Mandy Miller disappeared from Hallow’s End when she was just 3 years old. She was never found.
Thirty years on, Elaine Ellis is carrying her mother’s ashes back to Hallow’s End to scatter them in the place that she once called home. Elaine has never been there, but it’s the only place Jean talked about while she was growing up – so it seems as good a place as any.
As Elaine settles into her holiday cottage in the peaceful Devonshire village, she gets to know the locals; family she never knew she had, eccentric and old-fashioned gentry, and new friends where she would least expect them. But she is intrigued by the tale of the missing girl that the village still carries at its heart, and which somehow continues to overshadow them all. Little does she know how much more involved in the mystery she will become…
For fans of Lesley Thomson, Diane Chamberlain and Rosamund Lupton
Author: Ann Troup
Title: The Lost Child
Publication Date: 21st May 2015
My ReviewFirst of all, as soon as I read the blurb about Ann, I thought she sounded great fun, especially the comments about killing houseplants and her attitude to housekeeping, she basically sounded like a girl after my own heart. Then the cover of the book was really eye catching with the haunting image of the lonesome child.
I had picked up a buzz from twitter about this book and felt intrigued about it so decided to give it a go. From the moment I picked it up to start reading it I was drawn straight in to the story of Elaine Ellis who wants to scatter her mother Jean's ashes in Hallow's end as it's the only place where her mother had mentioned a childhood memory.
When a young girl called Brodie tries to help her unload her luggage from the car to the property she has rented, she is horrified when her mother's ashes blow into her face and scatter around.
Elaine soon discovers that the residents of Hallow's end are still haunted by three year old Mandy Miller's disappearance, even though it was thirty years ago and she eventually becomes caught up in the mystery.
This book is brilliantly written and there are twists and turns from beginning to end, I particularly loved the way Elaine's mother, although dead, was cleverly intertwined throughout the story, still wreaking havoc wherever she appeared.
It's an interesting approach to think of the effects on so many people when a child is abducted and actually to wonder whether their life had been better or worse.
Although it appeared during the original investigation led by Jack Pearce that no one knew anything about the disappearance, it soon transpires that too many secrets were kept and lies told. There are many traumatic experiences in the book and examples of mental illness, such as Shirley, Mandy's mum, who never got over the loss of her daughter. I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who loves a mystery and a bit of intrigue, I would say it is on a par with the brilliant Lynda La Plante and I can't wait for Ann's next book.
I would like to say a huge thank you to Ann, Carina and Netgalley for the chance to review this brilliant book.
Click here to read our amazing author interview with Ann.
About the Author
Ann lives in Devon in a small house just a pebble’s throw from the beach. She shares her home with her husband and a small white dog, both occasionally allow her to be inattentive to them so that she can write. Her many skills include an unparalleled ability to consume coffee and the gift of being able to kill houseplants by merely admiring them. In addition to that she is a great proponent of the Miss Havisham method of housekeeping, which includes regarding cobwebs and dust as nature’s ornaments. Her debut novel The Lost Child will be published by Carina UK on 19/5/2015.