The blurb of this book appealed to me instantly. The story of a child taken one day from a crowded beach and largely forgotten about, and also the story of a budding journalist who wants to get to the truth, make for a fascinating premise.

Danni’s and Laura’s stories are told in short chapters from each point of view. Danni is a young woman who, after suffering a tragedy, feels that something isn’t quite right in her life. Laura is the journalist who starts to look into the disappearance of Jessica Preston that day twenty years earlier.

For some reason I preferred Laura’s chapters and I’m not sure why. Maybe because she was the one doing the investigating. She’s hungry for the truth to the point that sometimes she did some very silly things and I really wanted to shout at her through my book (not that it would have done any good!).

I don’t know how this book is being marketed but I had the feeling it was going to be a psychological thriller. In reality I think it was more of a family drama and there was a lot of background and information about the family life of the two young women. A bit too much information really. I think there was a lot of superfluous detail given in this book and it could have been shorter than its 438 pages. And yet, despite that I couldn’t wait to pick it up and read some more. The short chapters worked really well to keep up the pace and I rattled through it much quicker than I would have expected given its length.

Child Taken is an absorbing story and a real page turner, a cross between a thriller and an emotional drama. I think it is a really skilfully plotted debut novel from an author I would definitely read again.


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