Where is she? Who is she?

My Name is Anna Book Cover My Name is Anna
Lizzy Barber
mystery, thriller, literary fiction
Century
(10 Jan. 2019)

When your whole life is a lie, can you trust anyone? Even yourself?

ANNA has always been taught by her mother that cleanliness and purity are the path to God; that her heart's desire to visit Astroland, Florida’s biggest theme park, is ungodly.

But it’s her eighteenth birthday, and Anna’s feeling rebellious. But on arrival at Astroland, everything feels familiar. Almost like she’s been there before…

ROSIE has grown up in the shadow of a missing sister she barely remembers. Her parents’ relationship has been fractured by fifteen years of searching for their daughter – abducted at Astroland as an infant.

Now Rosie is determined to uncover the truth, no matter how painful it is, before it tears what’s left of her family apart…

Beautifully told from the different teenage girls’ perspectives.

The narrative to this story is told in two voices – Anna and Rosie.
Anna lives with her mother in small town Florida. Her mother is a cleanliness fanatic – cleanliness of the heart, mind and body, also very frugal and constantly praying.
Rosie lives in the UK and lost her elder sister in a Florida amusement park when she was a baby. Her sister was stolen in some manner and may have been killed but no-one knows the real circumstances behind her abduction.
The 15th anniversary of the abduction rolls around and Rosie finds herself increasingly frustrated at not knowing the truth, whilst Anna wants to find her father and to discover who is sending her messages.
Slowly the story explores the lives of these two girls, holding the reader in suspense. The power of cults is also explored through the story.

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How to survive

Look For Me Book Cover Look For Me
Detective D.D. Warren
Lisa Gardner
mystery, thrillers
Century

Detective DD Warren and Flora Dane are in a race against time to save a young girl's life - or bring her to justice.

A family home has become a crime scene. Five people are involved: four of them have been savagely murdered; one - a sixteen-year-old girl - is missing.

Was she lucky to have escaped? Or is her absence evidence of something sinister?

Detective D. D. Warren is on the case, as is survivor-turned-avenger Flora Dane.

Seeking different types of justice, they must make sense of the clues left behind by a young woman who, as victim or suspect, is silently pleading, Look for me.

I finished this novel crying. crying for all the damaged survivors of trauma, abuse, kidnapping or anything else that mean that they had survived a horror that  no-one should have to go through.

And I also admired them.

I admired them for surviving in whatever damaged way it might be – and for those who take that damage and turn it into a force for good.

A novel that tears your heartstrings when you realise what it was like to live with an alcoholic mother and then to move into a dysfunctional and abusive foster home. and you worry about a system that permits this to happen. a system that is chronically over-crowded, understaffed and under-resourced and thus exploited from within.

Not a light read but a powerful read. a novel that combines suspense with a social conscience and is all the better for that.

 

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Go nowhere, read this!

Don't Let Go Book Cover Don't Let Go
Myron Bolitar
Harlan Coben
thrillers, suspense
Century
September 26, 2017
368

THE GLOBAL NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER The brilliant new thriller from the international bestselling author of Home and Fool Me Once. Mistaken identities, dark family secrets and a murderous conspiracy lie at the heart of this gripping new bestseller. 'The modern master of the hook and twist, luring you in on the first page only to shock you on the last,' Dan Brown 'Harlan Coben is a folk poet of the suburbs and his well-tuned new mystery, Don't Let Go shows why ... This kind of writing is what we call poetry.' New York Times A SMALL TOWN IS HIDING BIG SECRETS ... Fifteen years ago in New Jersey, a teenage boy and girl were found dead. Most people concluded it was a tragic suicide pact. The dead boy's brother, Nap Dumas, did not. Now Nap is a cop - but he's a cop who plays by his own rules, and who has never made peace with his past. And when the past comes back to haunt him, Nap discovers secrets can kill...

Harlan draws you in slowly to a story that initially seems very far-fetched. but the evidence accumulates.

And then the ending takes a wild twist and everything you thought you knew is unravelled. Twice. Or maybe more times.

It so didn’t happen as the reader – unless they are a lot more suspicious or canny or twisted or clever or.. than me could imagine. Clever Mr Coben.

Excellent understated writing as always. Almost conversational in tone and expression.

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What was that word again?

The Word Is Murder Book Cover The Word Is Murder
Anthony Horowitz
thriller, suspense, Sherlock Holmes, psychological
Century
August 24, 2017
416

A wealthy woman strangled six hours after she's arranged her own funeral. A very private detective uncovering secrets but hiding his own. A reluctant author drawn into a story he can't control. What do they have in common? Unexpected death, an unsolved mystery and a trail of bloody clues lie at the heart of Anthony Horowitz's page-turning new thriller. SPREAD THE WORD. THE WORD IS MURDER.

About 60% of the way through Horowitz announces he knows who the murderer is and why. But I’d already thought about that solution – and dismissed it. Certainly I agreed with his reason, but not the identity. And guess what – the solution was not what he thought.

Now this may seem a strange way of starting a review – isn’t Horowitz the author? So how can he be working out the who the killer is? He must know surely.

Well this story is told autobiographically where Horowitz the author plays Horowitz the story participant.

Which was a very interesting concept of telling a pseudo PI/Sherlock Holmes story.

For me it was refreshing and original.

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Where did she go?

Then She Was Gone Book Cover Then She Was Gone
Lisa Jewell
psychological, suspense, mystery
Century
July 27, 2017
432

THE SUNDAY TIMES NO. 1 BESTSELLER A MISSING GIRL. A BURIED SECRET. From the acclaimed author of I Found You and the Richard & Judy bestseller, The Girls, comes a compulsively twisty psychological thriller that will keep you gripped to the very last page. 'I defy you to put this addictive book down until you reach the final heart-breaking page.' Daily Express 'If you were the first of your friends to read Girl on the Train and have read Gone Girl more times than you can remember, HERE IS YOUR SUMMER READ!' Sun 'Packs a huge emotional punch that will leave you winded.' CL Taylor, author of The Missing 'THEN SHE WAS GONE is bloody amazing. I can't remember ever reading a thriller where I've cared so much about the characters - they invaded my dreams! I LOVED it!' Eve Chase, author of Black Rabbit Hall ************************ She was fifteen, her mother's golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone. Ten years on, Laurel has never given up hope of finding Ellie. And then she meets a charming and charismatic stranger who sweeps her off her feet. But what really takes her breath away is when she meets his nine-year-old daughter. Because his daughter is the image of Ellie. Now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back. What really happened to Ellie? And who still has secrets to hide?

A sneaky story that that starts off normally and gradually gets more twisted in both the story-line and the characters’ behaviour.

It takes some elements from news stories and uses them to great advantage by turning them into something different.

Loved it!

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