Jade Henderson has been snatched from her bed in the middle of the night. Stella, the teenager who lives next door, watches with mounting unease as news of the toddler's disappearance slowly spreads. Only she knows that her mother lied about her whereabouts on the night the child was taken. But as the police investigation gets underway, Stella is shocked when her mum becomes their prime focus . . . unearthing her involvement in the chilling case of a child that went missing twenty years ago.
As the layers of the past and the present are peeled back intermittently, the truth of the two cases are revealed piece by piece. Similar in its construction to Looking for JJ by the same author, the glimpses into the past are haunting and evocative, making this a compelling read. Anne Cassidy's direct writing style is well-suited to the starkness of the story, echoing its often-featured newspaper cuttings perfectly and capturing the true horror of the circumstances: the not knowing.
Though the story is a topical one, it also opens up more challenging questions about choices; what's truly right and what is wrong (and whose place it is to decide) and presents both sides of an argument convincingly. This is a gritty, bleak, compassionate story that I'd recommend to readers of 12 and upwards.