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Customer Review

on 30 July 2013
It takes some guts and not a small amount of skill to write about the disappearance of two young girls, especially when the author is so keen to mention real-life, recent, tragic cases and names. I did wonder where this was going - it could have been so voyeuristic and tasteless - but luckily, this is an author who can handle huge issues with some aplomb. It's never crass or graphic, and really opens the reader's eyes to the manipulation of the public by the media during these cases. Our perception of a missing girl relies solely on what the media are feeding us, and sometimes what the police are feeding the media. It leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.
It's a bittersweet novel all round, sometimes as ice-cold as the Oxfordshire fields in winter, other times raising a wry smile as Joe O'Loughlin battles with his troublesome daughter and rusty love life.
Robotham generally does pretty well with the narrative voice of Piper - it can't be easy for a middle-aged bloke to get into the head of a teenage girl - and only really slips up on some time-line issues. Would Piper, born in around 1993 by my reckoning, really recall all the teddies and candles at Diana's funeral? Would her peers really be called Gerard or Monica? And surely her mother couldn't have been a 'debutante' - the last one was presented in 1958? Sometimes Piper seems much, much older than fifteen and it jars a bit. I can hear the man with a lot more life behind him coming out in her voice!
A minor issue though, and a really cracking read. I will now go and read all his other books pronto.
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