Available in Ebook, Audio and Paperback (1 October 2020)
Source: Copy provided for review via Netgalley
ABOUT THE BOOK
How much would you risk for a child who isn’t yours?
An ingenious, taut, global thriller for fans of Linwood Barclay and Harlan Coben…
When struggling journalist Harper returns a dress to the shop she bought it from that morning, she sees the same little girl sitting in the exact same place she saw her hours ago. No one in the shop knows who the girl is. No desperate parents have contacted mall security to say they’ve lost their daughter.
And the local police have no new reports of a missing child. The girl says she misses her mother. But why is nobody looking for her? And what if finding her home is the worst thing you could do?
From the chilly streets of New York City to the electric blue skies of coastal Florida – this is an emotional, page-turning road trip that follows a trail of theories, all the way to a devastating revelation…
My thanks to Alainna of Orion for the tour invite and for providing a copy of the book via Netgalley.
Living in New York, Harper, a photo journalist is behind on her rent and trying to avoid her landlord. Desperate for some work, she goes to a store to buy a dress she can’t afford for a job as a possible standby for someone later that evening. Whilst trying the dress on, she sees a young girl sitting on her own by the changing rooms. The job doesn’t materialise so several hours later she returns the dress only to find the same girl sitting in the same place – no sign of any parent. With the store about to close, security are not that interested so she takes the 4 year old girl, called May – to the local police station. However when eventually told that May will be placed under the care of family services, she decides to take her home for the night for safety. Harper herself has been under the care of that system and knows how brutal it can be for a child.
However well meaning Harper was, it didn’t seem quite the right thing to do however she calls upon her friends, TJ, a retired ex cop who has become a substitute father figure and reluctantly involves Reggie, an ex boyfriend and NYPD cop to try and find May’s parents. All May can tell them is that she was left there to wait for her mother by ‘Uncle Orange’.
Thus begins a story that begins in New York, ends up in Florida and involves all sorts of dubious characters and deceptions which it seems the FBI are also following. The main part of the story takes place in Florida with Harper, TJ and Reggie on the trail of an elusive cult leader. I have to admit that although this was a pacy and a suspenseful read, some parts did seem a bit convoluted and I kept trying to work out how the strands would connect and what the relevance was. I had different scenarios working out in my head as to what could be happening and why May had been left but the ending, when it came, certainly had me floored. I wasn’t expecting that.
Harper is an impulsive and feisty character, streetwise and smart, she can handle herself in tough situations, however her soft spot is TJ. He has been the main constant in her life and although not a blood relation, is the only person that she will take notice of. Her relationship with Reggie is complicated, and his job is compromised by her actions which causes friction between them.
I did enjoy this, the three main characters were engaging and as frustrating as Harper was at times, especially where Reggie was concerned, I was rooting for her all the way through. The relationship between May and TJ was endearing; despite his reservations about Harper’s actions, he wasn’t going to let them face this alone. May was the one character to tug at my heart, she was such a sweet child, I couldn’t understand how anyone could just leave her.
Although this story was wrapped up following a rather dramatic conclusion, I do wonder whether we will meet these three characters again as some aspects of their own stories seem to have been left open, maybe to allow for a second outing? I do hope so.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Hart has worked in the film and television industry for over 20 years, primarily in drama and factual development. When she isn’t at her desk, spending time with her imaginary friends, she can often be found reading, paddle boarding, cycling, running and playing squash. She lives with her two Siberian cats, Lilya and Igor.