Genre: Psychological Thriller
Format: Kindle ARC
No. of Pages: 305
Date of Publication: September 21, 2022
My Rating: 5 Stars
Elizabeth and Howard are foster parents to five-year-old Joe. For years they always wanted children, and now they have this adorable little boy. For Howard, this will at least keep Elizabeth happy. For Elizabeth, she loves Joe with every fiber of her body. The little family goes away on vacation but before long Joe turns up missing.
Before Joe becomes missing, both Joe and Elizabeth met their elderly neighbor Gordon. Gordon is a very kind man and one of his hobbies is birds, and viewing the birds makes little Joe happy. Gordon is in the early stages of dementia but there is a side of him that notices things are not quite right with Joe and his family. However, just when Gordon wonders if he will say anything about his concerns, his memory fails him, even causing him to doubt whether or not he actually had any suspicions at all.
Regarding Elizabeth's marriage to Howard. They are far from being a happy couple. In fact, Howard is controlling and abusive, sadly including explosive episodes of physical violence. For their twenty-year marriage, Elizabeth has experienced cycle after cycle of Howard's abusive treatment. Sadly, with Joe entering into the picture, Howard's violence is often directed to the precious little boy. In fact, it go without saying that this book comes with trigger warnings of domestic and child abuse.
There are alternating points of view in this emotional read by Nicole Trope. Also, there are two more characters that come into play in this riveting read. With intense drama, a sharp emotional edge and a satisfying conclusion, Nicole Trope has written another winner.
Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
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