• The Disappearance of Billy Moore

  • Green Marble Mysteries, Featuring Sam Moore, Book 1
  • By: Aaron Paul Lazar
  • Narrated by: George Kuch
  • Length: 7 hrs and 51 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Fifty years ago, Sam Moore's little brother, Billy, vanished without a trace - leaving Sam with guilt that haunts him to this day.

Fifty years with no body, no leads, and no answers. Until now.

When Sam unearths a mysterious green marble buried in his garden, he's shocked to find himself transported back in time - to Billy. Whisked between past and present with no warning, and receiving only glimpses of their childhood, he struggles to unlock the secret of his brother's fate.

But the marble isn't the only secret the ground holds. Further digging uncovers human remains - the legacy of a serial killer who's been targeting one boy every five years since Billy vanished. The next five-year mark is coming up fast. And now Sam's grandson may be in the killer's sights.

Can Sam tie the past with the present and unravel the mystery of his brother's disappearance - before the killer strikes again?

©2015 Aaron Paul Lazar (P)2016 Aaron Paul Lazar

What listeners say about The Disappearance of Billy Moore

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Leisurely, but engaging

This was an audiobook requested directly from the author on Goodreads's lovely Audiobooks group; both description and sample sounded intriguing. And it is a good story, with a good narration: George Kuch is a unique and engaging reader. My only issue with his reading was his delivery of the toddler's voice, which – combined with a certain brattiness to the dialogue as written – made me flinch every time the child came into a scene. The bedtime scene made me want to go get a hold of a certain "children's book" narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. If you know what I mean.

It is not a fast-paced story. The main character is Sam, a doctor who has just retired, and who is addicted to working out doors. And I use the word "addicted" advisedly: it was actually a little worrying that whenever Sam is not outdoors mowing and weeding and planting he is longing to be. The book's entire first hour is an amiable ramble through Sam's gardening, and huge tracts of the rest of the book are very much like it. That knotweed is a tough son of a gun.

Sam's little brother Billy disappeared when they were, respectively, twelve and eleven, and Sam has survived the past fifty years believing that Billy was taken, probably killed, by a seriously unstable neighbor who was a relentless bully back in the day. After all these years Sam still suffers – is his brother still alive somewhere? If so, why has he never at least contacted his family? Did he suffer? What happened It's not something that ever loses its grip on a person.

But there were a few problems as well. I found it a little hard to believe that Sam completely forgets to report something extraordinary Healey – the bully – cries out in extremis; there was a lot going on, but I would think that when someone says that his father killed his mother and made him bury her it might stick in one's memory.

Something that kept throwing me off was the age difference between the two brothers. Again, at the time of the disappearance, Sam was twelve and Billy eleven … but Sam comes off as years older than Billy in the flashbacks. When he disappeared Billy was eleven and Sam was twelve, yet the dynamic was more like little brother with much older brother.

Apparently, from the author's introduction, part of the inspiration of the book was that his wife challenged him to write a book from a killer's point of view, and so chunks of the book explore the thought processes of a psychopath. There were mixed results with that technique. On one hand, he did an excellent job of masking the killer's identity. I thought I was being fairly clever in picking up what I thought were pretty obvious clues. What I didn't realize was that the clues were built to be obvious: it was a trap, for which I fell.

What wasn't so successful was some of the motivation behind the killings. It got a little eye-roll-inducing. The killer's mommy never baked him chocolate chip cookies. So sad. And I find it difficult to swallow that the worst epithet this bad guy could come up with for a man who did something terrible to a woman he loved was "the big jerk".

It also bothered me that though Sam specifically says he fears for his grandson (not the bratty toddler, his older brother), but nothing seems to change in anyone's behavior; no precautions, nothing. (And it really bothered me that the eleven-year-old grandson pulls something off near the end of the book which is unlikely and frankly unnecessarily ridiculous. How on earth could an eleven-year-old using his own laptop track an agent's IP address? Okay, having done a search I find it's apparently it's not impossible, but still dubious. And how would the police not get there first?)

All of that being said, the writing was solid – there were some really nice descriptions, and good characterizations – I very much liked Sam and his wife. I liked the lingering effects that the horror of Billy's disappearance still has on Sam. I liked the eventual solution to the crimes. I liked the time travel device. I wish the pace had been a little less leisurely, but there was a lot to enjoy here.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Keeps You Interested to the End

This listen kept me interested until the end. I had an idea who the killer really was about 1/3 of the way through but the mystery and story were so compelling, I didn't care. I wanted to know what happened to Billy.

Sam and Billy are brothers...and best friends. Until the day Billy disappeared 50 years ago. Sam has gone on with his life (grew up, became a doctor, got married, is now a grandfather) but he still thinks about Billy everyday and wonders what happened to him. He even goes so far as to concoct elaborate scenarios in which Billy is alive. The book opens on the day Sam retires and begins a hefty clean up of his overgrown yard. He finds a marble. He begins to have very vivid dreams about scenes from Billy's life. In the real world, someone is tormenting him about Billy and is closing in on him.

There are definite elements that don't make sense in this book like the fact that it is so obvious someone is targeting him but the police don't watch him, his family, or his house. And in this one neighborhood, so many warped people, is too much to believe. Also, the climax scene has way too much action to be believable. Even with these inconsistencies, though, the story of Sam's bond with his brother is so absorbing that I listened with interest to the end because I wanted to know about Billy and then how Sam would deal with the knowledge.

George Kuch did an excellent job with the narration and was Sam. Nothing he did ever brought me out of the story. I enjoyed his voice and appreciated that he didn't reach for the female characters.

I received this book for free from Audiobook Blast in exchange for an honest review.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Very Enjoyable

I enjoyed this novel it was sad in some areas and surprising in others. The narration was nice to listen to I would read Mr. Lazar novels again. Continue listening to your wife she knows.

2 people found this helpful

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The Disappearance of Billy Moore: Green Marble

"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."

There are times a good mystery grabs hold of you and won't let go. There are many secrets that need to be uncovered and the journey to get there is a rollercoaster ride.


I must say of all the Aaron Paul Lazar books I have listened to this has to be the best. It is now my favorite of his.


The narration was well done. The characters were excellently portrayed.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I do enjoy a good who done it.

I like that the main character is a normal person. Not some super character that never makes a mistake.
The story line makes you reevaluate the suspects many times over, And in the end still gives you a surprise.
I am pleased to hear that the second book is already out. That way I don't have to wait to read the next book."

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator,
or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased
review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com."

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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A "Who Done It" that surprised me, with a twist!

A murder mystery with a little supernatural flair, and a bit of a weird ending. Definitely didn't see that coming. It worked, but didn't seem quite as plausible as other possible endings.

I did enjoy listening to this book. There were only a couple of times when the descriptions seemed to go on a little long, but for the most part, the author does a great job of setting the scene and allowing us to get to know the characters (especially Sam and his wife). I loved their dynamic and it really worked well within the story.

The narration was pretty good for the most part. I did find myself wondering, "Who just said that?" a few times as it was a little difficult to tell who was speaking at certain points. But for most of the book, it was easy to tell.

Really enjoyed listening. It was pretty fast paced and didn't get hung up too much on arbitrary facts or backstory.

Overall, great book in what looks to be a good series!

I received a free copy of this audio book for an honest review.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

a bit of paranormal, touch of humanity Interesting

Would you consider the audio edition of The Disappearance of Billy Moore to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version. The audio version piqued my interest to, though.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

As the book developed, it did. The early sections were developing characters.

What about George Kuch’s performance did you like?

At first I didn't care for the narrator but as I was drawn in I felt more comfortable with Mr Kuch's performance.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The Lovely Bones meets Stand by Me... but not. lol

Any additional comments?

This was a change from my usual reading/listening interests. But enjoyable and satisfying. II emphasized with Sam, as an older male adult. I look forward to the rest of the series.

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com."

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Time Travel Leads To Solving Family Mystery

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is definitely a book I would recommend to others. It is loaded with everything a reader could want to find in a mystery story: Love, hate, joy, sadness, humor and terror !

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Disappearance of Billy Moore?

I don't want to give away the story but I really enjoyed hearing Sam's thoughts about how much he loved and missed his little brother. He is a man who is full of passion and will go to the ends of the earth for someone he loves.

Which scene was your favorite?

When Sam held a camp-out reunion for his childhood friends he showed such tenderness when describing each one. He never forgot the fun they shared growing up together. Even though the men were now "senior citizens" they felt like kids again when they all got together to share their life stories.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When the mystery of Billy's disappearance is finally solved I was so emotionally involved in the story that it almost brought me to tears. A surprise ending doesn't even begin to describe this story. Aaron has a way of giving the reader a part in his books and the reader becomes part of the story.

Any additional comments?

I was given this audio book in exchange for an honest review and I am already starting the next book in the series so I can keep getting to know the wonderful man in this story named Sam. I never expected the wonderful time travel aspect of this story and I was so impressed with the total realism of this exciting selection.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The Dissapearance

Sam is now retired.Working in his garden he digs up a skeleton.He hopes it is that of his missing kid brother that disappeared so many years ago.When it turns out not to be he finds out that his brothers was only one of many kids that have gone missing at specific intervals over the years.While investigating his grandson dissapears and the search is on.George Kutch does a wonderful job narrating.
I was given this book for an honest review.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great mystery with a magical twist

This is an interesting mystery novel with magical realism added in.
The book is about Sam who's younger brother Billy disappeared when he was a child. Now retired Sam is an avid gardener. He first finds a marble that has magical powers and can transport him into his memories of when he was a child and with Billy. Then while in his garden he comes across the bones of a boy. He is convinced that they are Billy's. The police investigate and find that they aren't Billy's but are in fact the bones of of another missing boy. This opens up an investigation of a serial killer for the FBI. Sam all the while is also looking for the killer because he wants to know what happened to Billy and the marble leads him to different clues.
I liked Sam he was a kind family man. He adored his brother and wanted some sort of closure. At times he was a little too persistent but overall I liked him.
Rachel, Sam's wife, was supportive. She was a strong woman. She had MS but didn't let it stop he from doing her everyday activities.
Evan Sam's older grandson was unbelievably intelligent. Really almost unbelievably. I can't remember how old he was but not older than 11 and he tracks IP addresses. That's pretty crazy. But hey kids today! Otherwise he's on ok and kind of on the quiet side.
Timmy is definitely not quiet. That kid never shuts up. He's all "mine" and "I want". Smart kid too though.
The pacing of the book was good. It moved quickly and steadily.
It's a very interesting story and it had a lot of twists that were unexpected and that were not due to the magical aspect of the story which I liked.
I'm interested to see how the marble will come into play in the future novels in this series.
I listened to this novel on audiobook. I thought the narrator fit the atmosphere of the book well. It was told from Sam's point of view and the narrator was perfect for his character. I think he was an excellent choice for this book.

I was gifted a copy of this audiobook by the author. This is an unbiased review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Debbie McLean
  • Debbie McLean
  • 06-18-20

blooming fantastic

what a blooming fantastic audiobook, it was so gripping I didn't want to stop listening. Brilliantly written by Aaron Paul Lazar and narrated by George Kuch xxxxx

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Profile Image for Tony Bough
  • Tony Bough
  • 05-04-16

An amazing thriller.

What did you like most about The Disappearance of Billy Moore?

I don't think I've ever read a thriller with such a good start to the story and character. The author eases us into a very visually descriptive book. Sam is a great character. We get to know the main characters family, it's great!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sam. He is a doctor, or was, with none of the pretension that can go with Dr based characters. He's a nice man, a family man but also a very intelligent man. A really good character that you really get to know and like.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I really liked the sense of pace that you get. To start with I felt relaxed when listening to it. I was getting to know someone, then you start to also see the unfolding mystery and it draws you into the thriller element. It's an amazing journey and there's no one scene to pick. It's like picking your favourite bit of a painting, you can't, you have to see the whole thing.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Towards the beginning when he's playing with his grandkids at his BBQ. It felt like one of those memories of a special time spent with family and friends. It was a snapshot of everything that is Sam.

Any additional comments?

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com.