The child you never knew
knows all your secrets . . .
Out of the blue, Susie Jukes is contacted on social media by Anna, the girl she gave up for adoption fifteen years ago.
But when they meet, Anna’s home life sounds distinctly strange to Susie and her husband Gabe. And when Anna’s adoptive parents seem to overreact to the fact she contacted them at all, Susie becomes convinced that Anna needs her help.
But is Anna’s own behaviour simply what you’d expect from someone recovering from a traumatic childhood? Or are there other secrets at play here – secrets Susie has also been hiding for the last fifteen years?
This book has one of the most spine chillingly manipulative characters I have ever come across and she is fifteen years old.
The adults aren’t much better either, being musicians they have pasts filled with drug taking and sex with groupies.
After numerous miscarriages Susie is desperate to be a mother and give Gabe a family. So when a fifteen year old girl called Anna contacts her via social media claiming to be Sky, the daughter she gave away years ago, could Susie finally get what she craves? After all she’s claiming her adoptive parents are abusive and she calls him ‘the monster’.
“Careful what you wish for” seems highly appropriate as their well ordered lives are about to be set on fire. Anna is a pathological liar, she is cunning, clever and always ten steps ahead.
Told via multiple narration we are privy to everyone’s thoughts and I have to say being inside Anna/Sky’s head felt dangerously fun. While Susie felt more needy and desperate, making Gabe the only genuine and likeable one among them and he’s accused of sleeping with underage girls so you know how bad the others are.
The real fun was the dread of what Sky would do next and how bad things would become for everyone. My only niggle was I wanted a different ending to the one I got.
About the author
JP Delaney’s first psychological thriller, The Girl Before, was an instant Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller and went on to sell over a million copies worldwide. His subsequent books Believe Me, The Perfect Wife, and Playing Nice were also top ten bestsellers, while Playing Nice was a Richard and Judy Book Club selection. Recently, JP Delaney has been heavily involved in the television adaptation of The Girl Before, as lead writer and co-executive producer.
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