Friday, 4 August 2017

99 Red Balloons - Elisabeth Carpenter

Two girls go missing, decades apart. What would you do if one was your daughter?

When eight-year-old Grace goes missing from a sweetshop on the way home from school, her mother Emma is plunged into a nightmare. Her family rallies around, but as the police hunt begins, cracks begin to emerge.

What are the secret emails sent between Emma’s husband and her sister? Why does her mother take so long to join the search? And is Emma really as innocent as she seems?

Meanwhile, ageing widow Maggie Taylor sees Grace’s picture in the newspaper. It’s a photograph that jolts her from the pain of her existence into a spiralling obsession with another girl – the first girl who disappeared…

This is a gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist that will take your breath away.

What did I think?

Wow!  I loved this book.  It's a super fast-paced story that had me on the edge of my seat and looking back now I can see that all of the clues were there but I walked, no make that RAN, past every one of them.  If reading was a race, I would have won a gold medal for reading 99 Red Balloons.

With two stories of missing children, both are absolutely heartbreaking.  Firstly, the story in the present is of sisters, Emma and Steph. Emma's daughter, Grace, has gone missing and it's usually a time when the family would rally round but this family is ODD.  Emma and Steph's mother virtually has to be dragged there to support her daughter and Emma's husband seems to be hiding something...something that Steph is privy to.

The past story is about Maggie whose granddaughter, Zoe, was abducted.  Zoe's mother, Sarah, died of a broken heart and Maggie never gave up looking for Zoe.  She knows exactly what Emma is going through and I've read enough psychological thrillers to know that the two stories would link somehow, but I didn't expect them to come together is such a spectacular fashion.

99 Red Balloons is a proper edge of your seat, race against time, rollercoaster ride that had my heart rate soaring to danger levels.  A magnificent debut by Elisabeth Carpenter that will be difficult to beat.  Highly recommended.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

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