Book Review: Missing from the Village by Justin Ling

I received a free digital copy in exchange for an honest review via Penguin Random House Canada and NetGalley.


(From Goodreads)

In 2013, the Toronto Police Service announced that the disappearances of three missing men — Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi, and Majeed Kayhan — from Toronto’s gay village were, perhaps, linked. On paper, an investigation continued for a year, but remained “open but suspended.” By 2015, investigative journalist Justin Ling had begun to put in multiple requests to speak to the investigators on the case. Meanwhile, more men would go missing, and police would continue to deny that there might be a serial killer. On January 18, 2018, Bruce McArthur, a landscaper, would be charged with three counts of first-degree murder. In February 2019, he was convicted of eight counts of first-degree murder.

This extraordinary book tells the complete story of the McArthur murders. Based on more than five years of in-depth reporting, this is also a story of police failure, of how the gay community failed its own, and the story of the eight men who went missing and the lives they left behind. In telling that story, Justin Ling uncovers the latent homophobia and racism that kept this case unsolved and unseen. This gripping book reveals how police agencies across the country fail to treat missing persons cases seriously, and how policies and laws, written at every level of government, pushed McArthur’s victims out of the light and into the shadows.


Whether you were in the heart of Toronto when Andrew Kinsman first went missing, or somewhere not even close – if you know the name Bruce McArthur, you’ll remember him as Toronto’s most recent serial killer (that we know of).

Missing from the Village by Justin Ling is a phenomenal investigative book that gives us not only a close look at the tragic ends of the victims, but sprinkled in-between is Canada’s history with LGBTQ+ rights, past events, and specific situations that have ramifications on what lead to the victims to where they were at the time.

As Justin says in his intro, this is not a true crime book, and take his word for it. This book is much more than that.

I really appreciated his care and attention, and how he explains his involvement and queries for literally years before a serial killer was even hinted at, let alone charged. He gives a great outlook on timelines that are well-detailed.

This book is an emotional one, especially as we get to know who each of the 8 victims are.

If you’re interested in journalism, investigative journalism, or simply interested in this story, this book is for you! I highly recommend it – and this is coming from me, a person who rarely reads nonfiction! So take my word for it when I say that this one is phenomenal!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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