Charlotte waves at her mother across the crowded lawn. Little red boots on, cowboy hat crooked over her blonde pigtails, she’s been looking forward to this party for weeks. Moments later, she disappears without a trace…Kathy Hamilton drives away from her sister-in-law’s pristine-white suburban house in Maple Falls certain she’s left her daughter in safe hands. On the hottest day of the year, a birthday is the perfect excuse to gather friends, family and neighbors around the pool for a barbecue. But when she returns hours later to find her little girl has vanished, her world shatters.Nobody laughing and drinking in the garden that day saw anything unusual.Kathy’s eldest daughter is anxious and hardly eating. Is she sick with worry for her sister, or hiding a terrible secret?The phone rings and rings, but why can’t Kathy get hold of the babysitter?And is she imagining it, or when her husband rushed from work to join the search, was he wearing a different shirt to the one she saw him leave the house in that morning?As the temperature rises, and long-buried secrets begin to surface, it’s clear that even the most perfect families keep devastating secrets. But in a town as small as this, is there anyone you can trust?
Every book I have read by this author has been extremely good. Will this be another 5 star story?
When someone you love disappears, it’s always a tragedy, but when it’s a child, it’s even a bigger one. I really could not imagine how I would feel if it should have happened to me.
The baddies feel so great about themselves, because of what they can do, but they should rather see themselves as big, fat cowards for taking on victims that are younger or smaller than they are.
I had not pictured this person as being the bad one. I had another name in my head. Was I disappointed once again for not picking up on the clues? No, not at all. I did not see this coming and that’s the way I love it. It means the author has the ability to fool me and to keep me guessing until the end.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to protect the family’s name and/or fortune, but there are limits that should be respected too. That’s where it often goes wrong, very wrong…
A great story that I enjoyed very, very much. 5 stars
Thank you, Wendy Dranfield and Bookouture
About the author
Wendy is a former coroner’s assistant turned crime writer who lives in the UK with her husband and 3 cats.
Her first novel (The Girl Who Died) was longlisted for the Mslexia Novel Competition. Since then she has written two crime series – one follows Officer Dean Matheson on his quest to make detective, and the other is her current series which follows Detective Madison Harper as she tries to reclaim her life after spending six years in prison for a murder she didn’t commit.
As well as crime novels Wendy also has short stories published in various anthologies in the UK and the US, and she has been shortlisted and longlisted for various writing competitions.
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