You love your family. They make you feel safe. You trust them. Or do you…?
When fifteen-year-old Billy Wilkinson goes missing in the middle of the night, his mother, Claire Wilkinson, blames herself. She’s not the only one. There isn’t a single member of Billy’s family that doesn’t feel guilty. But the Wilkinson’s are so used to keeping secrets from one another that it isn’t until six months later, after an appeal for information goes horribly wrong, that the truth begins to surface.
Claire is sure of two things – that Billy is still alive and that her friends and family had nothing to do with his disappearance.
A mother’s instinct is never wrong. Or is it?
Having loved C L Taylor’s previous 2 psychological thrillers, this one was one of my most anticipated releases this year, so it was the obvious thing to start it the instant it had finished downloading onto my kindle and pretty much couldn’t stop from there on in.
The writing is as fantastic as ever, it lures you in and keeps you captivated, eager to find out more and confirm if your suspicions were correct. It was a compulsion to know not just for Claire and her family’s sake, but for my own sanity. I couldn’t finish this book fast enough, though at the same time, I was sad when it was over.
The premise of the book is obviously terrifying to any parent, and you really get inside of Claire’s head. Feeling frustration, anguish and at times helplessness as she continues to try to keep her family together, while at the same time dealing with her own problems that are occurring.
Claire was actually pretty perfect. Sometimes with psychological thrillers I find it hard to relate to the main character and couldn’t connect with them, but that is far from the case here. She is so nice, there aren’t many parents that would allow Kira, their son’s girlfriend to move in with them at just 18-19 years of age, and while there were difficult circumstances, it was still really understanding of her and Mark to invite her in, and she really seems to care for her and welcome her in, mindful of Kira’s personal space too. I guess my only criticism about Claire, is that she seemed a bit clueless about what was going on around her in the time leading up to Billy’s disappearance, but at the same time, I imagine anyone would be any better, so I can’t say that it was her fault that she was that way.
What is interesting is that Billy himself comes across quite badly, he’s in trouble for graffitiing and just comes across as someone who is cocky and arrogant, just for the sake of being that way, so while it was hard to like him, obviously Claire still loves him, as any mother would. My dislike for him was a surprise, I thought it would be a case of caring for him, and it was more my feelings about Claire (and his brother Jake who I liked immensely) that made me want to find out what happened.
Claire’s friend, Liz is just great, a real support for her and equally as caring as Claire is, but also seems to be one of the larger than life characters and she was a joy to read. Infact, all the characters were well written, you understood them, even if you weren’t that keen on them, and I thought this was really good as it was only told through one person’s viewpoint.
The ending was something else, every few chapters we are shown a conversation that is using Whatsapp, using usernames as opposed to real names, and through this things slowly begin to reveal themselves, not fall into place exactly, but they give you some clues as to what happens on the lead up to Billy’s disappearance. This culminates in and ending that took my breath away. It was tense and surprising, and I was left thinking about everything that transpired, long after I had finished the book. I love that there was a definitive ending, unlike some books which leave me with more questions than answers.
C L Taylor’s books keep getting better and better, each one more deep and thought-provoking than the last.
Published by: Avon
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review