The synopsis to this book is captivating, after all having your six month old baby snatched is horrific but how does a mother react when eighteen years later a young woman turns up claiming to be that daughter?
Simone Porter is a successful journalist, married to Matt, a doctor, their lives would be enviable if it weren’t for the fact that their daughter was still missing, eighteen years later following her abduction in a local park. Despite a massive police operation, no trace of Helena but then a girl called Grace turns up telling Simone she’s her missing daughter and the couple dare to hope that she really is.
Unfortunately I didn’t really believe in this story which meant that I read it with far more critical eyes than it is designed for. This is a real problem for psychological thrillers, especially now the stakes have been set so high. Lots of readers really enjoyed this book, and I can see that if you’ve bought into the storyline then it will make for an action-packed read but, and here’s the clincher, if like me, you stop early on and think that you simply don’t believe that anyone would make the decisions that Simone made, then as the story unfolds because it is built on a shaky premise, everyone’s actions are viewed from the same angle.
In the end because of the stance taken early on I had a problem with most aspects of this book. I didn’t believe any of the characters, which isn’t the same as disliking them, they simply did not behave in a credible way. The plot unfolds with twists and turns which were either so far-fetched they were ridiculous or were sign-posted from far away. This wasn’t helped that I’d guessed a big part of the ending fairly early on and in this instance it ruined any of the surprises that were to come. Maybe this is because I’ve overdosed lately on the genre and need to give it a break.
All in all this was a disappointing read as I loved the author’s previous book The Girl With No Past, and having read other reviews of this book, I am definitely in the minority in my opinions. This is a psychological thriller with some seriously nasty characters and the book quickly takes quite a disturbing turn. There are excerpts from an unknown man which literally made my flesh crawl – be warned if you are of a sensitive nature despite the seemingly domestic nature of the premise, this delves into the psyche of some seriously depraved people.
I’d like to thank the publishers Book Outure for allowing me to read a copy of this book before the publication date of today, 5 February 2016.