Kathryn Croft’s The Girl With No Past received a lot of love when it was released last year. Indeed, in my own review of the book I commented that Croft did a great job with the lead character—the flawed Leah—and while I wasn’t entirely convinced by the ending I most certainly didn’t see it coming.The Girl You Lost
by Kathryn Croft
Published by Bookouture
on February 5th 2016
Genres: Thriller / Suspense, Psychological Thriller
ISBN: 9781910751701, B019D70QIQ
Eighteen years ago, Simone Porter’s six-month-old daughter, Helena, was abducted. Simone and husband, Matt, have slowly rebuilt their shattered lives, but the pain at losing their child has never left them.
Then a young woman, Grace, appears out of the blue and tells Simone she has information about her stolen baby.
When Grace herself disappears, Simone becomes embroiled in a desperate search for her daughter and the woman who has vital clues about her whereabouts.
Simone is inching closer to the truth but it’ll take her into dangerous and disturbing territory.
Croft again does a great job with our lead character, Simone. She’s not flawed and (in fact) has done an amazing job to move on after the disappearance of her daughter 18 years earlier.
She’s thrown by Grace’s appearance and doesn’t feel any sense of connection she thought she’d experience with Helena, so she’s suspicious from the outset. I liked that Croft hasn’t written her character as desperate or naive. Simone’s a bit jaded by life and cynical by nature (and because of her profession as a TV news producer) so initially her interest and involvement seems as much about her intrigue as hoping for answers about Helena. But she’s soon sucked in.
We meet Simone’s husband Matt, who was at medical school when their daughter disappeared. Their marriage survived the incident and has remained rock solid on a bed of love and mutual respect. We’re also introduced to Simone’s colleague and friend—the handsome and charismatic Abbot—who helps her try to find Grace. And then there’s a cast of suspicious characters who may or may not have been involved in the abduction of Helena many years earlier and may or may not know what’s happened to Grace.
The book’s written in first person present tense, from Simone’s point of view, but there’s a prologue (in third person) and then occasional ‘reminiscences’ also in first person. It’s not hugely confusing but the novel offers up a few threads. They eventually come together but keeping up with them all initially took some effort.
As in her previous novel, Croft throws in a lot of red herrings. The reminiscences offer some clues, so we know there’s more to the unfolding plot than meets the eye. I kinda guessed what was coming in the end, though was devastated nonetheless.
At only 260ish pages I easily read this book in a sitting. It’s well-written and fast paced. It featured a few out-of-left-field coincidences but even my picky little mind was able to dismiss these pretty easily as I tore through this page-turning psychological thriller.
The Girl You Lost by Kathryn Croft will be published by Bookouture in early February.
I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.