Mandy Miller disappeared from Hallow’s End when she was just 3 years old. She was never found.
Thirty years on, Elaine Ellis is carrying her mother’s ashes back to Hallow’s End to scatter them in the place that she once called home. Elaine has never been there, but it’s the only place Jean talked about while she was growing up – so it seems as good a place as any.
As Elaine settles into her holiday cottage in the peaceful Devonshire village, she gets to know the locals; family she never knew she had, eccentric and old-fashioned gentry, and new friends where she would least expect them. But she is intrigued by the tale of the missing girl that the village still carries at its heart, and which somehow continues to overshadow them all. Little does she know how much more involved in the mystery she will become…
While I love reading chick lit novels, it's great to switch things up a bit every now and again by picking up books within a different genre, such as YA, historical fiction, or a detective/mystery/thriller. Author Ann Troup's newest book 'The Lost Child', which was released by Carina UK on the 19th of May, belongs to that last category. When I was contacted about the novel, the blurb straight away intrigued me and I was curious to find out more about the story. Thanks again to Ann herself for being willing to provide me with a review copy, so I could read and review the book for my blog!
Elaine Ellis has travelled to the small Devon village of Hallow's End, where her mother used to live, to spread her mother's ashes. Since her own house is being renovated, Elaine decides to rent a holiday cottage and spend a few days in the village, discovering why her mother loved it there so much. Yet, what Elaine doesn't know is that this trip will change her life forever. Years ago, Hallow's End was the scene of a tragedy when a little girl named Mandy Miller disappeared. The body was never found, just Mandy's bloody sweater. Now, after all those years, new proof suddenly appears and Elaine can't help but become involved with the whole case.
This book is quite a page-turner! 'The Lost Child' managed to exceed my expectations and had me on the edge of my seat throughout most parts of the story. While the basic plotline of Ann Troup's novel might not be the most original one (a child that goes missing and a whole village that has never forgotten, then the case is opened again years later), the author definitely gave it her own twist and turned it into a captivating tale with a strong focus on the relationships between the different characters. I liked the protagonist Elaine from the start and various other characters (such as grumpy teenager Brodie, builder Dan, and all the various people living in the village of Hallow's End) were fascinating and really added their own touch to the story.
The book is quite well-paced and continually surprised me with new details and events that made sure I didn't want to stop reading but instead find out what would come next. It is quite a dark novel, with various serious topics that are dealt with, but this fits the storyline and the genre. I think I would describe the book as a dark women's fiction read with a good dose of mystery/thriller. Overall, 'The Lost Child' is an intriguing and captivating read which had me on the edge of my seat until the last few chapters; an entertaining book by a new author that has definitely sparked my interest!