As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Quercus, 14 May 2020. ISBN: 978-1-78747-373-7 (HB)
A young woman is abducted, trapped in a small cabin, and forced to act
as mother to two children and housewife to her abductor. He gives her a new
name, and a strict set of rules about how to behave and how to conduct her
life. She cooks, cleans, home-schools the children and does exactly as he tells
her, at risk of violent punishment if she disobeys. Then one day an opportunity
presents itself, and she escapes, taking the children with her.
But her ordeal isn’t over –
in fact it’s just beginning. She is run over by a car and badly injured; then
when she leaves hospital she is tormented, partly by memories, partly by
journalists and partly by incidents which suggest that someone, somewhere,
still means her harm. The only way forward is to unravel what has happened to
her – to find the identity not only of her captor, but also of Lena, the woman
whose name she was given and who she replaced in the cabin.
Dear Child is an unusual thriller, in that it picks up the
threads of a mystery when it seems to be at least half over. Lena has been
missing for many years; her father Matthias tells part of the story, revealing
the exquisite pain of the kind of loss that has no end and no closure. His life
has collapsed; his business is failing, there is distance between him and his
wife and his only motivation is to find out what happened to Lena.
Thirteen-year-old Hannah, the
elder of the two children from the cabin, relates another aspect of the
mystery. Hers is the strongest character: obedient, precise, almost quaint in
her adherence to her ‘father’s rules. She has never known any life other than
the cabin and tries with limited success to apply its rigorous conditions to
what she encounters outside.
Jasmin, the freed abductee,
is damaged and distressed, haunted by half-memories, determined to get to the
truth, as indeed is Matthias.
Beautifully paced and
meticulously translated from the original German, this is a novel to be
lingered over, its quality appreciated. It is profoundly disturbing in places
and raises a smile in others. This is a high-concept psychological novel, the
kind that makes you wonder why books which are given the genre label are
regarded as less worthwhile than literary fiction,
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Romy Hausmannwas born in
the former GDR in 1981. At the age of twenty-four she became chief editor at a
film production company in Munich. Since the birth of her son she has been
working as a freelancer in TV. Dear Child is her thriller debut. Romy
Hausmann lives with her family in a remote house in the woods near Stuttgart.
Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen,
and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but
never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher
for a few years and is proud to have launched several careers which are now
burgeoning. She lives in Oxfordshire in a house groaning with books, about half
of them crime fiction.