24 June, 1994 – Nineteen-year-old Leila Hawkins runs from her father’s birthday party into the stormy night wearing her sister Stella’s long red coat. Some say she was crying, others swear they saw her get into a passing car. Nobody ever saw her again.
Present – This time every year, on the anniversary of that fateful night, Stella decorates the small seaside town she grew up in with pictures of her beautiful missing sister. But after twenty-five years, is it even worth hoping someone will come forward? Perhaps the upcoming documentary will spark people’s memories by reuniting all the guests who were there the night Leila went missing.
As old friends gather and long-buried secrets begin to surface, the last thing Stella ever expects is a direct response from someone claiming they took Leila. They want private details of Stella’s life in return for answers. But as the true events of the night of the party play out once again, who is lying? And who is next?
I really like books by this author. She has a special way of writing a story. I can’t exactly say what it is. I don’t know whether a word was invented for the atmosphere she creates and if there was I don’t know which word it is, but when I think about her name, I get a certain feeling that takes me back to previous books I read by her.
So, about this one. It’s not a crash boom bang kind of story, at least not in the beginning. It’s rather slow, but you feel the tension building and you also start to distrust almost everyone. They could all be culpable, without a doubt.
This book is like a river, slowly finding it’s way through the countryside until it suddenly it arrives at a cliff and throws itself over the top into the valley below. The suspense is taken to the maximum, you get anxious to find out the what and the how and afterwards, when all is revealed, everything settles again.
Did I take this person into consideration? Did I think they could be the baddie? Yes, their name popped in my mind, but no, I had put my money on someone else. 😊
A real good book. 4 stars.
Thank you, Barbara Copperthwaite and Bookouture
About the author
Barbara is the Amazon and USA Today bestselling author of psychological thrillers INVISIBLE, FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD, THE DARKEST LIES, and HER LAST SECRET.
More importantly, she loves cakes, wildlife photography and, last but definitely not least, her two dogs, Scamp and Buddy (who force her to throw tennis balls for them for hours).
Having spent over twenty years as a national newspaper and magazine journalist, Barbara has interviewed the real victims of crime – and also those who have carried those crimes out. She is fascinated by creating realistic, complex characters, and taking them apart before the readers’ eyes in order to discover just how much it takes to push a person over a line.
When not writing feverishly, she is often found hiding behind a camera, taking wildlife photographs.