Lynn, herself: there seems to be a part of her that's missing, without which she seems cast adrift and somewhat depressed; in a way, the novel is about her trying to find that missing part. This novel is not perfect, but it is pretty good, especially for a first novel, so I will give it a low five stars. If there is a flaw, it's that the peripheral characters lack depth at times (particularly in the case of the brothers Donny and Darren Michaelson); then again, this may be more because of Lynn's perceptions than any deficiencies in Ohlin's writing. Part comedy, part tragedy, part romance, part mystery and part something else, this book doesn't fit into any category, which is part of makes it good. If you want to break away from genre fiction, this is worth reading.

Really good and really different

I always like coming of age books, and I'm rarely disappointed by them, even though I generally know what's coming. This isn't your basic coming of age story, though you certainly see Lynn go through some rites of passage having to do with loss and commitment and ever-shifting family ties. I liked what was different about this book--the world of deeply committed environmental activists acting in not-always-brilliant ways, the strong sense of place (Albuquerque), the subtle humor that pops up unexpectedly, the supporting cast of characters, unlike any I've ever known. I enjoyed the mother/daughter dynamic, and the brother/sister dynamic a lot. Some subplots, and some of Lynn's sudden convictions seemed a little out of left field to me at times, but I was won over by Lynn, and happy to follow her to the last page. I look forward to Ohlin's next book.

An Enjoyable Read

Alix Ohlin's THE MISSING PERSON is narrated by a plucky, poised, highly intelligent graduate student, Lynn Fleming. Lynn's knack for telling story and her wry humor kept me turning pages. She leaves NYC and her lover, a married professor, for her hometown, Albuquerque, to search for her brother, who is involved with an ecoterrorism group. One of the ecoterrorists becomes her new lover, and finding her brother is easy, but bonding with her brother proves difficult. Even as characters and situations get wacky, Ohlin remains confidently in control, and she serves up powerful climactic revelations and epiphanies. An enjoyable read.


Incredibly witty, soulful, a great debut novel all around. A friend recommended this and it was really spectacular.

strong family drama

Three years ago Lynn Fleming left Albuquerque to study art history as a graduate student in New York. Her mom notices her scorn towards her dusty hometown as if Brooklyn and Manhattan are the world. Mom is concerned that her son Wylie cut off his phone and refuses to talk to her. Mom, a travel agent, informs her not listening daughter that she booked a flight for her via Minneapolis to come home to talk sense into Wylie who has been abducted by eco-freaks. Knowing her research grant is gone and her affair with her married faculty advisor finished though he offers a final Paris fling, Lynn returns to Albuquerque. Finding her younger brother proves easy. Wylie's eco-criminal crony Angus and Lynn begin an affair as she is attracted to his upbeat charm until she begins seeing a dangerous side to her lover as she becomes involved with the risky actions of Wylie's eco-terrorist group. She even makes progress on her dissertation when she finds two works left by her late father painted by a 1970s local artist Eva Kent who has tragic ties to her parents. THE MISSING PERSON is a well written character study as much as a mystery that hooks the audience the moment mom refuses to take no as an answer from her daughter. Lynn holds the tale together several intriguing subplots converge through her as she struggles with the past that seems to have imposed a will on her present and immediate future. Don't let the title fool you, this is not an amateur sleuth investigation, but instead a must read bittersweet tale for fans who appreciate a strong family drama. Harriet Klausner
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