I stare at the newspaper article about a baby snatched from the back of a car thirty years ago, and wonder why someone would post it through my door. Looking closer, my blood freezes. The little girl in the photo has an unusual scar – just like mine. I’ve never met anyone with one like it. Is this stolen child… me?
Trembling with shock, I know I have to confront my mother. My parents got me through a horrific accident, helped me find a job I love teaching art, and even with buying my own house. But was it all built on lies?
She tells me the day I was born was the best day of her life, and I’m flooded with guilt for questioning her – but why do I catch her burning papers in the garden the next day?
Then I come home to find a woman sitting on my doorstep, covered in bruises and claiming she knows who abducted me. I don’t know if I can trust her – or if I’ll be the next to get hurt.
Because all the while, I’ve been hiding my own secret. Does whoever sent the article know what really happened the day of my accident? Desperate for the truth, I break into the house of my supposed kidnapper. Inside, I find a handwritten list of names. A shiver goes down my spine as I realise wasn’t the only child to be stolen.
Then I hear a key in the lock, and I know my life is in terrible danger…
An absolutely addictive read that will have you racing through the pages and questioning everything you thought you knew about your family. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, Lisa Jewell and Shari Lapena.
Format: Kindle ARC
No. of Pages: 318
Date of Publication: June 14, 2021
My Rating: 4 Stars
In this thrilling read, one impossible to put down, I began reading how Hope discovers a mysterious newspaper clipping in the mailslot in her door. Therefore, it comes to no surprise that something was about to happen. The clipping contained a photo of a baby that was snatched when she was six months of age 34 years ago. Hope is 34 years of age. What is more is that the photo clearly shows that the infant has an unusual scar. Complely identical to the scar that Hope bears. These simply cannot be coincidences. When Hope confonts her mother, she gets a simple and what should be believable explanation about the scar Hope has.
But, it is not enough. She asks best friend Stephen to accompany her while she tries and look for whatever clues - or could it be lies - about her past and about that mysterious photo. If that is not enough, her mother suddenly does a strange thing - she burns papers in the garden. Does her mother have something to hide? Was Hope the abducted baby from all those years ago?
Hope's intense desire for answers causes her to take drastic actions. In so doing, she begins to unearth chilling clues that lead to abhorrent secrets, proof that she was indeed abducted - and that she was not the only one. This presents grave danger to Hope.
While this story explores Hope's past, it is also a story of friendship, and of trust. With regard to her friend Stephen, Hope has found a gem. It is the rock of friendship that just might be enough to carry Hope through this difficult search for the truth. Also, Hope had other issues, and it was these issues that showed her strength and vigor, despite obstacles that might have slowed another person down.
While Hope had someone she could trust in Stephen, other secondary characters floated into the story, proving that trust was something that had to be earned, especially when danger seemed close at bay. Factor in a twist that eases into the story and The Child in the Photo turned out to be a terrific page-turner, intriguing from beginning to end.
Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
He’s also been busy since turning thirty: his Jessica Daniel crime series has sold more than a million copies in the UK; he has written a fantasy-adventure trilogy for young adults; a second crime series featuring private investigator Andrew Hunter and the standalone thriller, Down Among The Dead Men.