She was your responsibility. And now she’s missing.
Charlotte is looking after her best friend Harriet’s daughter the day she disappears. She swears she only took her eyes off her for a second.
Devastated, Harriet can’t bring herself to see Charlotte. No one could expect her to trust her friend again.
Only now she needs to. Because two weeks later Harriet and Charlotte are both being questioned by the police. And secrets are about to surface.
Described as a “gripping page-turner” this book certainly didn’t disappoint. Switching between the point of view of both Charlotte and Harriet, the more you read, the more pieces of the puzzle you have.
Harriet is a rather overprotective mother to her young daughter, Alice, never having left her with anyone before, she allows Charlotte to look after her for the day while she attends a bookkeeping course. Charlotte, having three children of her own, is honoured that Harriet trusts her enough to leave her with her child, taking the group to the school fete for the day. The kids decide they want to go on the big slide and, once they reach the bottom, Charlotte is stunned to see that Alice is not with them. Going into panic mode, she is desperate to find Alice with the help of many other parents, eventually having to call the police and inform them that she lost her best friend’s daughter.
The writing itself in this book is incredible, giving the story just the right amount of suspense and thrill without being over the top. I found myself constantly flicking back and forth between the pages upon finding out something interesting. I admire authors who really give this kind of thought into their writing, who leave behind little trails that you can’t recognise as a trail before you hit the end. It’s a style of writing I wish to incorporate into my own books.
The story of Harriet and Charlotte are told from their own point of views, swapping between the two and allowing the readers to gain a strong insight into their lives as they are as well as their pasts. We discover why Harriet is the way she is, jumping from the beginning of her and her husband’s relationships right to the very end, showing a slow build-up of her husband’s true colours, allowing us to see the effects of psychological abuse in a relationship and how Harriet tries to deal with it.
The abuse Harriet deals with is something I didn’t expect to come out of this book, making it an extremely hard read. It took me a lot longer to read this book than I thought as I kept having to put it down. The way her husband treats her left me feeling very stressed out for Harriet, finding myself emotionally attached to the character in a way I haven’t experienced before. Perhaps it’s the element of vulnerability Harriet has that makes her such a lovable character as well as her own personal issues she faces owing to her husband’s controlling behaviour.
As much as it focuses on both Charlotte and Harriet, I feel as though Charlotte is a secondary character, with Harriet being the main. We don’t get as much of an insight into her life, her relationship with her ex-husband and her history, mainly focusing on how she is coping with the disappearance of Alice and the hate she is receiving from the media.
A fantastic read. I’ll be reading Heidi’s next book, “Come Back to Me” very soon…