What a goosebumpy roller coaster ride of a book! A sister lost 20 years ago + a child lost now = a deja vu story.
Samantha Hayes has done a fabulous job in writing a book which is gripping from the first page. Who is good? Who is bad? Who is lying? Who is telling the truth? What happened 20 years ago? What happened now? Why did the girls disappear?
The only factor that was common to the two girls disappearing were the characters. Mom Shona and dad Patrick, children Claire, Jason, Lenni, friends Maggie and Nick. And there are enough lies and secrets circulating amongst them all, including the spouses and children. The reunion which was organised to help their father Patrick’s memories get a boost-up, as he was diagnosed with Alzheimers’, but it turned out to be a re-hash of a missing girl.
Samantha has maintained the tension throughout the story, drawing the reader to keep guessing about the perpetrator. The story starts slightly slow, allowing the characters to develop, making the readers complaint, the adrenaline slowing dripping into their blood stream. And then it suddenly picks up pace for the grand finale, the answers rushing up to the reader faster and faster, making the atmosphere breathless, till it feels too rushed in time and space, and some parts were left unanswered, though they were not the most important bits.
A good mystery, entertaining in its unfolding, percolating in the middle, and dramatic in its ending.
A reunion held for keeping the memories afar turned out to be a reunion of skeletons jumping out from the closets.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and publisher Bookouture, and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
My rating : 4 stars
About the Author
Samantha Hayes grew up in the West Midlands, left school at sixteen, avoided university and took jobs ranging from being a private detective to barmaid to fruit picker and factory worker. She lived on a kibbutz, and spent time in Australia and the USA, before finally becoming a crime-writer.
Her writing career began when she won a short story competition in 2003. Her novels are family-based psychological thrillers, with the emphasis being on ‘real life fiction’. She focuses on current issues, and when she writes, she sets out to maker her reader ask, ‘What if this happened to me or my family?’ With three children of her own, Samantha is well-versed to talk about how the aftershocks of crime impact upon families and communities.
They were all there the day your sister went missing.
Who is lying? Who is next?
THEN – In charge of her little sister at the beach, Claire allowed Eleanor to walk to the shop alone to buy an ice cream. Placing a coin into her hand, Claire told her to be quick, knowing how much she wanted the freedom.
Eleanor never came back.
NOW – The time has finally come to sell the family farm and Claire is organising a reunion of her dearest friends, the same friends who were present the day her sister went missing.
When another girl disappears, long-buried secrets begin to surface. One of the group hides the darkest secret of them all…
Publication date : 9th February, 2018
Publisher : Bookouture
Language : English
Available on Amazon