My rating: 1.5 of 5 stars
No, no, no.
A 1.5 star review and that's being generous. This book's plot was alright through a third of the book. And the next third, things were falling apart. The last third? Oh my gosh, I feel like I was introduced to ten more characters, people were just thrown in to the storyline, like characters were being added in simply to make the "plot" work. Ugh!
I cannot complain in a credible way without spoilers, so ...
Where to start? How about a mother whose daughter was ABDUCTED that doesn't go to the police after said daughter find her? OMG!!! She just what? Thinks she'll work things out? I'm not even a mother and there is no way I could look beyond this. And this was revealed at the beginning! I should have listened to my instincts at that point and put it on my DNF. But, nope, I'd read great reviews of this Kathryn Croft novel and also of her others (i.e., The Girl with No Past).
Oh how unbelievable everything was - every fact, every character, every rape, every ridiculous reaction.
If there is a character I liked? Um...Abbott? But why the hell did he disappear for hours time and time again?
Who didn't I like? Oh, every other character. NO ONE has redeeming qualities. Least of all the main character, Simone. Again, her DAUGHTER was ABDUCTED and now after complaining so often that it's ruined her life she goes on some one-person cop/detective/maybe-she'll-get-lucky manhunt?
And, WHAT??, she doesn't tell her husband she's looking for their daughter? She leaves the house, many times in the middle of the night, but her husband 'simply understands how much her job means to her'? NO!
Talk about artistic license...Simone has TWO - I feel like it may have been THREE - separate strangers show up at her home! NO! And she STILL stays there. What? Chris Harding shows up, Charlotte breaks in and Oh! Sienna also shows up. Really?
I usually love the novels that take place in the U.K. because without the existence of private citizens owning handguns, usually there is even more suspense and creativity takes over where a bullet would have done the trick in other regions. Not here. I was longing for a gun. It would have made things so much better. I promise you, a 50-page book where everyone died...except for maybe, nope, everyone dies...would have been better.
Other things that insulted my intelligence...
- The thought that a big, doe-eyed expression on a teenager's tear-stained face makes them trustworthy? Over and over? Please.
- The relationship with Charlotte's mom and then Charlotte and then ... never mind, this one was outrageous.
- The "big reveal"? OMG. Matt's MOTHER giving the evidence to Simone? Did she also call the cops or was that Nick that gave him up? Why did we even need to see the photo if Nick was already in custody?
- Why have ALL these characters? Tia and Mel and Leanne and Sienna and Gabby and Hannah? So convoluted. But not at the start. You can tell - and no, I haven't read her other books, but Kathryn Croft can craft a great thriller and I will give the others a chance. But it's like she hit a deadline here and sacrificed quality.
- You're telling me that Simone remains friends with Ginny (sort of understandable because of the whole Helena/Grace thing) but with Hannah? REALLY? With psychopathic killer's wife who was killed off by Grace herself? What?
- The ONE THING I did enjoy was that the creepy narrative was actually Matt throughout. At least I hope it was.
Come on. I know that 99 out of 100 seem to think this book is the bomb. But I just think it bombed.
Genre Thriller, Suspense, Psychological Thriller