Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
Publication Date: Available now from Carina.
Eight years ago, Lucy and Ethan Randall’s little boy, Jack, was abducted and murdered by teenager Terry Prince. A moment’s distraction had ripped a family apart – and with the loss of their son came the collapse of the Randalls’ marriage. Now, Jack’s killer has walked free, giving him the second chance at life that little Jack never had. Lucy’s wounds newly opened, her world is turned upside down a second time when another child goes missing – and she can’t shake the suspicion that Prince has struck again.
I had a real love hate relationship with this book. The majority of it was absolutely brilliant, heart wrenching, emotional and giving a portrait of loss, grief and healing, with our main character Lucy still trying to come to terms with the loss of her child when his killer is released – setting off a whole new range of emotions that threaten to tear her apart.
Things I loved: The difficult and emotional relationship Lucy has with her eldest child, who is now a teenager with all the ups and downs that brings, but with the added difficulty of his own guilty feelings about the day his brother went missing. I found this to be extremely well drawn, realistic and it absolutely tugged on my heartstrings. Generally as well the issues between Lucy and her ex husband are also intelligently written with a devastating look at how the loss of a child can affect and in this case end a marriage.
I also thought the mystery element was very well done – when another child disappears it falls to the lead officer in Jack’s case to take on the mantle of another child abduction investigation – and his thoughts, feelings and actions are for the most part shrewdly woven into the narrative to give a different voice and attitude to proceedings. A well flowing and excellent plot to be sure.
But then…sex. Oh dear me. I am aware that this is very subjective and in general I am not adverse to a darn good sex scene if it is in keeping with the rest of the novel and adds something to the characters or the plot that gives them a greater depth. But for me, in this case, it just BAM took me right out of the moment. Initially the growing attraction between Lucy and Matt (the police officer) was subtle and added to the flow, but then at seemingly to me VERY odd times they went in for a descriptively written moment of bed hopping. There was one particular instance of this that had me shaking my head – I cant say more due to spoilers but it really did grate on me personally as a reader due to what was going on around them at the time. For me, it was not required, didnt really add anything and all it did was remove me from the emotion of the tale – and it IS a very emotional story.
Back to the plus side, I like how Ms Kelly has managed to make me think about acts of vengeance, whether it is ever justified and also to give real consideration to our justice system and how, when an offender is supposedly “rehabilitated”, what the consequences are to both victim and perpertrator when he or she is released back into the community. It was an interesting sub plot if you like, how the decision is made and how wide ranging the affects of that can be – and it was definitely part of the book that engaged my brain.
Overall then, yes as I said. Love/Hate relationship for me as a reader but I would still have no hesitation recommending it to fans of mystery and psychological tales, and it certainly has not put me off reading more from this author in the future because the writing itself was great and the main basis of the story was addictively good.
Happy Reading Folks!