I was delighted to be offered a copy of this book by the author saying “I’m asking you because this one has a similar ‘feel’ to The Cold Cold Sea. It’s another psychological thriller, about a couple who are in the process of adopting a child, but things aren’t all what they seem…” My interest was piqued having thoroughly enjoyed The Cold Cold Sea.
This book gets into its cracking pace early on, in fact soon after Rick and Ella attend an adoption party to meet children who are ready to be adopted. Things aren’t straightforward though, Rick has fixed ideas on the type of child he wants to adopt; a young white boy without any health issues whereas Ella is hoping to find a child she feels that magical connection with. Adoption isn’t an easy process to go through and Ella is desperate to keep their social worker Linda on side and it doesn’t take much imagination to imagine the stress the couple are under.
Meanwhile Amanda Waters, mother to young Jaden is in a bit of dilemma, she’s bored within her marriage and yet her method of alleviating the boredom has resulted in consequences which she hadn’t bargained for… and then Amanda’s husband goes missing, setting off a chain of event which threaten everything she holds dear.
This isn’t your average psychological thriller where the terror slowly builds, I could only watch horrified as some, but in no means all, of the ramifications of decisions made early on came to pass. It is an original take on what appears to be two fairly familiar stories but the way in which the two become intertwined yet still remaining clear and separate is something I could only marvel at. This is helped by the clear and believable characters that have been created even if some of the decisions were questionable I could square them with the circumstances.
This was a gripping tale with the pace fast and furious, yet remaining clear because we get both Ella’s and Amanda’s stories with minimal navel gazing as they grapple with the way their lives are turning out. The alternate viewpoints clearly marked with the day each chapter refers to (thankfully all moving in a linear fashion) means this was one of those books where ‘one more chapter, after all they are short’ turned into marathon reads as I wanted to know what on earth was going to happen next! Both women have moral dilemmas and don’t always act with the principles you’d hope mothers would, but hey there wouldn’t be much of a story if they did! I have to admit my feelings about both women altered backwards and forwards through the book, a sign that the author had real control over them and was able to reveal or hide aspects of their personalities to suit the current chapter.
This was a hugely enjoyable read, entertaining and one where you need to buckle in and just enjoy the ride – be warned it may take you to entirely unexpected places.
Chosen Child will be published on 15 February 2016 and is available at a bargain price!