- Author: Linda Huber
- Published: August 2014 by Legend Press
- Category: Drama, Suspense, Thriller
A powerful suspense thriller inspired by the author’s work with neurological patients.
Maggie and Colin Grainger along with their two children, Olivia and Joe, are spending time at their holiday cottage on the Cornish coast. They’ve been having a wonderful time until, during a day spent at the beach, three-year old Olivia disappears. Her parents are devastated and as the weeks pass and the police and coastguard searches find nothing, hope diminishes. Maggie is distraught and everyone tells her she must try to accept that Olivia was taken by the sea, yet she refuses to leave the cottage and spends her days on the beach, desperate to have her daughter returned to her one way or another.
Jennifer and Phillip Marshall have suffered the loss of their own daughter in tragic circumstances, and now Phillip is in California with his dying grandmother while Jennifer is at home expecting twins. It’s also her daughter, Hailey’s first day at school. When new teacher, Katie McLure, has an obviously disturbed and frighteningly withdrawn child in her infant class, she’s aware something isn’t quite right but isn’t sure of the best way to approach the situation when she has nothing concrete to go on. Talking to Hailey’s mother isn’t helping and Katie is getting a bad feeling.
Jennifer stumbled back upstairs and fell to her knees by the bed. Thank God, thank God, her baby was right here, breathing beautifully and looking so peaceful. Jennifer covered the child’s face with kisses and then leaned back, still trembling, her heart beating frantically in her throat.
I loved this book and just wanted everything to go away so I could just carry on reading without interruption. It’s a powerful and disturbing story, the stuff of parental nightmares, and wonderfully written. The emotions, the representation of the characters, the starkness and graphic quality of the narrative create a tense and highly emotive drama with a credible plot line.
Each character is well crafted and evokes strong and differing emotions. Maggie’s and Colin’s reactions are completely identifiable and realistic. Jennifer’s tormented psyche is chilling and insightful. I wanted to shake Phillip, hard. Katie is a great character, involved with the children and a caring teacher, taking Hailey under her wing. The story is skilfully told and well paced, keeping up the momentum as it unfolds, with twists I didn’t see coming, all the way to the tragic, and in one case appropriate, conclusion.
About Linda Huber
Linda Huber grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, where she trained as a physiotherapist. She spent ten years working with neurological patients, firstly in Glasgow and then in Switzerland. During this time she learned that different people have different ways of dealing with stressful events in their lives, and this knowledge still helps her today, in her writing.
Linda now lives in Switzerland, where she works as a language teacher in a little town on the banks of beautiful Lake Constance.
Her debut novel The Paradise Trees was published in 2013 and was followed by The Cold Cold Sea in 2014 and The Attic Room in 2015. she has also had over 50 short stories and articles published in magazines.