Charlotte has everything in life that she ever could have hoped for: a doting, artistic husband, a small-but-thriving flower shop, and her sweet, smart five-year-old daughter, Daisy. Her younger brother Rocco may have horrible taste in women, but when he introduces his new girlfriend to Charlotte and her family, they are cautiously optimistic that she could be The One. But as Rocco and Ruth’s relationship becomes more serious, Ruth’s apparent obsession with Daisy grows more obvious. Then Daisy is kidnapped, and Charlotte is convinced there’s only one person who could have taken her.
... a psychologically intricate and suspenseful book that should appeal to readers (regardless of gender) who love a well-written tale involving complex characters and engaging plotlines ... readers must stay on their toes to keep the plot and timeline straight ... Adding to the disorientation are the shifting tenses and points of view: Charlotte’s and Rocco’s stories are told in the third-person present, while Ruth’s is told in the first-person present. This takes some getting used to but is eventually overcome by the engine of the story ... All of these characters have secrets that could be life-shattering or life-ending. But in the end, there is a startling moment of compassion that feels wholly satisfying.
Bell creates a suspenseful domestic thriller that targets all the vulnerable places of parents: that their parenting skills are inferior; that they fail to protect their child; but most of all, that the stranger whom they reluctantly invite into their home and family is not who she claims to be, that she may, in fact, be dangerous ... Bell builds suspense until one almost wants to skip to the end just to relieve the tension by more quickly knowing what happens. Those who want a fast-paced story may want to give this one a pass, as the suspense builds more slowly than the average thriller, with no car chases, fights, or gun play. In many ways Bell’s building suspense is more terrifying.
Most of the story is told, alternately, from the standpoints of Charlotte and Ruth, as the truth is gradually teased from lies on the part of both parties, effectively building suspense. Bell is making domestic thrillers her trade, and this will compel readers to its surprisingly sympathetic end.