I'm not normally a fan of psychological thrillers, but this one was well pitched, not too scary, but painfully believable. It is a well written debut novel, hopefully with many more to come.
The unthinkable happens when Carrie closes her eyes in the sun on a Norfolk beach. Her young son, Charlie is nowhere to be seen and the world closes in on Carrie and her husband, Damien. The last person to see him seems to have been Max, who was playing with him just before his disappearance. Molly, Max's mum, met Carrie briefly that day, but their lives were to intersect in the years ahead.
While we follow Carrie and Damien's attempt to cope with their loss, Molly and Max gradually become part of the story. This is well done, unobtrusively, until it is their fate that we are primarily concerned about.
As expected, the two threads eventually intersect as the tension builds and we race to the denouement.
Both the characters and the locations are well drawn and I loved Carrie's gift shop, Trove, full of all sorts of unexpected gems. I wasn't quite so keen on the regular breakdown on what everyone was wearing, however. Another reviewer has described this as a strange mix of chick-lit with thriller, and for me, that really sums it up. It's a mixture that works well here and gives a breather to the tension.
There is also a slightly questionable element to the narrative, as we meet a medium later in the story, who claims to be able to link in with the dead. This may put some people off but I decided to just go with the flow. Maybe it was this slight cheat that persuaded me to give four stars instead of five.
Anyway, an excellent read and I'll be watching out for more from this author.