by Linwood Barclay
A trip to an amusement park sees the disappearance of a mother, Jan, and her child being snatched from the father. When the mother doesn’t reappear, the father David Harwood panics and reports her missing.
The police find no evidence of Jan ever being at the park and as time passes the evidence points to David killing her – even though a body has not been discovered yet.
As he tries to piece together what happens, his life starts to unravel before his eyes. Has she been abducted by the men trying to stop him writing his corruption story as some kind of leverage or is there something else going on that he’s unaware of.
While David tried to piece together what was happening you realised the he had no idea who Jan was, she had manipulated the situation to disappear and to set David up for murder. Initially, the police only suspected David of killing his wife, but when a badly disfigured body is found with only personal effects for identification it seems its a foregone conclusion.
It becomes a race against time, David trying to find his wife and the police trying to arrest him for murder. Luckily, only one of the police believes there is something wrong, the crime is to neat and David is wrapped up in a bow for them! While he tries to establish what exactly happened, David starts to piece together who Jan really was, uncovering aspects of her supposed life that really belonged to someone else – her childhood friend – and realising that she may be alive somewhere.
Setting the scene and characters took some time to do and was a little slow going but the pace improved once this was done. You really warmed to David and you wanted him to win, you couldn’t help feeling that he had been set up for a serious fall when Jan first met him and that his child would be taken away from him eventually.
Meanwhile, you felt Jan was a piece of work, thinking only of herself and what she can get out of life with no thought or care of the consequences of her actions. But toward the end of the book a small part of you can empathise and understand why she did what she did, even if her motives were misplaced by greed.
It was a very enjoyable read and a real page turner and easy to pick up and put down, it had a good pace even if you did have an inkling of what was going to happen. The final reveal still surprised but in the end it was the only conclusion. Still, a good read for anyone who likes thrillers and I would recommend it.