It’s every parent’s worst nightmare…. the disappearance of a child. But what if it’s someone else’s child? One that you’re supposed to be looking after? Is that better or worse?
Now You See Her
by Heidi Perks
Published by Century
on July 26th 2018
Genres: Thriller / Suspense
ISBN: 1780898835, 9781780898834
Charlotte is looking after her best friend’s daughter the day she disappears. She thought the little girl was playing with her own children. She swears she only took her eyes off them for a second.
Now, Charlotte must do the unthinkable, tell her best friend Harriet that her only child is missing. The child she was meant to be watching.
Devastated, Harriet can no longer bear to see Charlotte. No one could expect her to trust her friend again.
Only now she needs to. Because two weeks later Harriet and Charlotte are both being questioned separately by the police. And secrets are about to surface.
This book unfolds in two time frames…. the ‘now’ when we meet Charlotte in a police interview; and the ‘then’ just a few weeks before as her best friend Harriet drops 4yr old Alice off for Charlotte to babysit. An over-protective mother, it’s the first time Harriet’s been away from Alice so Charlotte’s pleased her friend’s entrusted her with her daughter.
And then the unthinkable…. Charlotte looks away for a minute (and yes, she is briefly on Facebook) but she’s also grappling with three kids of her own – and Alice disappears.
Harriet’s devastated but her husband Brian – who Charlotte barely knows despite five years of friendship with Harriet – is furious with Charlotte and intent on posting blame with her.
We’re in both Charlotte and Harriet’s heads in the days and weeks after Alice’s disappearance so it’s impossible not to feel sympathy for Charlotte – once a popular mum, suddenly a pariah within the school community; and Harriet dealing with her husband’s fury… intermingled with concern for his wife.
We soon learn that there’s some ‘history’ that led to Brian and Harriet moving to Dorset and Brian – who comes across as a controlling bastard (just quietly) – is constantly having to remind Harriet of things she’s forgotten; or things she’s done, or not done.
There are quite a few twists and I was surprised by some. There’s a confrontation of sorts ‘after’ the climax and I kept thinking another twist could be forthcoming but it wasn’t (well, for we readers anyway.) I wasn’t sure about the scene itself (ie. whether it was necessary) but guess it offers some closure for one of the characters and gives us a sense of things being resolved… and reflecting the uncertainty of life.
Now You See Her by Heidi Perks was published by Random House UK and available from 26 July 2018.
I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.