Monday 30 April 2018

Now You See Her - Heidi Perks

Charlotte is looking after her best friend’s daughter the day she disappears. She thought the little girl was playing with her own children. She swears she only took her eyes off them for a second. 

Now, Charlotte must do the unthinkable, tell her best friend Harriet that her only child is missing. The child she was meant to be watching.

Devastated, Harriet can no longer bear to see Charlotte. No one could expect her to trust her friend again.

Only now she needs to. Because two weeks later Harriet and Charlotte are both being questioned separately by the police. And secrets are about to surface. 


What did I think?

I was thrilled to see the release of Now You See Her by Heidi Perks, having previously read her outstanding debut, Beneath the Surface.  This book deals with every parent's nightmare: a missing child, only Heidi Perks takes it a step further with the child going missing whilst being looked after by a friend.  

Harriet is a bit of a loner and Charlotte is her only friend.  When Harriet goes on a course out of town she asks Charlotte to look after her daughter, Alice.  This isn't a problem for Charlotte as she plans to take Alice with her 3 children to the village fete.  As the children all run off to an inflatable ride, Charlotte checks Facebook on her phone.  OMG!!!  Why can't people leave their phone alone for 5 minutes?  It really annoys me how people are so dependent on their digital life when they have a real life passing them by.  Whist Charlotte is immersed in what her friends have had for lunch on Facebook, 4 children get on the ride but only 3 get off.  Where is Alice?

Charlotte's guilt is IMMENSE.  Especially when she has to admit to having her eye on her phone and not the children.  She doesn't even learn her lesson as she seems more concerned about what people think of her than what has happened to Alice.  It's no surprise that Harriet doesn't want to see Charlotte when she and her husband, Brian, are given the devastating news that Alice is missing.  Charlotte doesn't really know Brian as Charlotte is separated from her husband so they don't socialise as couples.  It's a while before you realise that all is not as it seems in Harriet and Brian's marriage.  Brian is a total control freak and plays with Harriet's mind even during the stress of Alice's disappearance.  He is a totally detestable, manipulative character and he really made my skin crawl.   

Fearing for Alice's safety, I felt as if I was acting as judge and jury with Charlotte standing in the dock.  I followed the breadcrumbs left by Heidi Perks and, with all of the facts laid before me, I attempted to untangle truth from lies but it's not a straight-cut guilty or innocent case.  There's so much going on and lots to uncover before we really find out what happened to Alice.

Now You See Her evoked such emotion in me (as you might have gathered from by Facebook rant).  From the mental abuse being dished out by detestable Brian to Charlotte's (and the whole world's) Facebook obsession, I felt my blood pressure rising with every page and that is testament to the mighty fine writing of Heidi Perks.  I am not surprised to learn that Now You See Her has been optioned for TV - it's an edge of your seat book and if it's half as good on the small screen, it will be brilliant.

Now You See Her is a twisty-turny psychological thriller that really stands out from the crowd in this very popular genre.  It's powerful, emotive, surprising and gripping - definitely one to pick up and discuss at book club or with friends.

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

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

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