Most mothers hope their little girl turns out like their dad, but not Zoe. She hopes the apple falls far from the tree.
Zoe didn't meet her daughter the way most mothers do. She finds five-year-old Maddie alone and dirty on a countryside road. Frightened for Maddie's safety, she picks her up and takes her back to her father, not knowing what she's about to step into. Because Maddie wasn't just lost, she was there to lure her serial killer dad's new victim.
After escaping from the clutches of Maddie's dangerous father, she bonds with the little girl. Only Maddie knows what it was like to be at that house. And when no family members come forward to claim Maddie, Zoe decides to adopt her. They move away to a safe house on the Cornish coast and become a family of their own. Zoe gets married and has another child, a baby brother for Maddie.
But Maddie is still traumatised by what she experienced. Diagnosed with callous and unemotional traits, Zoe has a tough job to ensure Maddie has the love and support she needs. Zoe truly loves her daughter—she wouldn't change a thing about her. But there is a part of her that always stays alert. A part of her is afraid of Maddie.
And now, eleven years later, Maddie's school bully is found dead, and another girl is missing.
Zoe can't help but wonder... like father, like daughter?
I was thrilled to be asked to be on the book tour for this one, as I had previously joined a tour for another of Sarah’s books: The housemaid. This one seemed very different though and the blurb caught my eye straight away.
I was hooked from the start, the first chapter was all I read before I fell asleep, but I woke up thinking I needed to get on with it as it was brilliant! You’ll understand why if you read it. I have been glued to my kindle app since and could hardly put it down (damn the housework for making me stop from time to time haha).
The story focuses on Zoe and Maddie, it passes from the past to the present, and I actually enjoyed both timelines. The past is harrowing, reading about the capture and what happened, what Maddie went through back then, what she thinks is normal, but what clearly is not. But Maddie and Zoe’s bond is so strong, you can understand why as they’ve been through so much together. But they do sincerely love each other, but even after all these years, still struggle with certain things, and definitely with certain emotions. I liked reading the ‘past’ bits, but more of the after the farm, seeing how emotions were dealt with, how Zoe’s parents dealt with it. I can’t even imagine what something like that would do to a person, a family.
The missing girl brings up so many memories for Zoe, and the girl happens to be Maddie’s best friend. Then another girl dies, she also goes to school with Maddie. It made for a really good guessing game, with a lot of different factors and theories flying around.
The story was so gripping, so many different people you judge for so many different reasons. But are they all right? Once you’ve guessed, sometimes you may end up guessing again!
If you like thrillers, who dunnits, and family dramas… this is definitely one you should read.
Thanks so much to Victoria from Insta Book Tours for letting me be a part of this fabulous tour, and thank you to Sarah for all of her comments and for writing such great stories! And obviously, thank you for my e-arc :)
Please remember to check out the other stops on the tour, it’s been great so far!