Playdate by Alex Dahl | Blog Tour Review and #BookGiveaway #Playdate

Published by Head of Zeus
Available in ebook, audio and hardback (1 October 2020) | paperback (1 April 2021)
320 pages
Source: Copy received for review


It was meant to be your daughter’s first sleepover. Now it’s an abduction.

Lucia Blix went home from school for a playdate with her new friend Josie. Later that evening, her mother Elisa dropped her overnight things round and shared a glass of wine with Josie’s mother. Then she kissed her little girl goodnight and drove home.

That was the last time she saw her daughter.

The next morning, when Lucia’s dad arrived to pick her up, the house was empty. No furniture, no family, no Lucia.

In Playdate, Alex Dahl puts a microscope on a seemingly average, seemingly happy family plunged into a life-altering situation. Who has taken their daughter, and why?


My thanks to Sophie of Midas for the tour invitation and for arranging a review copy of the book. For my turn today, I have my review plus I have been sent a lovely hardback (unread) which I am offering as a prize. Sorry but as I am paying the postage and its a big book, I have to restrict this to UK entrants only.

If your young child asks for a sleepover at a friend’s house, you might want to think twice after reading this book, or at least do stringent checks on the parents!!!! I’m not a parent so I don’t have that worry, but when Elisa Blix agrees to her 8 year old daughter Lucia staying the night at a new schoolfriend’s house, she could have no idea of the trauma that would follow or how all their lives would be changed.

Set in Norway, and also partly in France, this is a fingernail chewy read told from the perspective of a number of characters, including the child’s mother, Elisa, Lucia herself and also that of the abductor. We also hear from Selma, a journalist who becomes rather obsessed with investigating the disappearance.

From the beginning when Elisa’s parents were questioned by the police, it was clear that they were both keeping things from each other and as the story progresses, it seems that Elisa knows more than she is willing to tell. This is when I began to lose sympathy for her. I couldn’t imagine any circumstances in which you wouldn’t disclose anything that may help get your child returned.

The chapters are fairly short and alternate between viewpoints which moves the story forward. Lucia’s chapters were the most emotive for me, she veered between trying to acclimatise to her new surroundings whilst knowing that the situation was wrong, but not knowing what to believe. She was a brave little character though and I was so hoping that everything would be resolved. There were times when I began to wonder what the truth actually was.

The characters were very well portrayed and display a whole range of emotions; Elisa’s continuing despair at the loss of her daughter and the pretence at a normal family life for the sake of her and husband Frederik’s son Lyder. The abductor, convincing themselves that they had done the right thing.

This is an intriguing read with a myriad of characters, some of whom don’t come out of it too well. The timeline moves forward rapidly at times by way of the narrative however whilst I felt that there were some dips in pace at times, the twists and turns had me hooked until the very end.

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Alex Dahl is a half-American, half-Norwegian author. Born in Oslo, she studied Russian and German linguistics with international studies, then went on to complete an MA in creative writing at Bath Spa University and an MSc in business management at Bath University. A committed Francophile, Alex loves to travel, and has so far lived in Moscow, Paris, Stuttgart, Sandefjord, Switzerland, Bath and London. She is the author of two other thrillers: The Heart Keeper, and The Boy at the Door, which was shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger.

Author Links:
Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Book Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Hive


I’m delighted to offer a hardback copy of Playdate to one winner. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to entrants aged 18 or over in the UK.
Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties. After I have despatched the prize and receipt has been confirmed I will delete the data I hold. My Reading Corner is not responsible for delivery of the prize in the postal system.

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