Sarah Denzil has written a fast-paced thriller that challenges what we believe about English village life. Using crisp, focused writing that avoids unnecessary verbiage and tiresome cliches, Denzil takes us on a rollercoaster ride that is impossible to stop until it reaches the end. The protagonist, Emma, is a 24 year old mother with a happy life. Her beloved son, six year old, Aiden, is a lively, bright little boy, and, his father, her high school boyfriend Rob, lives nearby. Emma thinks she knows everyone in her tiny, northern English village and she feels safe.
When a storm hits the area, the local Ouse River overflows. Aiden, for some unknown reason, leaves the safety of his school and drowns. To lose any child is a parent's worst fear, and Emma's life becomes an almost unbearable nightmare. Moreover, she has no closure because her boy's body has never been found. When Emma's parents are killed in an auto crash four years later, Emma cannot bear to live. Rob has left, and she has no family. During a suicide attempt, Emma is saved by Jake Hewitt, an art teacher ten years her senior. Fast forward six years, Emma is married to Jake and eight months pregnant. On her last day of work, she receives a call from the police detective who had investigated Aiden's death. He tells her that Aiden has been found alive and is in a local hospital, but he is mute and cannot tell them where he has been.
Although this book was a page turner that was hard to put down, Denzil opens several plot lines that seem to appear at random and are not closed. Nonetheless, Denzil successfully rips the masks off Emma's idyllic village and its inhabitants, exposing such evil and viciousness it is almost impossible to believe. I give this book four stars, and I recommend that any lover of absorbing, non-cozy English village mysteries read this book.
* Print Length: 417 pages
* Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
* Publication Date: January 22, 2017
* Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC