Amy and Katie together

Dear Amy Book Cover Dear Amy
Helen Callaghan
female sleuths, crime, mystery, thriller
Michael Joseph
January 8, 2016
400

FIRST CLASS PSYCHOLOGICAL SUSPENSE FROM A MAJOR NEW VOICE IN FICTION Margot Lewis is the agony aunt for The Cambridge Enquirer. Her advice column, Dear Amy, gets all kinds of letters - but none like the one she's just received: Dear Amy, I don't know where I am. I've been kidnapped and am being held prisoner by a strange man. I'm afraid he'll kill me. Please help me soon, Bethan Avery Bethan Avery has been missing for years. This is surely some cruel hoax. But, as more letters arrive, they contain information that was never made public. How is this happening? Answering this question will cost Margot everything . . .

 

This story is set in Cambridge UK where we find that as it opens Katie is kidnapped. Katie is an angry teenager who stormed out of the house in the rain, and thus, according to many including the police, may have just run away. But we know better.

Margot, who writes the Dear Amy advice column for teenagers on the local newspaper and who teaches English at a private school, starts to receive letters. Letters written apparently by a child, posted the day before receipt, and yet the signature is of a girl, Bethan,  who disappeared 20 years before.

All this is set against a time in Margot’s life where she is emotionally at sea. Her marriage has crashed and her mental state is fragile. But for some reason she decides to investigate the letters and Bethan’s disappearance.

You feel strongly Margot’s despair and deep need to restablish a stable life after her crashed marriage.

As the story continues a sense of menace grows – well described from Margot’s perspective as a person with anxiety disorders – and thus how much does she imagine? And how much is real?

 

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