Published by Constable,
24 March 2011.
ISBN: 978-1-84901-596-7 (HB)
Although now settled and happy with her new husband Marcus, Jo is still haunted by the abduction of her baby daughter Lauren, nine years ago.
Jo and Marcus now live in Cumbria. Together they founded M H Tours, which has proved incredibly successful, so much so that they have recently merged with another tour company. The result of the merger is that there is now a third director – Melissa. Originally Jo and Marcus had organised and conducted the tours between them, but Marcus’s son hates his mother’s new partner and so fourteen-year-old Sean has come to live with them, and, as Marcus explains to Jo, with Melissa being able to take over some of the tours Jo will be able to be at home with Sean.
On the face of it all is normal, when some of the tours that Jo was to take are given to Melissa the reasoning appears sound or is it. Jo is still getting postcards with photos of baby Lauren and the message ‘I still have her’ but the police have long given up trying to trace the source, and there has been suggestion that maybe Jo is sending them herself!
The mounting tension and the strain on Jo’s relationships with Marcus and those around her are skilfully handled. Jo struggles valiantly to keep her foothold and tell herself everything is OK, but as a reader virtually watching her desperate struggle to hold onto normality was painful. The disintegration of Jo is masterly, I kept turning pages back and thinking ‘could she have done anything different that would make her look less off the wall, but the pressure was relentless, and almost frighteningly transparent.
The climax is
shocking, more I will not say. But read this excellent piece of compelling
writing for yourself. Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Lizzie Hayes