The blurb says
A blighted memory. A child who seems never to have existed. A watcher in the shadows.
This book blurb made the book sound so much more exciting than it really was, it even starts that way. Evie is attacked, she has a head injury, she was in coma for 3 days and has lost her memory but she remembers her own name and her daughter, Angel. But there is no proof that the child existed, other than Evie’s sketchy memory. So the police investigation begins with Abbey Rose at the helm and Jack Bentley assisting. There is a voice inside Evie which says not to trust anyone. She is recognised by her school friend Charlotte Harrison as Jen Russell. And it leaves the police confused as to why did Jen become Evie? So far so good.. There is a bit of suspense, a bit of a mystery. My mind starts racing with what could be…
Some days later, there is a 12 year old found dead in the fields by Charlotte and the police start linking crimes. During the investigation, it does come out that fifteen year ago, there was a child Leah Deming who disappeared when Jen was babysitting. My mind is still racing…
Leah also had an elder sister Casey, who later, committed suicide by falling into the ocean. My mind races faster…
But then it stops…
This is the barebones of the story… Sounds exciting right?? But it isn’t. The book which should have caused my blood racing, was extremely placid, where it should have been stormy, it was calm.
What I didn’t like
The story is told in the voices of Charlotte and Jack and occasionally Casey from the past.. The chapters don’t exactly flow smoothly.
The last few pages should have caused increased adrenaline flow but there are so many gaps in the explanation. If there is murder and missing children, I want it to be explained clearly how it was done, wrapped nicely with a bow on the top.
It is described as a dark psychological thriller, but making a character have mental health problems with no help sought, does not make it a dark thriller but a sorry figure of that character.
I was left more confused and discouraged by the way everything was described. There were long descriptions about the woods to the point I stopped reading because I didn’t know why the characters were going into the woods, because they were not actively searching for Angel
Forensics could not a find a single trace of the child in the house. Not a single cell in the drain pipes?? Impossible, no criminal is that thorough and certainly not the guilty in this book, they are pretty dumb. Forensics took the house apart, yet missed a child’s drawing, fallen behind the refrigerator. Even the police investigators feel disorganised.
The characters were not etched properly, I couldn’t connect with any, the description of the past school life is like mean girls of high school.
Where is the suspense and thrill in this book, everything is told to me rather than described.. Am I supposed to surmise and imagine how the crimes could have taken place??
What I did like
Debbie Howells writes well, long descriptions of the sea and the woods.
There is a bit of fantastical supernatural which gives little hope.
She does try to make Evie strong. Her beginning of the book was fast and filled with mystery. Her debut the bones of her was pretty good, but this falls short, wayyy short. It needs good editing.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and publisher Kensington and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
My rating : 2.5 stars
About the Author
International bestselling novelistDebbie Howells is the author of The Bones of You, her debut thriller, and The Beauty of the End. While in the past she has been a flying instructor, the owner of a flower shop, and a student of psychology, she currently writes full-time. Debbie lives in West Sussex with her family.
When they find Evie Sherman, battered and left for dead in a maize field, with no recollection of who she is. After three days in a hospital bed, the fog in her head begins to lift, and she remembers two names: her own, and that of her three-year-old daughter, Angel. Evie is convinced that Angel is in grave danger. But the police can find no evidence of the girl’s existence.
Even in the depths of her amnesiac darkness, Evie knows her daughter’s voice, her chameleon eyes, every precious hair on her head. So how can she be losing her mind?
As Evie’s grasp on reality slips away, she finds herself haunted by the same three-word warning, which she hears over and over: Trust no one. But whom is she being warned against? The police? The doctors and nurses? Or the mysterious figure who’s been watching her, who knows all her secrets, has a hidden agenda—and perhaps their own twisted version of reality.
Publication date : 27th June 2017
Publisher : Kensington
Language : English
Available on Amazon
Give it a miss or turn pages fast