Review: The Girl You Lost by Kathryn Croft

Friday 22 January 2016
Title: The Girl You Lost
Author: Kathryn Croft
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 5th February 2016
Pages: 280
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5
Purchase: Amazon
Eighteen years ago, Simone Porter’s six-month-old daughter, Helena, was abducted. Simone and husband, Matt, have slowly rebuilt their shattered lives, but the pain at losing their child has never left them.

Then a young woman, Grace, appears out of the blue and tells Simone she has information about her stolen baby. But just who is Grace – and can Simone trust her?

When Grace herself disappears, Simone becomes embroiled in a desperate search for her daughter and the woman who has vital clues about her whereabouts.

Simone is inching closer to the truth but it’ll take her into dangerous and disturbing territory.

Simone lost her baby. Will she lose her life trying to find her?

The Girl You Lost was my first read from Kathryn Croft but I picked it up with great excitement and high expectations given that some of my favourite bloggers loved The Girl With No Past and because it was published by Bookouture who are yet to disappoint me with any of the books that I have read published by them. By the end of this story I had really been put through the wringer emotionally as this is a hard-hitting story that packs one hell of a punch.

Eighteen years ago, Simone's six-month-old daughter Helena was abducted. Along with husband Matt she has somehow found the strength to move forward with her life, but still remains haunted by what happened in the past. Then a young woman, Grace, appears in their lives claiming to have information about what happened to Helena. Simone is quite rightly disturbed by these events, unsure of who Grace truly is and just how much she can trust her. When Grace herself then disappears, Simone's need for answers becomes even more desperate and soon events start taking a disturbing turn.

I suppose that might all sound very run of the mill, your bog standard psychological thriller but what is revealed in the blurb is only scratching the surface of this very clever, dangerous and twist filled thriller. First of all the characters, brilliantly created. To go into detail would of course ruin things and so I'm not going to explain how some of the main players are introduced nor their role in the story but I will mention Simone and Matt. Firstly, from the very little I know about such cases, it seems that more often than not the couple struggle to move on and remain in a relationship. In the media so many couples who have faced child abduction go on to split up and find happiness elsewhere. The relationship between Simone and Matt was intriguing in the beginning, especially because his mother is partly to blame for Helena's abduction. And things soon left me feeling very peculiar, and I had a nagging feeling in the back of my mind about certain things but completely failed to make sense of what it was.

The story moves at just the right pace and I have to say that this is definitely a book you will have read in just a couple of sittings so be sure to set the time aside before picking this book up. We are introduced to some quite unsavoury characters as the book progresses, and in the background we learn about their histories. Some of them are quite dangerous and there's a story running in the background that keeps the reader intrigued until eventually all of the threads meet as an absolutely killer conclusion is delivered. For me personally it was jaw-dropping and left me stunned. It's one of those twists where I end up wanting to kick myself because it's so brilliant that it leaves me wishing I had worked it out so I could brag about how clever I was at having uncovered the truth myself. It is so shocking and brilliant though that I can't complain at having failed to see it coming.

The Girl You Lost is compelling, intriguing and addictive from the word go and I'll definitely be seeking out Kathryn Croft's other books in the very near future. But for those looking for a psychological thriller that delivers on everything it promises and doesn't disappoint, you've found that thriller with The Girl You Lost.

1 comment:

  1. Great review, as ever - and yes, I've heard great things about Kathryn Croft too. Bookouture have got a real knack for picking excellent modern crime fiction - good to see them doing well!


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