Many thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for an advance copy of this book (due for release on 14 April 2016) in exchange for my honest review.
This is an enjoyable read – well as enjoyable as a book about a missing child can be, so no, that’s not the right word really. What I mean is that it captures you and holds you so that you want to know what happens, but I did find that I was racing to get to the end, more to just find out how it would all turn out, rather than because it was so well written that I was gripped by the writing. Also – I had guessed who the perpetrator was, and wanted to see if I was right (yay! I was!) The supernatural aspect wasn’t as apparent as I would have liked – it was more alluded to than blatantly obvious. I felt that it could have been used with a lot more strength, as this is where Caroline Mitchell really excels, and I felt that she held back here. But where she held back with the supernatural, she did come to the fore with the psychological element and she used this to her advantage quite brilliantly.
Feisty 9-year-old Abigail, has disappeared. Her more subdued twin sister Olivia hasn’t spoken since the incident, and with time running out, DC Jennifer Knight needs to wade her way through the heavy atmosphere at the family farm. While she tries to decipher the mixed messages she gets from the twins’ mother Joanna’s odd behaviour, and their distraught cop father, Nick, she also needs to try and block the dark energy that seems to pervade the house and anyone who enters it.
I struggled to get to grips with what DC Knight’s superior’s wanted from her. They’d sent her to be the family liaison officer on this case, which required her spending as much time as possible with the family, but then got annoyed with her for missing briefings. I’m not a police procedure expert, but I don’t know how they expected her to be in 2 places at once and I found that quite frustrating. [This is my own personal issue though – definitely not an issue with the writing or the story.]
But, having said that, the tension builds well and maintains a steady pace throughout the book, making it a breath-taking thriller. Interspersed with extracts from a diary, telling a heartbreaking story of abuse, bullying and self-harm, we are led through the heart-wrenching clock-watching tension as Abigail is missing for six hours, seven hours, one day, three days, five days … and Caroline Mitchell ensures we’re there for every suspense-filled second!