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3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 19 March 2007
It must be every parents nightmare - just before you are about to leave for your much anticipated holiday your 15 year old daughter goes missing. The emotions going from mild annoyance to baited concern right through to out right terror. This is what Nina Landry must go through as her daughter Charlie is missing...

The premise is interesting and the setting (a small island on the Thames Estuary) has a really repressive feel for Nina and I love the way this is written. You can feel oppressive nature of the environment as the major players around the location pull in around one and other with Nina still feeling as somewhat the outsider.

Nina has to force the local police force to move forward with the investigation and helpful neighbours who harbour their own issues with Nina are not helping. Nina however is a mother with the bit between her teeth and knows this is a race - but will she win?

I enjoyed the beginning and middle of the books, the character development was up to Nicci French's high standards and there was a smattering of tension to fill the pages but I did find the killer instinct to be somewhat lacking and I thought this let the book down. We have come to expect page turning shockers from the author and the change of direction is as welcome as it is unexpected but I feel this style of book is going to take some refinement. It is probably a harsh 3 stars but given the usually excellent standard I can't help but compare it to its predecessors.
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on 1 May 2017
interesting theme- hadto finish
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on 25 July 2017
I can't have enough of Nicci French novels , addicted
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on 1 June 2017
Good read
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on 19 September 2017
One of the better ones
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on 26 February 2007
Like the other reviewers I think the end felt a bit hurried and not fully explained. However, you can't deny that this is a real page turner in the true sense of the word. The action starts at 10.30 one morning and ends at 6pm that evening which was about as long as it took me to read the book. There are no chapters so all the while the story is gathering pace and I really felt the panic experienced by Nina, our narrator. It is a minute by minute account of the day that Nina's daughter disappears and I felt her distress every second along the way. I would definitely recommend this book.
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on 14 March 2007
This book started off very well, with a very readable style and intriguing plot. However, as other reviewers have said, as it progressed, the whole thing started to get more unbelieveable. Only the heroine seemed to feel that anything was wrong when her daughter failed to appear, and this gave the plot a bit of an unrealistic feeling.

However, with a decent ending, this would not have mattered so much, and it would have still have been a good book. The real fault with this book was there was no explanation as to the events which had taken place, and why things been done. I was hoping for an explanation; or even better still, a last minute twist right up until the final page. Unfortunately, neither came.
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on 25 March 2008
As a Nicci French fan as soon as I could get my hands on this thriller I bought it. These authors write some of my favourite books and always keep me gripped. As an interesting new direction, Losing You is cleverly written in realtime, with no skipping over of details and as a technical way of accompanying the panicky plotline. Set in the first day after her eldest child has gone missing, Losing You portrays the heroine's search for her daughter. It is realistic in the way that while Nina begins her day in a calculated timescale, as the frantic afternoon and evening unravels we lose sense of time as we suspect she must, becoming more and more panicked and running out of time in her search.
However, I think Gerard and French need to refine this way of writing a novel in one long thread, as a single chapter, because it contains the seeds of the novel's own shortcomings. For instance, while at the beginning there is time to get a vague feel of the other characters, the only real development occurs in those of Nina, her son, her ex-husband and the two main neighbours, Alix and Joel. This doesn't give a sense of depth to parts of the novel; for instance, the killer. While in other books we are always given a sense of the killer's character (be they more of a background personality, like Charlie in Catch Me, or Morris in Beneath the Skin, or someone that we know from the beginning is sinister, like Brendan in Secret Smile or Adam in Killing Me Softly), thus enabling us to weigh up the evidence and guess who the killer might be, Losing You's killer could have been anyone as we have no character depth. While Nicci French varies perspectives and this is not their only novel written entirely in the heroine's first person, it feels lacking in that we don't feel part of her. This is also due to the pace of the book, which does not have time to engage us in Nina's life - we don't know what her job is, what she likes or what her hobbies are, who her real friends are - and therefore I felt less gripped than usual. The realtime element also prevents the authors from cutting out the more irrelevent points of the story, which slows a pace that should be racy and tense into something the reader wishes wasn't as slow and descriptive, especially geographically - the road-placings of Charlie's paper round are unnecessary for instance.
The pace at the ending of the book, while initially inducing the tension we are used to, almost becomes annoying - the inept authorities still don't understand what's happened and Nina won't trust the doctors who are there to help, although perhaps understandably she is desperate to see Charlie. While we seem to be promised a characteristic twist at the end, when the police point out the failings of Nina's idea of the killer, the finish falls short of expectations.
At the end of the book I felt short-changed - I had had no idea who the killer was, and in retrospect, didn't 'understand' the motives as I have in previous French novels. The book did not thrill until the last sentence as is usual; in fact it could have concluded a couple of pages earlier. There were thrilling and exciting parts to the novel but, in short, fingers crossed that Until It's Over will be a return to form.
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on 12 June 2017
Very exciting, not my usual choice of book, I only chose it as it was set in Essex. I really enjoyed it, couldn't put it down, I shall definitely read more by this author. The technique of all the action taking place in one day worked very well.
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on 11 February 2007
Losing You starts well, with the non-appearance - rather than disappearance - of the heroine's teenage daughter, after she's been at a sleepover with friends. The mother immediately suspects the worst, which isn't unreasonable considering that the family were due to fly off for a Christmas break in the sun that very morning. However, no one else on the island appears to take the fact that the girl is missing very seriously. At first, this is understandandable, but even when police are called in from the mainland, they are totally inept. This is why the book is so difficult to believe in, because everyone apart from the heroine - who is the narrator for the entire book, thus preventing us from getting to know the other characters well, because she doesn't know them well - is utterly useless. As a result, the mother becomes some kind of super-charged, comic-strip heroine. She does all the detective work, she interviews everyone despite the police trying to stop her, she walks out of the police station where she's gone to help the police and sets off on a ridiculous single-handed hunt, and no one lifts a finger to help her. Even the discovery of the body of another teenage girl doesn't make any difference to the police or the local people. The end, as another reviewer has commented, is absurd. I have no idea why the person responsible for what happened did what they did, and I don't understand how the mother was physically capable of doing what she did. As for the last few pages, when she refuses - as usual - to obey orders even from hospital doctors and nurses, they made me laugh out loud. The concept was a good one, but the book needed some firm editing before publication. If this had been written by a new writer, I don't think it would ever have seen the light of day.
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