She’ll do anything to save her son. But what if telling the truth means losing him for ever?
On a crisp winter’s evening, Beverly is cooking for her son. Eight-year-old Riley is climbing a tree in the garden, and Beverly smiles as she watches him. Nothing makes her happier than her precious child having fun – she never thought they’d be happy again.
The water on the stove is boiling, and Beverly slides in a handful of spaghetti. When she glances out of the window again, Riley is not there.
She races outside, her heart thumping. Riley is nowhere to be found.
Instinctively, Beverly knows that her son has not just run away. She knows this because of her secret – the one she has kept for eight years. The one that means she has no choice but to keep neighbours at a distance, that stops her sleeping at night.
She thought she’d made the right decision, that she was protecting her son. But now he’s gone. Could this be all her fault?
She’ll do anything to save him. Yet if she tells the truth, she could lose him for ever…
A totally gripping psychological thriller that will get your pulse racing like crazy as it hits you with twist after twist after twist! If you loved The Wife Between Us or The Girl on the Train you’ll be utterly glued to this page-turner.
I always expect the unexpected with Nicole’s books. Here, it is not the things becoming apparent in the cold light of day but the cleverness of taking two stories and watching them converge with such a force that you can do nothing except sit there and gape like a fish.
Narrated by single mum Beverly, her son Riley and a third narrator we learn that Beverly is running from something and has a secret that involves her son. She is very young so is trying hard to maintain perfection in her parenting so as not to attract attention. Including dumping her boyfriend Ethan when he gets too close and starts asking questions about Riley’s dad and his family. Beverly is such an easy character to like, even when you are unsure if she is a reliable narrator. You just know her heart is in the right place.
Riley, Riley, Riley oh boy did I love him, he is such a cheeky little terror. After receiving gifts in the mailbox and after talking to his mate Benji he’s got it in his head his dad is alive and a spy. They are eight years old so it’s a perfectly reasonable explanation. They both have a new substitute teacher called Mr Benton who starts to single Riley out for favourable attention. My detective radar was certainly on high alert with him. Riley is narrated so perfectly I’m pretty sure the author has an inner eight year old terror who is probably right now up a tree somewhere.
Then we have the third narrator who is spying on the two of them from Sam’s house. Sam is an elderly gentleman with a little black Scottish terrier called Scotty. Sam is unaware there is even another person in his house and as if that isn’t creepy enough it soon becomes apparent that the narrator has a terrible past and an intent that will bring them all together soon enough.
This does feature child abuse but nothing sexual or too graphic and raises a lot of questions around nature vs nurture and the cycles of abuse. I thought I had worked out who the third narrator was and how the two stories would come together. But like I said at the start with Nicole’s books always expect the unexpected…..
About the author
Nicole Trope went to university to study Law but realised the error of her ways when she did very badly on her first law essay because, as her professor pointed out, ‘It’s not meant to be a story.’
She studied teaching instead and used her holidays to work on her writing career and complete a Masters’ degree. In between raising three children, working for her husband and renovating houses, she has published six novels. She lives in Sydney, Australia.
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