I bought Paula Daly’s debut novel after being subjected to much twitter hype (check out the hashtag #JWKOMAY). Normally I try to resist the hype and wait. But this time I thought I’d read the sample on my tablet and see if I fancied it. I ended up clicking through at the end because I couldn’t stop reading… (and if you know me, you’ll know that I am not really a fan of reading eBooks, but I genuinely couldn’t wait!)
The premise is simple. Over worked, stressed mother of 3, Lisa Kallisto drops the ball. No big deal maybe, except ‘the ball’ is her friend Kate’s daughter, Lucinda, who is supposed to be at her house having a sleepover with Lisa’s daughter, Sally. Except she’s not there – and it takes 24h for Lisa and Kate to realise this.
Cue massive guilt on Lisa’s part and massive devastation on Kate’s as it starts to look like Lucinda may have fallen victim to a paedophile child snatcher.
Meanwhile, DC Joanne Aspinall is conducting interviews in the small lake district town, trying to work out why it is that she feels that something is just not right about it all, and the more she digs, the more secrets are revealed.
The story is told though the alternating viewpoints of Lisa and Joanne and both women are drawn with an effective realism that draws you right into their lives. The setting works perfectly for the story and I loved how Lisa’s job became so unexpectedly pivotal to the plot. This is a real character led story, with each one playing a significant part and each one being so incredibly realistic I felt like I was living in there with them.
The clues that build up to the story’s twists are scattered in just the right amount throughout: if you choose to follow them, you might be able to work it all out… I tried and failed.
Always a good sign.