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Gus and the Missing Boy (Troy Hunter, Wakefield)

Gus Green is his injured mother’s primary carer after she was involved in a car accident; he is also gay and overweight. A true crime fanatic with aspirations of one day being a crime-solving detective, he finds a missing persons website, where he spots a digitally aged photo of a missing child, Robin Winter, that looks unnervingly like him. With his best friends, Shell and Kane, Gus sets out to uncover the truth about what really happened to the missing boy, and if he is, in fact, him. Gus is an extremely anxious character, and the book thoughtfully includes a content warning for descriptions of self-harm and discussions on depression and anxiety, along with contact details for services. Kane and Shell could have used more depth and development, but they are inherently loveable and add richness to the story. The novel starts strong; however, as the story progresses, it becomes more unbelievable because of certain plot holes and convenient twists that make little sense. However, the heart of the novel drives the story and makes the reader want to keep turning the page to solve the crime alongside the characters. Troy Hunter has previously published short stories, but Gus and the Missing Boy is his first novel; overall, it’s a fun story that piques the reader’s interest from start to end.

Books+Publishing reviewer: Bohdi Byles is a queer, Indigenous freelance reviewer with a background in bookselling, library work, publishing, and writing. Books+Publishing is Australia’s number-one source of pre-publication book reviews.


Category: Friday Unlocked reviews Reviews