The story goes thus, a young Josie, at a circus, sees a clown leading away a young boy in a red t-shirt, she becomes the only witness to this kidnapping. Now 30years later, Josie/ Jo is a cop and the body/skeleton of a child is found by the builders. A couple of days later, another boy is led away by a man in a clown mask. Another kidnapping.
Who is the clown in the first kidnapping?? Are these copy-cat kidnappers/murderers?? Are the two men the same or are the kidnappings just opportunistic coincidences?? Are they accomplices or master-protégé combination??
All these and more are answered in the police-procedural psychological thriller, Hold my Hand by the author M. J. Ford. A debut written so well is astonishing. There is a right amount of jadedness in Jo along with a burning desire for justice. The secondary characters also seem to prop and uphold the story well.
I liked the main character Jo, she was as flawed as it comes. I loved her gut instinct at work, but those instincts somehow didn’t work in her personal life. I loved her professionalism towards co-workers, but somehow, her courteous manners were not extended to family. I loved her capabilities as a cop, but sadly enough they don’t extend to her as a woman. As a cop, she knew where she was going, as a woman, she dithered. But then again, who amongst us, isn’t like this??
I think the author M. J. Ford will grow on me, in the next few books. If I seived away Jo’s personal life along with her closed-up weird attitude, the parts which remained read well. It was fast-paced with a lot of clues. The investigative journey was a winding, twisty road, with dead ends, false accused, ramblings of a child, along with the thoughts of a retired now mildly alcoholic policeman, who worked on the first kidnapping.
I liked Jo, the policewoman, she had courage in her convictions. Jo the woman didn’t connect with me, she was too within herself. On the whole, a thrilling police procedural with a realistic main character, written in a fast pace, with a pragmatic hand by debut author M. J. Ford. A great way to spend the Saturday afternoon.
P.S. I loved the cover too; it was heartbreakingly innocent.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and publisher Avon Books UK, and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
My rating : 4 stars
About the Author
M. J. Ford is a writer and an editor at Working Partners, where he works on projects across the age groups. He loves thrillers, historical and fantasy titles. Hold My Hand is his debut novel.
A horrible vanishing act…
When a young Josie Masters sees a boy wearing a red football shirt, Dylan Jones, being taken by a clown at a carnival, she tries to alert the crowds. But it’s too late. Dylan has disappeared…
Thirty years later, Josie is working as a police officer in Bath. The remains of the body of a child have been found – complete with tatters of a torn red football shirt. Is it the boy she saw vanish in the clutches of the clown? Or is it someone else altogether?
And then another child disappears…
Publication date : 8th March, 2018
Publisher : Avon Books UK
Language : English
Available on Amazon
A Police Procedural thriller