Thanks to Jo at mychestbutreadingtree for this amazing review of a awesome-looking psychological thriller – just what I needed for my Mystery Mondays series after spending the weekend with my head deep in water instead of a mystery book
Zoe and Ollie Morley tried for years to have a baby and couldn’t. They turned to adoption and their dreams came true when they were approved to adopt a little girl from birth. They named her Evie.
Seven years later, the family has moved to Yorkshire and grown in number: a wonderful surprise in the form of baby Ben. As a working mum it’s not easy for Zoe, but life is good.
But then Evie begins to receive letters and gifts.
The sender claims to be her birth father.
He has been looking for his daughter.
And now he is coming to take her back…
I just could not put this book down! This book is responsible for me being awake at 2.30 this morning unable to go to sleep until I had wrung every single word from its pages. So today I am a tired and grumpy book blogger especially as I have no coffee in the house any longer as it gives me palpitations! Which is probably a good thing as this book alone was responsible for plenty of palpitations yesterday!
I actually wish I hadn’t read the book blurb before I started The Stolen Child. That first chapter was such an intense, hard hitting and emotional few pages that it probably would have had even more impact on me if I hadn’t know what Zoe and Ollie were actually going through. But it was an incredible start to this highly emotive parenting journey that had my instincts as a mother on high alert for Zoe and her family immediately. This is one of those books where you suspect everybody and trust nobody as you hope and pray that everything comes good in the end. And one of the things that made The Stolen Child stand out for me was that you were never quite sure HOW it was going to end due to the realistically difficult family circumstances that were used to great effect by Sanjida Kay.
The setting of Ilkley gave this thriller an extra creepy and atmospheric edge and its vivid descriptions were beautifully written with a knowledge and passion that projected off each page. And whilst I didn’t particularly take to the “Boden catalogue” couple (in fact during that second chapter I absolutely detested Ollie!!) that didn’t impact on the tension I felt watching their beautiful but confused child deal with the difficult emotions she was going through. Her complex family dynamics also evoked many emotions within me and left me feeling completely drained at times. But I still couldn’t put this book to the side!
This is a tense family drama that is taken to another level by the ravishingly descriptive narrative which sent shivers down my spine. The anxieties of parenthood were heightened to such an extent I just wanted to grab all my kids/grandchildren and give them the biggest ever bear hugs. Giving children the freedom to find themselves and make their own decisions is one of the hardest parenting choices you can make especially when all you want to do is bubble wrap them and keep them safely close to you! And Samjida Kay obviously knows what frightens parents the most, using that knowledge to great effect in her fictional family so that her readers can safely live out their own fears within this melodrama.
I enjoyed this so much that as soon as I finished, even though it was the wee small hours of the morning, I went on Amazon to buy any other books by Sanjida Kay. Then learnt that apparently I had already bought Bone by Bone in March 2016 and that it has been hiding in my kindle TBR pile ever since then! So I now know what I will be reading next time I can’t sleep! Insomnia does have its positives!
The Stolen Child is published by Corvus and available to purchase now.