“Take my hand, little one.”
Fran finds her standing by the swings. A little girl, Esther, no older than seven years old, by herself in the dead of night, her pretty but old-fashioned yellow dress covered in grass stains and her hair dishevelled. She says she’s waiting for Father, and that strikes Fran as particularly odd.
After Esther is reunited with her family, Fran can’t stop thinking about this pious child whose imaginary friend is God. Fran’s instincts tell her something is very wrong. Why does Esther keep running away from home, and how did she get that bruise on her leg?
Fran’s husband warns her not to get too close, but one morning, Esther and her family disappear. Where did they go? Why did they leave their furniture behind?
Fran knows in her gut that something terrible is going to happen to that child, and she can’t stand by while it happens. No matter the cost.
After all, she found her. But can she save her?
This book features an interesting kind of unreliable narrator because the author plays on Fran’s insecurity about not being believed because she’s a menopausal woman, so she refrains from sharing her suspicions about things or having the courage of her convictions in case she’s labelled crazy.
I really enjoyed the complexity of the characters, for example the harsh little girl who, despite being an innocent, isn’t particularly nice to have around. I really appreciate that she’s as deserving of being rescued as anyone, but she doesn’t win the hearts of anyone around.
Denzil is a genius and it’s only from the ending that you can recognise that Invisible clues are dropped from the very beginning, which subtly point to the multiple layers revealed. I don’t think I’ve ever read a thriller with such an excellent ending before, there’s so much packed in but everything was well established in the story and somehow still comes as a shocker!
This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I’m ready to read more, there’s so much to be said for well laid out mysteries and unpredictable endings!
Claire Storey is a perfect fit as narrator for this book, her warm voice and accent fit Fran perfectly and managed to lure me into listening to the 9+ hours in two sittings. Her character voices are brilliant, including a variety of accents, and she and the author are perfectly paired to make me want to stop what I’m doing and listen.