After reading The Housemaid and The Inmate, Frieda McFaddon quickly became my favourite author, and swept up in the hype I wanted more. And with this book I was impressed very early on…
The book begins with a police transcript, where a suspect confesses that she committed the murder, and not her son.
After that, most of the book is a narration of the inner thoughts of protagonist Erika, a married mother of two, starting with an admission that she favours her son Liam over her daughter Hannah.
Very early in the story we learn that despite Liam’s apparent perfect, charming and demure appearance and behaviour, Erika suspects that Liam is capable of some very unpleasant things.
And one behaviour that sparked such suspicion comes from when Liam was much younger when he said that he wanted a wife so that he could hide her away and make her starve.
But this is just one of several such behaviours that raises such suspicion.
When Erika hears that Liam has taken an interest in a girl called Olivia, she feels the need to get in touch with a private detective.
But straight after that comes the first twist – there are two Olivias known to Liam.
So, when a girl called Olivia goes missing, Liam becomes the number one suspect, and the police come knocking at the door.
At this point we start to hear some of the story from this Olivia’s POV.
Olivia is hurt and alone with minimal sustenance. Liam gets into a fight at school, and the family starts getting death threats.
Erika is worried about Olivia, but she also has other things going on, including a truth that was hidden from her about her father and his true nature.
As suspicion grows around Liam, there are more police transcripts to get the reader thinking and wondering.
Eventually, things get brought to a head. But, around the time the reader learns who is responsible for Olivia’s disappearance, we learn that there are more lives in danger.
At this point we begin to hear from another character POV, and the tale takes a VERY dark turn.
A violent murder then takes place. Then the survivors get their story straight and life goes on.
But in the epilogue there’s an additional final twist!