When Emma Joseph met her husband David, he was a man shattered by grief. His first wife had been killed outright when her car veered off the road. Just as tragically, their six-year-old daughter mysteriously vanished from the scene of the accident.
Now, six years later, Emma believes the painful years are behind them. She and David have built a new life together and have a beautiful baby son, Ollie.
Then a stranger walks into their lives, and their world tilts on its axis.
Emma’s life no longer feels secure. Does she know what really happened all those years ago? And why does she feel so frightened for herself and for her baby?
When a desperate Emma reaches out to her old friend DCI Tom Douglas for help, she puts all their lives in jeopardy. Before long, a web of deceit is revealed that shocks both Emma and Tom to the core.
They say you should never trust a stranger. Maybe they’re right.
(Warning: a couple of spoilers.)
This was my first book from author, Rachel Abbott. From the first page, this book had me hooked. I do like books like this; physiological thrillers that I can’t seem to put down. I was reading this book into the early hours where I looked up and suddenly realised it was three am.
The plot is attention grabbing. It’s complex and there are many plot twists that I was never sure where the story was going to go. From the moment Natasha reappears back in her father and Emma’s lives, you know that there is more to the story than we, as readers are being presented with. The facts are not too quickly revealed but the story is well paced enough that it doesn’t flag in the middle like many do before you get to the action near the end of the story. Although there were a couple of things I had worked out, I was still really surprised by ending. It is unexpected.
Most of the characters are developed well – the ones that have direct influence to the story. Although Natasha is secretive and you know she is going to do something bad, I felt so sorry for her and the life she has been forced to live and there was a maturity to her voice that shouldn’t have suited a thirteen year old. This and the setting was portrayed so well. Some of my expectations of the characters were completely turned on their head too which I liked. Nothing quite stayed with my expectation.
A griping page turner. I will certainly be checking out Rachel’s other novels.
(Thank you to Rachel and her publisher for an advanced copy. Stranger Child was published by Black Dot Publishing, 24th February 2015 and is available as an e-book. Click here to view on Amazon UK.)
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.
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