Book Review: The Girl You Lost by Kathryn Croft*

I have a lot of commitments outside of reading and reviewing books, just as everyone does, and it’s very rare that I have the time to sit down and read a book in one sitting. Usually laundry calls, or the kitchen needs cleaning, or I have university work to complete to a deadline. I’m going to take this opportunity to admit here that this book was read in the space of around 4 hours, and I devoured it like there was no tomorrow. 

I don’t think I need to remind my regular readers that I love psychological thrillers more than pretty much any other genre of book. They only have to LOOK slightly creepy and I’m practically grabbing that book from the shelf. I was lucky enough to be sent an ARC of this book by Bookouture, although it has already been published at the time of posting this review. 

The book introduces Simone, a journalist and her husband Matt, a general practitioner. We are told the story of how, 18 years previous to the timing of the novel, their daughter had been kidnapped from her pram in the park  whilst out with her Grandmother and had been lost without a trace. One day, without a word of warning, she is approached by a young girl who goes by the name of Grace Rhodes and her world is changed forever. Over the course of the next few hundred pages there are twists and turns which leave you questioning every one-at one point I convinced myself of the guilt of a particular character, simply because he seemed too nice to be genuine. A day after the revelations have come to the surface and Grace has suddenly vanished- is she guilty of playing a hoax on them or has she said too much and put her own life in danger? Simone puts her own life into peril trying to discover whether or not this young girl is telling the truth, and if she is, where she’s vanished to and who is responsible for taking her in the first place.

I must admit that I was a little skeptical at first- there were a lot of things which happened in the plot where I scoffed and thought that things were coming together way too easily for the protagonist and her partner. I even recall saying out loud “like that’d happen in real life” on multiple occasions. But then, the last 20 pages happened and my life changed. Okay, not exactly. But it honestly felt like it had. The twist was possibly one of the biggest that I’ve read in my vast readings of psychological fiction and I did not see it coming in the slightest, which is a massive success as far as I’m concerned. I really loved the characters, particularly the relationship between Simone and her colleague at the news centre, Abbott: I thought their friendship was lovely and it touched me that he was so willing to help her with something which could potentially ruin his own career. 

I have tried to be as vague as possible in this review, as I’d definitely say that this is a book which needs to be read to be fully appreciated. I fully recommend that you grab yourself a copy of the book from Amazon as soon as you possibly can, as you will not be disappointed. I’m looking forward to reading more of the books that Kathryn Croft has to offer and I suspect that her name will become a more familiar one in future years.