The best crime/thriller/mystery books of 2022

Having read almost 130 books this year, these lists are so hard to do! So many wonderful books, but here are my top picks in these genres…

My FAVOURITE book was Murder Most Royal by S J Bennett. The Queen investigates a murder. What more do you need to know?! A fabulous book and I loved how the Royal Family were portrayed. Sophia writes beautifully, the Royals are treated with respect and I plan to read all her books.

The other books in this category all received 9.5 out of 10, so it’s hard to put them into any kind of position. My full reviews of each of them are elsewhere on this blog as well as on Goodreads and Amazon, but just to say I highly recommend all of these books.

I’m looking forward to reading more of this genre in 2023.

Happy New Year!

The Best Historical Fiction Books 2022

I have read a lot of books this year, almost 130, and historical fiction is one of my favourite categories. I couldn’t even narrow it down to a favourite THREE for the year, but I did manage a top FOUR! I gave all of these books 9.5 out of 10, so loved them all … You can find my full reviews for them on my blog here.

So, in no particular order…

A Child for the Reich by Andie Newton was a recent read, but one I expect to remember for a long time. It tells the story of a Czech woman whose daughter is stolen for her looks and intended to give to a good Nazi family to raise. It’s a novel, but the history behind it is fascinating and this kind of thing did happen. Beautifully written and great memorable characters.

The Witch’s Tree by Elena Collins (who also writes as Judy Leigh) was a stunning read and although I read it back in May, it has stayed in my head as a wonderful book, a timeslip story featuring two strong women from different times. I look forward to more of her work coming out in 2023. Highly recommended.

I read The Memory Keeper of Kyiv by Erin Litteken in May too and this is another powerful story which especially resonates in this year when present day Ukraine has been through so much. Again, I learned a lot about true history while being absorbed in a wonderful fictional tale. A poignant and emotional read.

I read The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan in March and again, it has stayed with me. A lighter read than the previous three, but I loved the wartime setting and as soon as I saw the tagline describing it as Bake Off in WWII, I knew it was a must read! Again it features amazing characters that jump off the page and into your heart and I have since bought more of her books.

So there you have it, my favourite historical fiction books of 2022. What are yours?

Welcome to Whitlock Close

In 2022, after 20 years of writing and publishing non-fiction, poetry and short stories, my debut novel came out in May. This was followed by a blog tour in August organised by Rachel’s Random Resources and the book currently has 23 ratings on Amazon, averaging at 4 stars. Thanks to all the wonderful readers and reviewers! Reviews make a massive difference!

The e-book is usually £2.99 at Amazon – there’s a paperback too – but for the next three days, it’s only 99p then goes up to £1.99 before returning to £2.99 – so it’s a great time to bag yourself a bargain and check out my novel. Click the link below!

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

And … keep reading!!

Love from Karen xxx

My Best Non-Fiction Books of 2022

I know it’s not quite the end of the year yet, but I’m not planning to read any more non-fiction in 2022, so it’s fairly safe for me to reveal my top picks here.

In 3rd place…

Yes, The Queen by Andrew Morton. A beautiful book and I did learn a lot about her life. I especially found the part about her childhood interesting and her experiences during WWII.

In 2nd place ….

Michelle Morgan is THE foremost expert on Marilyn Monroe for me. I have been a fan of Marilyn for about 35 years now and I am so impressed by Michelle’s level of research in her books and how she manages to find new people to interview. This book is another triumph!

And it was close, but in 1st place, my top non-fiction read of 2022 is …..

Amanda Prowse is best known for her fiction, but this memoir is so candid, so powerful and incredibly uplifting and heartwarming. This was the only book I read in 2022 – of the 126 I’ve read to date – which received a perfect 10 out of 10 from me.

A Child for the Reich by Andie Newton

The book begins with the prologue set in Nazi Germany, October 1944, where we meet Greta Strohm. We then go back to June 1944 to the German Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, where we begin the main story.

The book is written in the first person from the viewpoint of former actress Anna Dankova, who has a daughter called Ema, who is five years old. Her husband Josef and her sister Dasa’s husband both joined the Czech resistance and are missing. Dasa has three daughters and a baby son. All the children are blonde with blue eyes.

There are rumours that the infamous Brown Sisters steal babies and young children for the Nazis to adopt, specifically blonde, blue eyed children that fit the Aryan ideal and one day, they turn up in the neighbourhood…

It’s not too much of a spoiler to tell you Ema gets taken (as it’s in the blurb), but what follows is Anna’s quest to find her daughter again… and she’s going to need all of her acting talent to attempt it.

You’re thrown right into the story straight away. Anna, Dasa and their mother (who they call Matka) are three strong Czech women, fighting to protect their family and to stay alive under German Occupation. Matka comes out with some hilarious comments, she is very quick-witted. What was a friendly neighbourhood now consists of Germans and Czechs, living together but being treated very differently. The family don’t know who they can trust anymore.

You get to see some of Anna’s previous life through flashbacks, before her life changed due to the Nazi invasion. The contrast between these two parts of her life are easy to see and you feel very sorry for her, losing her happy life through no fault of her own.

Terrifyingly, this book is based on a true story. It certainly feels very authentic and well-researched. It makes you wonder what you would do, if you were ever in such a horrifying situation like that and your children were threatened. I found it very interesting to see how Czechs coped with the German Occupation, as it’s not something I’ve read about before and I hadn’t heard about the babies being snatched either.

The novel is very well-paced, it builds up gradually, but carries you on to the next page, the next chapter, as you want to know what happens. You root for Anna 100% and feel as if you’re walking alongside her, hoping she will get her daughter back.

I hadn’t heard of this author before, but I would definitely read more of her work.

BLURB

A Child for the Reich

From the USA Today bestselling author comes a gripping new emotional WW2 historical novel. Inspired by a true story!

‘A moving story of a mother’s love battling against the determination of the Reich to create a pure Aryan race…A recommended read‘ Glynis Peters

‘An intensely moving, brilliantly researched novel about love, loss, and the lengths a mother will go to for her child…utterly compelling‘ Deborah Carr

Rumours of the Nazis coming for Czech children swept through the villages like a breeze through the trees, and the story was always the same…

They wanted our children to raise as their own

Since her husband, Josef, joined the Czech resistance three years ago, Anna Dankova has done everything possible to keep her daughter, Ema, safe. But when blonde haired, blue-eyed Ema is ripped from her mother’s arms in the local marketplace by the dreaded Brown Sisters, nurses who were dedicated to Hitler’s cause, Anna is forced to go to new extremes to take back what the Nazis have stolen from her.

Going undercover as a devoted German subject eager to prove her worth to the Reich, the former actress takes on a role of a lifetime to find and save her daughter. But getting close to Ema is one thing. Convincing her that the Germans are lying when they claim Anna stole her from her true parents is another…

Purchase Links

HarperCollins US: https://bit.ly/3xJUXdD

HarperCollins UK: https://bit.ly/3dAADVe

UK retailers:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3qWMQ9W

Kobo:  https://bit.ly/3LCjSpa

Apple: https://apple.co/3S7zPX9

US retailers:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3feRMUQ

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3f4sNUd

Apple: https://apple.co/3faOrX7

Barnes and Noble: https://bit.ly/3eZZoum

GOODREADS: https://bit.ly/3DI0i99

BOOKBUB: https://bit.ly/3C31iDu

Author Bio –

Andie Newton is the USA Today bestselling author of The Girls from the Beach, The Girl from Vichy, and The Girl I Left Behind.

She writes gritty and emotional war stories about strong women. Andie holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in teaching. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, her two boys, and one very lazy cat.

You can find book club discussion questions on andienewton.com.

Social Media Links –

Twitter: @AndieNewton

FB: Andie Newton Author Page

Instagram: andienewtonauthor

Publisher Socials:

Twitter: @OneMoreChapter_ @Harper360

Instagram: @onemorechapterhc  @harpercollins360

Website: http://andienewton.com/

Being in a Controlling Relationship

I usually use my blog for book reviews, but this is an important topic and I wanted to write about it, so here we are.

I was in a controlling relationship for 8 ½ years, though I didn’t realise it at the time. Some people tried to tell me, but I made excuses for him. I couldn’t see what was happening and it’s only recently – 3 ½ years after moving out – that I can see it for what it was.

There has been a lot about controlling or coercive behaviour in the News recently. One definition I found definitely sums up my experience –

  • Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour

He wasn’t like it in the early stages of the relationship and we were very happy. But it all changed very gradually and all along, I believed it was okay. By the end of the relationship, I would often think I needed to write everything down to remember it all – The Book of Rules.

We had a joint bank account, but I never had a card or got any money out, I was given £20 a week pocket money. If I needed something more expensive, I had to argue my case with him. If, for example, I needed a new coat because it was damaged, he’d buy me a new coat. If, however, he decided I didn’t NEED one, I just WANTED one, then I’d have to save up for it out of my £20 a week.

He worked and I was a housewife and mother to our son. When he was on his way home from work, he’d message me his ETA and I was expected to have tea ready not long after he got in. I cooked from scratch Monday to Friday, then he’d cook one day and we’d go out to eat the other day.

I had a long list of vegetables he didn’t like, so I had to avoid them. He hated gravy, so my son and I couldn’t have it either, or he’d spend the whole meal complaining how disgusting it was we were eating gravy. I had to cook pasta his way – boil it, cover it, take it off the heat – not my way, which was just boil it on the heat until it’s cooked. Both ways work perfectly well, but if he came in and saw I was cooking pasta MY way, he’d take it off the heat to cook it HIS way and I’d get a lecture about doing it wrong.

There was a lot of control in the kitchen and around food and mealtimes. My son was only allowed to drink milk with breakfast and juice with tea, no variation. One time, my wrist gave way holding a heavy saucepan and the peas fell into the sink. He made me take all the peas out of the sink and still serve them for tea, I couldn’t throw them away.

I was told off if the cling film got messed up, I had to be careful not to use it the wrong way. I wasn’t allowed to throw away the toothpaste tube until he said it was completely empty. The rules kept coming and coming, new ones all the time. I mean, he never hit me, but he said I was stupid or never listened.

I used to enjoy watching Big Brother but he told me it was rubbish and I couldn’t watch it. Then he started on Casualty, Holby City, EastEnders, Coronation Street. I held firm on Strictly Come Dancing, but if he was there while I watched it, he would constantly heckle. We watched an episode of a TV series on DVD from 9pm to 10pm every night, unless he went to the pub. We then had to go to bed at 10pm.

If he went out to the pub, he would often join the lock-ins they had and be back at 2am. The only good thing about him going to the pub was that I could watch what I wanted to on TV, with no one complaining or judging me!

If I ever challenged him, he’d remind me it was his wages that paid the rent and I couldn’t cope without him. His favourite saying was “My way – or the highway!”

Our relationship ended in June 2019. He was staying out later at the pub and I dared to challenge him! One night, I’d had enough, he was still out at 2am and we had a relatively early morning coming up, so I knew he’d be tired and grumpy. I walked to the pub, where I could see the lock-in crowd through the window, so I knocked on the window and told him to come home. He did, but he was livid as I’d embarrassed him in front of his mates.

The next morning, he told me to ring my mum and he drove me and our son the hour or so to my Mum’s house. We had thrown a few things together – clothes, my son’s toys, etc. – and we moved into my mother’s house, where we still live. I had no bank account (He took my name off his), no photo ID, nothing. He did give me £500, so I didn’t starve. Our son and I have lived at Mum’s ever since.

He sees our son alternate weekends and he’s still controlling. After having our son for Fathers’ Day, Mothers’ Day and it’s his Christmas this year, I asked to have him with me for my birthday. He agreed, but added extra days on for Christmas, so my son went there on the 16th and doesn’t come home until the 27th December. If I complain about anything, he threatens to stop sending the money he sends for our son or he’ll threaten to go for custody.

He rings the school to see if my son has any days off, as he believes he should go to school regardless of what’s wrong with him. (My son calls him Doctor Dad, because it seems he knows everything about medicine despite being an electrician!) He complains about what I put in his pack up, what time I put our son to bed (He has an 8pm bedtime there, 10pm here – he’s nearly 11), that I don’t take him out enough – but when I suggested taking him away for a few days next year, he told me I couldn’t take him out of school. (As I don’t drive, we’d need a couple of days travelling on the train to get anywhere.) So he is still controlling, even from afar.

It has taken this long to even process everything, but I finally feel ready to write about it and maybe it’ll help someone. Perhaps you’ll look at your relationship and see similar traits in your partner. I hope not, but if you do, just beware and have a get out plan.

Someone said to me recently “Why on earth do you have such low self-esteem?” Hmmm, it’s a long story….

Family Secrets at the Inglenook Inn by Helen Rolfe

I have previously read and enjoyed two of Helen Rolfe’s books – The Farmhouse of Second Chances and Finding Happiness at Heritage View but this one is the first of her books based in the USA that I’ve read. It is Book 7 of the New York Ever After series, but can easily be read as a standalone.

The novel tells the story of Rupert and Katy and the chapters are told from their viewpoints. Rupert is 33 years old and works as a chef at The Inglenook Inn in Greenwich Village, New York City. Katy is 29 and is in a bit of a rut, her widowed father having a serious girlfriend and finding herself rather a spare part at home. She becomes unemployed, but soon finds a job at The Inglenook Inn.

I loved The Inglenook Inn, as it comes across as so welcoming with its small staff who really care about the customers. Everyone is hard-working and tries their best and all this means the Inn has a feeling of being quite a small family business, more suited to an English village that big, bustling New York. I could definitely see myself visiting it!

Helen Rolfe’s writing style is very easy to get into. She tells you enough about the characters that they feel like friends and you are rooting for them to find happiness. I enjoyed my virtual trip to New York and learning about Rupert and Katy. I’ll look forward to reading more of Helen’s books in the future.

BLURB

Family Secrets at the Inglenook Inn

Welcome back to the Inglenook Inn, your home away from home.

Rupert has been the chef at the Inglenook Inn for years. He loves working at the boutique hotel, crafting exquisite meals and fantastic desserts for each and every guest. When his boss, who is practically family, has to rush away to take care of her daughter, Rupert has to step up and run the place. That would be challenge enough, but then his sister Natalie shows up, bringing a lot more than luggage.

Katy is out of a job and out of luck until she lands a temporary job at the Inglenook Inn. With her years of experience, helping to manage a hotel is a challenge she relishes. But there’s more drama under the roof than she expected and she’s worried her dad might be making a decision he’ll regret.

Rupert and Katy have their hands full, but there’s magic in the air at the Inglenook Inn, and as they work side by side they discover something new and unexpected.

Is it possible to fall in love in just a few short days?

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3RmiCrQ

Author Bio –

Helen Rolfe is the author of many bestselling contemporary women’s fiction titles, set in different locations from the Cotswolds to New York. Most recently published by Orion, she is bringing sixteen titles to Boldwood – a mixture of new series and well-established backlist. She lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and children.

Social Media Links –  

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/helenjrolfewriter

Twitter https://twitter.com/HJRolfe

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/helen_j_rolfe/

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/HelenRolfeNews

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/helen-rolfe

The Golden Oldies Book Club by Judy Leigh

I am a big fan of Judy Leigh’s novels and love the mixture of comedy, romance and inspirational older heroines that you find in her books. I think the first of her novels I read was The Golden Girls’ Getaway back in December last year, and since then, she has definitely gone on my list of authors I’ll read anything by. Absolutely a top class writer and one of my favourites!

The Golden Oldies Book Club begins by introducing Jeannie Sharrock, who is 72 and owns the Cider Farm, which has been in the family for generations. Her mother Violet is still around at 95 and full of awful jokes! Family is an important part of their life and Jeannie’s twin grandchildren, Ella and Caleb (17) live with them too.

The village of Combe Pomeroy has a lot going on and is full of interesting characters, especially older women who are as busy in their retirement as they could possibly wish to be.  Aurora Perry is 72 and runs the Cider Farm’s Café and Gift Shop. The book club (which is incredibly volatile!) is run by Ruth Barclay at the library, who wears so many metaphorical hats in the village, she should own a millinery.

Jeannie, Aurora, Ruth and Danielle meet up for a chat and a drink one evening. They’re all feeling a bit fed up, but Ruth has an idea. Along with Verity (who also goes to the book club), the five of them decide on a little trip away together, a chance to escape from their daily lives and hopefully have some fun and time off their work and chores. (You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens!)

There’s a lovely community spirit here and wonderfully strong friendships. As with any village, you get the annoying characters too, but everyone has their place and their role to play in the story. I have found that as a reader, you feel a part of the community too. I could definitely see myself at the book club and sharing a few Proseccos with the women afterwards.

Judy Leigh has a wonderfully warm writing style that brings you straight into the story and holds your interest throughout. I especially love how many of the stars of her stories are women in their seventies and older, still very much bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, having lots of fun and chasing their dreams. I do get fed up of novels where women in their twenties are complaining about getting old and still being unmarried or whatever. I’m in my fifties, but can relate to Judy’s characters much easier than someone three decades younger than me.

As with every book of hers I’ve read, this one is completely charming and lots of fun. Along with the novels she writes as Elena Collins (completely different, but again highly recommended), I plan to read everything Judy Leigh writes – and hopefully, there will be many more delightful books to come.

BLURB

The Golden Oldies Book Club

Deep in the Somerset countryside, the Combe Pomeroy village library hosts a monthly book club.

Ruth the librarian fears she’s too old to find love, but a discussion about Lady Chatterley’s Lover makes her think again.

Aurora doesn’t feel seventy-two and longs to relive the excitement of her youth, while Verity is getting increasingly tired of her husband Mark’s grumpiness and wonders if their son’s imminent flight from the nest might be just the moment for her to fly too. And Danielle is fed up with her cheating husband. Surely life has more in store for her than to settle for second best?

The glue that holds Combe Pomeroy together is Jeannie. Doyenne of the local cider farm and heartbeat of her family and community, no one has noticed that Jeannie needs some looking after too. Has the moment for her to retire finally arrived, and if so, what does her future hold?

From a book club French exchange trip, to many celebrations at the farm, this is the year that everything changes, that lifelong friendships are tested, and for some of the women, they finally get the love they deserve.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3SEaggJ

Author Bio –

Judy Leigh is the USA Today bestselling author of The Old Girls’ Network and Five French Hens and the doyenne of the ‘it’s never too late’ genre of women’s fiction. She has lived all over the UK from Liverpool to Cornwall, but currently resides in Somerset.

Social Media Links –  

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005568258864

Twitter https://twitter.com/JudyLeighWriter

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/judyrleigh/

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/JudyLeighNews

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/judy-leigh

Clara’s Christmas Magic by Rosie Green

NOTE: This is the third in the trilogy of novellas about Clara and I would definitely recommend reading them in order.

I do love a Rosie Green story and Clara is such a wonderful character, I have really enjoyed getting to know her in Clara’s Secret Garden and following her adventures in A Winter Wish, so I was excited about reading Clara’s Christmas Magic and discovering what was in store for her in the third and final book in the series.

At the end of the second book, Clara and Rory finally kissed! But at the start of this story, Clara realises a relationship between them could never work out, after he has recently been romantically involved with Lois, Clara’s step-sister.

With nosy neighbour Pru threatening to report Irene as a bad mother, and Clara and Rory planning to head to New York to try to find Clara’s grandmother’s sister, there’s plenty going on here. Following Book 2, I was eager to catch up with the characters and the storylines in this final part.

The part set in New York is lovely. Never having been there, it was fun to see it all through Clara and Rory’s eyes and it did feel like I was there with them. We also meet single mum Francie and her daughter Blaise there and I thought they were both great characters too.

I want to say so much more about how I love certain characters and how the whole book made me smile, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers. So just to say I LOVED this trilogy and I’m so pleased Rosie Green is going to include some of the characters in her future books, as I don’t want to lose them forever either.

9 out of 10

Clara’s Christmas Magic

The festive season is fast approaching but with the challenges facing Clara, it looks like being anything but the most wonderful time of the year. Can she somehow find the strength to meet those challenges head-on and find her way to the perfect, happy-ever-after Christmas?

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3CdsZKG

Author Bio – Rosie’s series of novellas is centred around life in a country village cafe. ‘Clara’s Christmas Magic’ is Book 3 in a trilogy about Clara. It would make for the best reading experience if you caught up with the others first: Book 1, ‘Clara’s Secret Garden’ and Book 2 in the trio, ‘A Winter Wish’.

Follow Rosie on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Rosie_Green88

Behind Closed Doors by Carol Wyer

Earlier this year, I read A Life for a Life by Carol Wyer and really enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to reading her latest release – Behind Closed Doors.

The book begins with a prologue set in July 1992, then we fast-forward to April 2022. Stacey O’Hara is the main character in the book. Thirty years before, she was abducted and had lost a finger aged sixteen, but she can’t recall her memories of the events from that time due to dissociative amnesia.

Now forty-six, she has rebuilt her life. She has moved to Lancashire and is the senior reporter on the Lancaster Echo. Then one day, her ex-husband Jack Corrigan turns up and asks for her help. His daughter, Lyra (13) is in trouble, abducted and held against her will, like Stacey was… and he thinks Stacey is the only person who can help find her.

You are thrown right into the action here, there’s no preamble, there’s a crisis and you want to know more. There’s already tension because Stacey and Jack are exes and you soon find out Jack wasn’t the best husband ever. So there’s very little breathing space here, you’re on edge waiting to see what is going to happen and because Stacey isn’t really sure of Jack, the reader isn’t either, which adds to the tension. Can he really be trusted?

And then there’s Freya – Jack’s first wife and Lyra’s mother. Does she have a part to play in any of this? Nothing seems certain and the reader sways one way, then the other, trying to come up with answers. Who would do this and why? Is it a stranger or someone Lyra knows? How much danger is she in?

I really liked Stacey and felt sorry for her. I also liked Ashraf and thought his inclusion added a lot to the story, as did Danni’s, and it was good to get other people’s ideas and perspectives on the situation and what to do about it.

The book is set across four days – and what a whirlwind those four days are! It is fast-paced and holds your interest right until the end – and no, I didn’t guess who was behind it all either…

Author Bio

USA Today bestselling author and winner of The People’s Book Prize Award, Carol Wyer’s crime novels have sold over one million copies and been translated into nine languages.

A move from humour to the ‘dark side’ in 2017, saw the introduction of popular DI Robyn Carter in Little Girl Lost and proved that Carol had found her true niche.

February 2021 saw the release of the first in the much-anticipated new series, featuring DI Kate Young. An Eye For An Eye was chosen as a Kindle First Reads and became the #1 bestselling book on Amazon UK and Amazon Australia.

Carol has had articles published in national magazines ‘Woman’s Weekly’, featured in ‘Take A Break’, ‘Choice’, ‘Yours’ and ‘Woman’s Own’ magazines and the Huffington Post. She’s also been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing ”Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Ageing Disgracefully’ and on BBC Breakfast television.

She currently lives on a windy hill in rural Staffordshire with her husband Mr. Grumpy… who is very, very grumpy. When she is not plotting devious murders, she can be found performing her comedy routine, Smile While You Still Have Teeth.

To learn more, go to http://www.carolwyer.co.uk, subscribe to her YouTube channel, or follow her on Twitter: @carolewyer


Follow her at:


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carol-E-Wyer/221149241263847 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolwyer/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/carolewyer 

Website : https://www.carolwyer.co.uk

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60588361-behind-closed-doors

Buy Link –  https://geni.us/RUjn6H

Book Blurb

Two kidnappings, thirty years apart. Can Stacey face her own dark past in order to save her stepdaughter?

When Stacey’s ex-husband turns up on her doorstep begging her to help save his kidnapped thirteen-year-old daughter, Lyra, the terror is all too familiar. Stacey’s own violent kidnapping thirty years ago was never solved, and while a severe case of amnesia spares her from recalling the specific horrors, she remembers enough…

Stacey knows her father never paid the ransom—she has the missing pinkie finger to prove it. She knows she was only saved because of an anonymous tip-off to the police. And she knows her captor was never apprehended.

Lyra’s kidnappers have made it clear the police must not get involved. But Stacey can’t shake the eerie similarities between the two cases, and she’ll use whatever she can, from her journalistic powers to her shady contacts, to save Lyra from the same nightmare. Desperate to find any link between Lyra’s abduction and her own, Stacey forces herself to revisit her forgotten, traumatic past for clues.

But can she make sense of the terrible secrets she unearths in time to save Lyra? And if she does, is she ready to face her own tormentor?