A sinister and darkly compelling psychological thriller from the No.1 bestselling author of The Girl With No Past.
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. But just who is Grace – and can Simone trust her?
When Grace herself disappears, Simone becomes embroiled in a desperate search for her baby 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.
Simone lost her baby. Will she lose her life trying to find her?
Psychological thrillers are hard to pull off because you must create believable characters and the paths they take must be believable also! Critics of Kathryn Croft’s gripping read, The Girl You Lost lament that the main character – Simone Porter – makes decisions they don’t buy into. However, I found Simone to be a superbly developed protagonist because we start to understand that she can’t read people anymore and her desperation to find out the truth about her missing daughter is what drives her actions and that felt very credible to me.
This is an action-packed whirling dervish of a thriller where you just have to keep reading to uncover who is who and what is what. I read it in 24 hours amid end-of-year school choir performances (okay, not literally at the school performance that would have been really awkward) and packing up our house to move countries — I really had to keep going, as Simone does, to find out the truth. There are definitely big surprises and twists that I couldn’t guess. Parts, yes, but other parts, no way! This is a highly sophisticated plot in action here, which I thought was terrific because so many thrillers are a bit thin in places. The Girl You Lost is fat with intrigue and ingenuity.
The only incredible/negative part for me is the unknown man who recounts his extremely disturbing side of the story. This unknown man is designed to shock the reader, of course, and psychological thrillers need to do that these days, but there is so much violence towards women depicted and described these days in media and books that to read the unknown man’s past was both stomach turning and turned me off the book somewhat. If Kathryn Croft had left a little more room to have a showdown at the end between Simone and her hidden adversary then I’d have felt more satisfaction, but as it is, the ending is quite abrupt and left me just sad to have been exposed to those horrible scenes.
This is Kathryn Croft’s fourth book and it makes me want to read her others, especially The Girl With No Past. Kudos to her because it’s very hard to pull off a credible, twisted plot like this and I think she definitely succeeded! I certainly can’t listen to Oasis’s “Wonderwall” without thinking of the depraved characters from this book. So — 1990s music is kind of ruined for me but I’ve discovered a great new author. Loss-but-win!
You can buy The Girl You Lost here.
My rating: 4.5/5
When Lizzie Harwood isn’t neck-deep in writing and motherhood, she is an editor and writing coach to amazing clients all around the world. Visit editordeluxe.com for more on writing, editing and creativity. See lizzieharwoodbooks.com for book news about her three published books. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org with your book to review.