Top critical review
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Interesting but somewhat lacking...
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.