Author: Rebecca Drake
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (imprint of St Martin's Press)
First Published: March 22, 2016
First Line: "On the day her life began to unravel, Jill Lassiter smeared sunscreen on her three-year-old daughter's soft skin and drove her, as promised, to the park."
Book Description from GoodReads: Three-year-old Sophia Lassiter disappears at the playground only to return after 40 frantic minutes-- but her mother Jill's relief is short lived. Jill is convinced the tiny dots on her daughter's arm are puncture marks. When doctors find no trace of drugs in her system, Jill accepts she won't ever know what happened during her daughter's absence and is simply grateful to have her home safely.
Except Sophia isn't safe. Three months later, she disappears again. This time from her bed at home, in the night. Working with the police and the community, Jill and her husband David are desperate to bring their little girl home. They remain hopeful---until information turns up suggesting their daughter was murdered, causing the police to turn their suspicions on the parents. Facing ugly family secrets and heart-rending evidence, Jill is still convinced her daughter is alive. But when the dragnet begins to close around them, Jill realizes the worst: if the police believe she has killed her daughter, that means they aren't out there looking for the real perpetrator. They aren't hunting for Sophie or the person who still has her.
My Review: Having your child taken is one of the biggest fears that parents can have. Author Rebecca Drake has written a suspenseful psychological thriller that brings these fears and emotions to life. But it was the idea of this child being taken twice within a short period of time that really intrigued me.
Drake uses flashbacks and diary entries (of an unknown person) throughout the book to help tell the story and these additions flow well with the plot and keep the reader actively trying to figure out 'whodunnit'. I liked the fact that I, as a reader, knew more about what was going on than Jill and yet I still didn't know everything because Drake throws loads of red herrings at her readers to steer them off course. Seeing Jill piece together the lies and deception to find her child proved to be quite a nail-biting read.
While I figured out some things early on the bigger twists surprised me. The author gives the reader various scenarios as to whom the culprit could be and I liked that I continued to waiver on the identity of that person. While the plot was detailed it wasn't fussy or confusing and the pieces slowly fit together for the reader until an action packed final scene.
The characters were a varied, though not an overly likeable bunch, and I can't say that I totally connected to Jill. She sometimes felt quite selfish to me but that slight disconnect didn't interfere with me getting quite absorbed with this book.
Drake has written a very suspenseful and sometimes emotional read that will have readers riveted throughout. Recommended.
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to Thomas Dunne Books and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary e-book copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.