I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Kathryn Croft’s The Girl With No Past was one of my stand-out psychological thriller reads of last year, so I was very excited to get my hands on her new novel, The Girl You Lost. And it didn’t disappoint – she’s done it again; The Girl You Lost is a tense, addictive and dark psychological thriller with believable characters and emotional depth.
Simone and Matt had their daughter Helena at a young age, while they were still in University. But that didn’t matter to them – for six months they lived as a happy family until one day Helena disappeared from their lives.
Eighteen years later, the couple are now married and have gone on to forge successful careers, working hard to fill the void made by their missing child. But their past is about to be dredged back to the surface as Simone is approached by a girl named Grace who believes she is her long-lost daughter Helena.
Understandably, Simone is sceptical to begin with, but just as she begins to allow herself to belief that this could be her daughter, Grace disappears. Unwilling to risk letting her daughter slip away a second time, Simone embarks on a fast-paced, emotional mission to find her.
This book is one that will suck you in and, at less than 300 pages, it’s one which could easily be read in one sitting. Croft wastes no time with scene-building; within the first few pages Simone has already encountered Grace and before long she’s following her to the scene of an alleged crime. With each chapter, secrets are revealed, assumptions are turned on their head and Simone’s determination only increases, plus Simone’s chapters are interspersed with occasional chapters from an unknown narrator which add another layer of intrigue.
There were points when I did find Simone’s investigation a little farfetched – the extremes she and her friend go to, the information they were able to obtain and how willingly other characters took them at their word seemed a little too convenient at times, but it all makes for a very entertaining story.
I didn’t enjoy this novel quite as much as Croft’s previous release, The Girl With No Past, as it does suffer from some unrealistic plot development and a end twist which I found quite predictable. But having an inkling that you know what’s coming and actually reading how it all plays out and the emotional impact on the characters involved are two very different things, and so this didn’t detract from the reading experience to much for me. Kathryn Croft has definitely weaved another taut, emotional novel of suspense and I’d recommend this to any fans of the genre.