I have been given a complimentary copy of this novel by the author in exchange for an honest review – thank you!
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
When Maggie Taylor accepts a new job in Manchester, she is sure it is the right move for her family of four. The children have settled well although her husband, Duncan, doesn’t appear to be so convinced.
Nothing prepares her for the shock of coming home from work one night to find that Duncan has disappeared, leaving their young children alone. His phone is dead, and she has no idea where he has gone, or why. And then she discovers she’s not the only one looking for him.
When a woman who looks just like Maggie is brutally murdered and DCI Tom Douglas is brought in to investigate, Maggie realises how little she knows about Duncan’s past. Is he the man she loves? Who is he running from? She doesn’t have long to decide whether to trust him or betray him. Because one thing has been made clear to Maggie – another woman will die soon, and it might be her.
The book starts with a scare every mother would dread and understand: Maggie’s two kids, the eldest boy aged just eight, are left alone at home by her husband who has suddenly disappeared. Where? Why? For what long? Poor Maggie doesn’t have the flimsiest idea. From that moment on that woman’s life is steadily crumbling around her ears. Who was the man called Duncan she married and lived with? Did he hide any secrets? Her own perspective is interwoven with a mystery of women murders which have never been solved- women physically so similar to her. By the way: Rachel Abbott is rather good while describing terrified children. Both Lily and Josh sounded very believable. The plot lines, however, sometimes were a bit too incredible to make me buy the whole premise; still I could tolerate them because the author managed to make me curious.
I admit the narration pulled me in even if the premise was a bit similar to Stranger Child, a novel I read and reviewed some time ago. I wish the characters were a tad more well-rounded; among all that action, police investigating and Maggie putting together the scant information about her husband’s past sometimes I really had a rather vague idea who I was reading about. Still, despite many ostensibly unconnected threads, I continued reading because I was eager to get to the bottom of the story and it was worth it. All main leads had to deal with the repercussions of their acts and the ending was rather twisted which I really appreciated.
An engaging story of a woman who had to face a very difficult decision. A not so bad crime mystery about sadistic murderers who never grew up. A dash of psychology in-between. Overall, a very nice read – definitely better than Stranger Child! Way to go!
Other Rachel Abbott’s books reviewed on this blog: