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…
Welcome to my stop on The Lost Child Book Tour, kindly organised by Northern Star Book Promotions. Many thanks to Rebecca at Northern Star and Carina for providing me with a review copy.
First things first, you know I love a good cover, and wow, what a cover!! Those colours are so striking, it’s fabulously eye-catching. Well done, Carina!
When Elaine Ellis travels to Hallow’s End to scatter her mother’s ashes in the place she grew up, it’s quickly apparent this village holds dark secrets. The disappearance of 3-year-old Mandy Miller may have happened thirty years ago, but it still haunts over the village and its residents. 15-year-old Brodie Miller, Mandy’s sister, is sick of living in the shadow of the sister she never met, and her and Elaine strike up an instant, though perhaps unlikely, companionship. Elaine has also had her life over-shadowed by her over-protective mother, who never let her lead her own life. Now she’s gone, Elaine is struggling to even know how to live her own life or work out who she really is.
The longer Elaine stays, the more apparent it is that nearly everyone is holding on to some dark secret or another, but who knows what really happened to Mandy Miller? Ann has built the story wonderfully, and I was gripped, wanting to uncover everyone’s secrets, as she slowly fed them to us, clue by clue.
The writing is fantastically descriptive, and I could easily picture Hallow’s End and all the characters. What I found quite pleasantly surprising, is that this isn’t a particular dark book, despite it’s dark themes. There are some scenes which certainly are, but overall it was a fascinating look at relationships, secrets, and how far people will go to cover for the people they care about – or to hurt the ones they don’t.
The Lost Child is a captivating novel, with plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes, and a satisfying ending. If you love a good mystery, add this to your TBR.
Ann has kindly donated a £5 Amazon Gift Voucher to be won! Good luck!
Ann Troup tells tales and can always make something out of nothing (which means she writes books and can create unique things from stuff other people might not glance twice at). She was once awarded 11 out of 10 for a piece of poetry at school – she now holds that teacher entirely responsible for her inclination to write.
Her writing space is known as ‘the empty nest’, having formerly been her daughters bedroom. She shares this space with ten tons of junk and an elderly Westie, named Rooney, who is her constant companion whether she likes it or not. He likes to contribute to the creative process by going to sleep on top of her paperwork and running away with crucial post-it notes, which have inadvertently become stuck to his fur. She is thinking of renaming him Gremlin.
She lives by the sea in Devon with her husband and said dog. Two children have been known to remember the place that they call home, but mainly when they are in need of a decent roast dinner, it’s Christmas or when only Mum will do. She also has extremely decent stepchildren.
In a former incarnation she was psychiatric nurse, an experience which frequently informs her writing. She has also owned a cafe and an art/craft gallery. Now she only makes bacon sandwiches as a sideline, but does continue to dabble with clay, paint, paper, textiles, glue…you name it. Occasionally she may decide to give away some of these creations (you have been warned!).
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