REVIEW: THREE DAYS MISSING, BY KIMBERLY BELLE

 

When a child goes missing, two mothers’ lives collide in a shocking way in this suspenseful novel from the bestselling author of The Marriage Lie.

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: the call that comes in the middle of the night. When Kat Jenkins awakens to the police on her doorstep, her greatest fear is realized. Her nine-year-old son, Ethan, is missing–vanished from the cabin where he’d been on an overnight class trip. Shocked and distraught, Kat rushes to the campground, but she’s too late; the authorities have returned from their search empty-handed after losing Ethan’s trail in the mountain forest.

Another mother from the school, Stef Huntington, seems like she has it all: money, prominence in the community, a popular son and a loving husband. She hardly knows Kat, except for the vicious gossip that swirls around Kat’s traumatic past. But as the police investigation unfolds, Ethan’s disappearance has earth-shattering consequences for Stef, as her path crosses with Kat. As the two mothers race against the clock, their desperate search for answers reveals how the greatest dangers lie behind the everyday smiles of those they trust the most.

 

My Thoughts: Kat Jenkins has been struggling as a single mom and trying to handle issues with her abusive ex-husband. Her genius son Ethan, 9 years old, is the one bright spot in her life. A school camping trip in the mountains looks like a great getaway for Ethan, so Kat gives permission.

But when Kat gets word from the police that her son is missing from the campsite, her world comes crashing down.

Meanwhile, Atlanta Mayor Sam Huntington and his wife Stef are caught up in the danger when their son Sammy, also on the camping trip, becomes a part of someone’s dangerous plan.

How will Kat and Stef find common ground and work together to find Ethan? What, if anything, will Sammy do to assist? I enjoyed the back and forth between Kat and Stef, as the layered story offered glimpses into the emotional and family conflicts, as well as the intensity that develops within a family in the spotlight.

A page turning book, Three Days Missing,  kept me caught up in the frightening events that would ultimately change all of their lives. 5 stars.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE GIRL YOU LOST”

BOOKISH FRIDAY LOGO

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today’s featured book is a recent download from an author I enjoy:  The Girl You Lost, by Kathryn Croft.

 

 

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Beginning:  (Prologue)

It had been easy to get him alone.  He’d played right into her hands and all she’d had to do was flash a smile at him.  Laugh at his jokes.  Pretend to be interested in his words.

But now they were in his flat, in a part of town she barely knew, and if she wasn’t careful, her control would slip away.

***

56:  Grace is already in the kitchen when I go downstairs, sitting at the table, and I smell toast before I see that she has made breakfast.

‘I hope it’s okay?’ she says, biting her lip. ‘Matt said I could help myself.  I’ve made you some tea, too.’

***

Synopsis:  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?

***

What do you think?  Have you read this one?  Would you keep reading?

***

REVIEW: THE GIRL IN THE RED COAT, BY KATE HAMER

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Beth was still adjusting to life as a single mom, living in their little house in Norfolk, England, and spending time with her eight-year-old daughter Carmel at festivals and parks. Carmel was always wearing a red coat, her favorite color.

But Beth worried constantly, as Carmel had a tendency to slip away, on her own, no matter how tightly Beth held her hand. And just as she feared, it happened one foggy day at a crowded event. She was there one second, and then she was gone.

From here, the story of The Girl in the Red Coat bifurcates, with Carmel’s narrative alternating with Beth’s.

We see Beth constantly searching, even after the police have almost given up. There are sightings, but they come to naught.

Carmel is on a very different journey, and her voice brings the reader right into the frightening and disturbing world she now inhabits.

Sometimes I wondered why Carmel didn’t escape, as there were moments when her captor was less vigilant. But then I recalled the story he told when he took her…and how she had believed him. However, a part of Carmel holds steadfast to the core of who she is, separate from those who now control her world; holding onto her true center could be her saving grace.

Back in Beth’s world, after months and even years of darkness, she starts over, becoming a nurse. And she even becomes friends with her ex-husband Paul and his new wife Lucy.

What will happen to suddenly bring a resolution to the nightmare? How does a conversation with a strange woman named Alice help sharpen the focus in the search?

In some ways, the ending felt very abrupt, but perhaps the author is leaving it up to the reader to fill in the blanks. Definitely a captivating story. 4.5 stars.