Copyright 2018 by Gary L. Pullman
Publisher's Weekly's review of The Missing offers praise for Sarah 2007 Langan's novel, “a powerhouse creepfest that recalls, in the best way possible, the early work of Stephen King.” (Most critics and readers do find King's earlier fiction superior to his later work). The Missing also offers Langan's own take on the otherwise worn trope of the zombie: “Rather than stick to zombie lit convention (mindless undead, endless chases), Langan invests her plague with a sinister intelligence of unknown origin.”
She also offers somewhat subdued descriptions of the revenants, with “just enough horrific details to allow the truly gruesome scenes to play out unbound in the imagination,” a technique for generating terror, as opposed to horror. However, the reviewer considers the novel a “sophomore effort,” which suggests The Missing isn't quite the “superior achievement” required for a Bram Stoker Award, even if it did manage to beat such other nominees for the prize, including some veterans, as Bruce Boson (The Guardener's Tale), Stephen King's son and protege, Joe Hill (Heart-Shaped Box), Erika Mailman (The Witch's Trinity), and Dan Simmons (The Terror).
Langan scored another Bram Stoker Award win for her 2009 novel, Audrey's Door. Unfortunately, either the book 2009 reviews of the novel written are no longer available on the Internet or the award winner was passed over by professional critics. There are a few reviews of the book online, but none by established, recognized critics or national publications of record and repute.