I picked this up at the station a few weeks ago, looking for something to keep me occupied on the train journey home.
The latest in best-selling psychological thrillers, this book has been described as "Gone Girl meets the The Girl on the Train". Having read, and thoroughly enjoyed, Gone Girl last year, I was keen to give this one a go.
And it did not disappoint. It tells the story of Estelle Paradise and the mysterious disappearance of her baby daughter, Mia.
Estelle awakens in hospital, having been found in a wrecked car with a serious head injury. She has no memory of how she got there, or what was going on in the days leading up to it. All she knows is that her daughter is missing - and that she didn't report it.
The story follows Estelle's recollections, flitting between flashbacks and the present as she tries to make sense of how it all unfolded. She struggles with guilt - why didn't she report Mia's disappearance? Is this all her own fault? Is she responsible?
The book is excellently written, and keeps the reader guessing all the way through. With my interest and knowledge in psychiatry, I thought I'd figured out what was going on early on - but I was way off! However, the book does deal with some of the mental health problems associated with childbirth in a way I've not come across in fiction before.
Estelle as a character is well developed, and as a reader I felt I was sharing her torment and frustration at the not-knowing. Was she a good mother? Would a good mother lose her baby? Could a good mother have harmed her child?
The pace of the book is just right - giving away the details quickly enough to keep it engaging, whilst still making sure I want to keep turning the pages to find out more. It also wraps up nicely at the end, rather than leaving the reader with lots of unanswered questions.
It's difficult to say too much more without giving away any spoilers - all I can say is that this is a fantastic book, and I'd highly recommend it!
I now need recommendations for what to read next, any suggestions?