Book Review: The Girl You Lost, by Kathryn Croft

Publisher:  Bookouture   |   Publication date: 5th February 2016

The Girl You Lost - My ReviewThe Girl You Lost by Kathryn CroftThere’s no doubt about it, the traumatic storyline of The Girl You Lost is clearly written with the intent to intrigue you from the off – this author has certainly done a damned fine job of toying with the ordinary lives of her fictional characters!

Following the abduction of their six month old daughter, Helena, life for Simone and Matt Porter was scattered in the wind. Over time they reassemble their existence without their daughter. That was until eighteen years later, when a young woman approaches Simone with information to cruelly reignite a vague hope.

The reporter instinct in Simone is wagging a doubtful finger to tell her that this could well be a hoax. But if there is any glimmer of a possibility that Helena is alive, then any mother could be excused for temporarily losing her senses, fuelled by the prospect of a reunion. After considering her options Simone decides to discover more. Upon arriving home, she offers a brief explanation to Matt and it looks like the matter could be resolved quickly. Still, the couple don’t want to get drawn in too close just yet. This appears to be a wise decision as the young woman called Grace, who had been clutching what looked to be Helena’s toy earlier in the day, goes missing without a trace.

Her disappearance rekindles the distress from all those years ago. Grace cannot be reached by phone and is nowhere to be seen, which confirms that it probably was a hoax. Wasn’t it? But how did Grace come by a toy that could have belonged to Helena? Something deeper than Simone’s professional instinct niggles at her until she decides to get the answers she deserves – the alternative would otherwise drive her insane.

Simone wades through some pretty dangerous waters before she gets close to anything resembling the truth. During her search she stumbles into a secretive world of foul abusers who take advantage at any given opportunity. Be warned, the story does include some disturbing scenes, but it’s not included as a random tangent. As dark as these episodes are, they follow the overall script and lead to a desperately shocking conclusion.

No doubt Simone’s character has faced a rough deal, but she tackles the journey without taking the self-pitying route. She seems to have the support of her colleague, Abbot, who breaks a few rules (and laws) in their mission to find this lost girl – given the periodic creepy monologue offering an insight into the actions of an anonymous source, they’d better find her – and quick.

The plot is clearly defined, with plenty of secrets to keep the mystery alive. Clipped chapters move swiftly through a powerhouse of emotions to maintain the story’s nervous edge. Put simply, it’s wickedly engaging, and one I’d absolutely recommend.

Rating: 4/5

(MASSIVE thanks to Bookouture for providing a digital copy of this title for review via NetGalley).

The Girl You Lost - Book Summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

Eighteen years ago your baby daughter was snatched. Today, she came back.

A sinister and darkly compelling psychological thriller from the No.1 bestselling author of The Girl With No Past.

Eighteen years ago, Simone Porter’s six-month-old daughter, Helena, was abducted. Simone and husband, Matt, have slowly rebuilt their shattered lives, but the pain at losing their child has never left them.

Then a young woman, Grace, appears out of the blue and tells Simone she has information about her stolen baby. But just who is Grace – and can Simone trust her?

When Grace herself disappears, Simone becomes embroiled in a desperate search for her daughter and the woman who has vital clues about her whereabouts.

Simone is inching closer to the truth but it’ll take her into dangerous and disturbing territory.

Simone lost her baby. Will she lose her life trying to find her?


The Girl You Lost - Author Bio

(Bio courtesy of Amazon UK / Author photograph courtesy of publisher)

Kathryn Croft Profile

Kathryn Croft is the bestselling author of The Girl With No Past, which spent over four weeks at number one in the Amazon chart. Her first two novels, Behind Closed Doors and The Stranger Within, reached number one in the psychological thriller charts.

Her fourth novel, The Girl You Lost, will be published on 5th February 2016, and is now available for preorder on Amazon. After six years teaching secondary school English, Kathryn now writes full time and has a publishing deal with Bookouture.

Having always been an avid reader, Kathryn believes in the power of words to entertain, teach and transform lives. She is also a firm believer in following your dreams and says anything is possible if you work hard enough and never give up!

Kathryn lives in Guildford, Surrey with her husband, baby son and two cats.