Happy publication day to Patricia Gibney as The Lost Child, book three in the Lottie Parker series launches. I hope you have a fabulous day celebrating as this is a brilliant book. I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blitz to celebrate the launch and a big thank you to Kim Nash for inviting me to take part.
The Official Book Blurb
They placed me in here and threw away the key. I look down at the gown they’ve put on me. I want my own clothes. I don’t know how long I’ve been here.
An elderly woman is found murdered in her own home, and Detective Lottie Parker and her partner Detective Boyd are called in to investigate. When they discover that the victim’s daughter is missing as well, they start to fear for the safety of the whole family…
Two days later as a nearby house is set on fire and with the body count rising, Lottie and her team begin to unpick a web of secrets and lies, as the murders seem to link back to a case investigated by Lottie’s father before he took his own life.
With little knowledge of what really happened to her father, Lottie knows this is a case that could give her some answers. But how much does she want to know? And how far is Lottie prepared to dig to uncover the truth?
The Lost Child is a thrilling page-turner from the bestselling author of The Missing Ones and The Stolen Girls that will have you guessing right to the very last page. Perfect for fans of Rachel Abbott, Angela Marsons and Robert Dugoni.
Since the first book in this series, The Missing Ones, was published in March this year, I have steadily been growing to like Patricia Gibney’s terribly flawed protagonist Lottie Parker more and more. There are so many things wrong with her and yet she is so undeniably human, that it is hard not to. I have to say though that as stories go, I think that this one is most definitely the best one yet and it had me suckered in and hooked from start to finish.
Faced with investigating a brutal murder, Lottie and her team first have to ascertain whether or not it was a case of mistaken identity. The victim is not the person they first suspect and when the links to the actual home owner become clear they begin to fear for the other woman’s safety. When the missing woman turns up outside the hospital, injured in a most brutal and potentially fatal manner, and a third member of the same family disappears it becomes a race against time to find her before she too is killed. In a case that brings Lottie’s own past right into the spotlight, can she maintain a level head and solve this most heinous of murders before any more bodies are found?
Patricia Gibney has done an excellent job of creating suspense in this book. From the identity of the first victim to the exact whereabouts of the second, everything feels like it is balance on a knife-edge, a growing sense of unease permeating every page. There are so many questions unanswered. Where is the missing woman? Is she victim or perpetrator? Could she be the cause of the untold rage which has destroyed her home? And what is the secret that this woman’s daughter is keeping, for she surely is keeping one and it is up to Lottie to find out just what it is before it is all too late.
None of the characters in this book are what or who they appear to be, but the exact level of deception is kept cleverly hidden until the end. It is evident though the stress that the case puts Lottie under and it pushes her closer to her old addiction of alcohol and drugs to get through the day. Couple in with this an uneasy reconciliation with her friend, Annabelle, a woman who is managing her own demons and secrets, and you really feel the tension growing.
In amongst the main narrative are passages from ‘The Child’. Some of these are quite harrowing in their retelling and you come to understand quickly the pain that neglect causes and the impact it has upon this poor child’s life. this is definitely a case of lack of nurture rather than nature creating a set of circumstances that bring the case to an almost inevitable conclusion. The only question is – who is the child? Discovering the answer to this is not something the reader will do until the end and that revelation and the twist that comes with it will likely shock you to the core. It certainly leaves Lottie with an interesting dilemma which I can only hope will be resolved in future books.
One of the key draws of this series has to be the relationship between Lottie and her Sergeant, Mark Boyd. There is an undeniable chemistry between the two, with Boyd often covering for his boss. Lottie is still too drawn into her grief over the loss of her husband to give him much thought, but something in this case sees her heart start to soften. How far this leads … You’ll have to read to find out and quite probably wait for future books too. But whether personally or professionally, they do make a really good pairing, at least when Lottie opens up enough to let Boyd in.
There are some decidedly unsavoury moments in this book but none of them are gratuitous in their execution. That said there is no getting away from the horror of the murders or the things that the perpetrator does to their victims. It is heartless and cold and at times made my skin crawl. So did the underlying reasons and what can only be called callousness which brought the situation about to begin with. the whole case started back in 1970’s Ireland, and that has to be borne in mind when considering how things play out. The level of lies and corruption is heartbreaking and you can almost feel sorry for the killer. Almost…
Fast paced, gripping and set in the midst of one of the worst storms Ragmullin had faced (and yes I was reading this just as Ophelia hit Ireland’s shores – you couldn’t make it up), much like the winds, this story will pick you up, throw you about without a care and drop you back down so shell-shocked, so completely stunned that you will be clamouring for book four. I know that I am.
Both shocking and strangely compelling, this is an absolutely cracking read in a series which is going from strength to strength. Loved it.
Thanks to publishers Bookouture and Netgalley for the advance copy of The Lost Girls for review. It is available now from the following retailers:
About the Author
Patricia yearned to be a writer after reading Enid Blyton and Carolyn Keene and even wanted to be Nancy Drew when grew up. She has now grown up (she thinks) but the closest she’s come to Nancy Drew is writing crime!
In 2009, after her husband died, she retired from her job and started writing seriously. Fascinated by people and their quirky characteristics, she always carries a notebook to scribble down observations.
Patricia also loves to paint in watercolour and live in the Irish midlands with her children.
Make sure to check out some of the other briliant blogs taking part in the blitz: