It's been a while since I read a book that I could describe as totally unputdownable but Stranger Child by Rachel Abbott certainly fits the bill. I've been reading it at the bus stop, on the bus (almost missing my stop on a couple of occasions !), while cooking dinner, at work waiting for the computer to boot up and way past my bedtime. It's a tense nailbiter that will have you on an emotional rollercoaster from the very first to the final page.
The story begins with a horrific crash that leaves a young mother dead but what happened to the little girl in the back seat? When she suddenly appears at her family home six years later, it should be a dream come true for her bereft father, but as the story unfolds, it turns into more of a nightmare. I don't really want to say any more and give away the plot so you'll just have to read it yourself to find out !
When you see high profile kidnap cases on TV, you always think that reuniting lost children and their parents will be the end to the suffering, but what about all the trauma that the victims have been through? What kind of young adults have they been modelled into by having their childhoods robbed from them? And what kind of people have they been associating with? Could they just slip back into normal family life?
It's a chilling and heart-breaking read that won't leave you unmoved. It really makes you think about the grim reality of life for kidnap victims and is full of twists and turns that even I, as a seasoned crime reader, didn't see coming. The heroes and villains are a bit one-dimensional, but the central characters are complex and believable.
star rating : 5/5
RRP : currently only available for Kindle
for the paperback version : Black Dot Publishing Ltd (14 May 2015)
Disclosure : I received the book in order to write an honest review.