The addictive new psychological thriller from the Sunday Times bestselling author of After Anna and Copycat.
SEVEN DAYS UNTIL HER CHILD IS TAKEN.
SEVEN DAYS TO SAVE HIM.
In seven days, Maggie’s son, Max, turns three. But she’s not planning a party or buying presents or updating his baby book. She’s dreading it. Because in her world, third birthdays are the days on which the unthinkable happens…she loses her child.
For the last twelve years Maggie has been imprisoned in a basement. Abducted aged fifteen, she gave birth to two sons before Max, and on their third birthdays her captor came and took them from her.
She cannot let it happen again. But she has no idea how to stop it. And the clock is ticking…
WHAT. A. RIDE. The adrenaline raced through me as I read this jaw-dropping thriller. This is a book that grabs you by the throat and throws you to the ground speechless when it’s finished with you. Fast-paced and expertly plotted, I tore through this book; I would have read it in one sitting if not for that pesky thing called human interaction with my family. But I knew I’d not be able to sleep without knowing what happened so I stayed up until the early hours to finish. Boy was it worth it for that ending!
Maggie has been held prisoner in the basement for twelve years. In seven days her son Max will turn three and her captor will take him from her, just like her two other sons. She has to save him but has no idea how. We then follow the story in dual timelines and from multiple points of view, with flashbacks that start the day Maggie is kidnapped slowly unveiling the story of the past twelve years. In the present day she is desperately trying to find a way out and save her son, the seven day countdown adding tension and urgency to the subdued atmosphere.
Maggie was a great character. We watch as she not only goes from teenager to woman, but also becomes a mother three times. We see that behind her terror is a formidable woman determined to fight and protect her child. Her strength, courage and tenacity are phenomenal and she’s a character I grew to like, admire and care for. I quickly fell in love with little Max and my heart broke at what possibly awaited him. He was both a light relief in the dark basement and a cause of even greater despair for both the reader and Maggie.
Maggie’s captor was a sinister and terrifying figure, though it’s his delusions that are most frightening. He is so convinced of them and truly believes that imprisoning her in a basement and raping her is saving her and that he had no choice but to do it. His audacity in many of his actions – which I won’t detail because of spoilers- were infuriating, as was his arrogance that he’d never be caught.
I think what made the book so harrowing for me was it’s believability, part of which is because of the well written characters. Each is brought vividly to life as they share the narration of the story. Reading how Maggie’s disappearance affected her family brought a deeper sense of anguish, longing, heartbreak and terror to the story. I have a son the same age Maggie is when she’s abducted so I inevitably pictured the torment I’d feel if it were my child that was gone, living every emotion alongside her parents. But I think the hardest story to read was that of her younger brother James and how it ravaged not only his present, but also his future.
This is the first time I’ve read a book by this author but I can guarantee it won’t be the last. He knows how to captivate his audience, not letting go until the last page. I was gasping out loud and my heart was in my throat as I read the electrifying finale. This is a story that is perfect for the movie screen.
Highly addictive, heart-stopping, dark, disturbing and hopeful, this book is a masterclass in suspense. It is one of my favourite books this year and one you don’t want to miss.
Thank you to NetGalley, Harper Collins UK and Alex Lake for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Out now on Kindle.
Out in paperback November 14th.