One dark secret. One act of revenge.
When Emma Joseph met her husband David, he was a man shattered by grief. His first wife had been killed outright when her car veered off the road. Just as tragically, their six year old daughter mysteriously vanished from the scene of the accident.
Now, six years later, Emma believes the painful years are behind them. She and David have built a new life together and have a beautiful baby son, Ollie,
Then a stranger walks into their lives and their world tilts on its axis.
Emma's life no longer feels secure. Does she really know what happened all those years ago? Any why does she feel so frightened for herself and her baby?
When a desperate Emma reaches out to her old friend DCI Tom Douglas for help, she puts all of their lives in jeopardy. Before long, a web of deceit is revealed that shocks both Emma and Tom to the core.
They say you should never trust a stranger, maybe they're right.
Publisher: Black Dot Publishing
Pages: 356 pages
This is the first book I have read by Rachel Abbott but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Emma is happily married to David and they have a baby son Ollie. David tragically lost his first wife in a car accident; the same accident that saw his daughter go missing, more than 6 years ago. Until now, when Natasha reappears in their kitchen with no explanation of where she's been or why she's back. Emma has so many conflicting emotions; she is overjoyed to see David reunited with his daughter but on the other hand she doesn't trust this girl who seems so full of anger and who realistically is a complete stranger. When Natasha's reappearance threatens the life of Ollie, Emma feels she has nowhere to turn; she feels her only option is to call DCI Tom Douglas, he's an old friend but she feels sure that he will know what to do. She has no idea of the danger she is about to place him in,
Rachel Abbott sets a relentless pace from the very first page. I was initially worried that it would nose-dive at some point but she sustained the tension and I really struggled to put this book down.
The author plays on every parent's fear of their child being threatened or taken from them. There were times when I found this book quite uncomfortable to read as thinking of the same thing happening to my own daughter made it all very realistic.
All of the characters in this book are battling with their emotions and this made it all the more interesting. All involved have something to gain and something to lose and you do wonder who is going to come out the worst off.
DCI Tom Douglas is a good, solid character and I liked the way his story was woven into the case. It is clear that the case is personal for him but you just know that he is one of the good guys who always goes above and beyond.
Stranger Child is a gritty, fast-paced read which I would highly recommend. I am definitely going to read more from this author in the future,
Many thanks to Alexandra for providing me with a review copy of this book.