Six years ago, David lost his first wife in a tragic car accident that left her dead at the scene and their six-year-old daughter, Natasha, also in the car, had vanished. Though the tragedy has left its scars David now has a new wife, Emma, and an adorable baby boy, Ollie. Emma truly believes that at last David can leave the past behind and be happy again.
This is the situation until one morning when Emma, at home with Ollie, is confronted with the sudden appearance of a stranger in her kitchen. It is Natasha, now thirteen years old, sullen unfriendly and unwilling to discuss what has happened to her in the intervening years or how she found her way ‘home’.
This is the second Rachel Abbott book I have read, having started with Only the Innocent and then inadvertently jumping to Stranger Child which is book. 4 of her Tom Douglas series. I enjoyed Only the Innocent but was frankly quite surprised at its success. It was interesting but clumsy and somewhat unbelievable in places. However Stranger Child is in a different league, more polished with a confident storyline.
To use an overused phrase, ‘I was hooked from the start.’ I was! And the reason I was hooked was that I couldn’t think of any possible scenario that would bring Natasha back under the circumstances she had arrived in or that would make her so unresponsive to being reunited with those who would love and care for her.
It is quite a convoluted plot and possibly, if anything, too ‘twisty and turny’ but it kept me really guessing for a long time and so did an admirable job.
I like DCI Tom Douglas and his sidekick Becky and will go back to fill in the gaps with books 2 & 3,