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 Aspendawn Books
Melanie Hudson blames herself for her son’s unsolved kidnapping eight years ago. She should never have taken her eyes off her precious toddler. That fateful day, she lost her son, her marriage…and her moral conscience. Now she feels justified in snatching unattended children – if only for an hour. The lesson to parents: Watch your children!
Yes, well. This promised so much, and parts of it were terrific, but overall I think that somewhere in there a trick was missed...
The premise is actually really excellent - Melanie, having lost a child herself, is obsessed with how other parents raise their kids. So much so that she takes children, randomly, and keeps them for an hour or so before returning them unharmed. The point for her being, watch your children or you may end up like me. This portion of the story was really very well done, I felt that Melanie's motivations and self reasoning were clear, realistic and likely - it made me feel for her in a lot of ways even though she was putting other parents through a time, however short, of absolute terror. She has very normal feelings of guilt and genuinely wants to save others from the horror of permanently losing their children, is obviously suffering from depression and not getting the help she needs.
So for the first third, as we watch Melanie in her life, with the occasional flashback to her time with her baby, this is an addictive and emotional read that will touch your heart and give you something to think about.
Then after Melanie meets Scott, a prosecutor, and begins to realise that what she is doing is wrong, the whole thing suddenly went insanely fast. Police investigation, resolution of the original kidnapping, new relationship forming, Melanie coming to terms - it was all terribly rushed and not very well constructed. It totally lost me, I didnt really feel anything and I lost my sympathy for any of them, frankly. And the solutions were highly questionable with regards to motive that seemed to have been pulled out of pretty thin air.
I would have liked this to be longer - it is a short read, it only took me a couple of hours, and my opinion is that had the author expanded and extended, keeping up the same emotional resonance and depth of feeling that she brought to the first part, this could have been something very special.
Ambience wise it is good, but I honestly felt as if this were two people writing it, one for the first bit and one for the second. So in the end it was fine but didnt really do it for me as a whole, complete and fulfilling tale.
Happy Reading Folks!