Told in both flashback and real time, Traces of Absence moves between Corrie's disappearance in 2005 and the ensuing four years up until 2009. It also flashes back further to key events in Dee's past which slowly unravel her back story and how she and her daughter had come to be so distant from each other. I thought the characterisation was really strong, with all the main characters well drawn and three dimensional.
I will admit I was surprised by this book - I had a preconceived idea of how the plot was going to pan out and it turned out to be quite different. I was drawn into the story right from the start and felt Dee's pain, but could also empathise with Corrie (although I didn't completely understand the choices she made). I think it was a realistic and moving portrayal of a mother/daughter relationship, particularly when it suffers such a traumatic event as theirs did.
Overall a moving and suspenseful story that I enjoyed very much.