Apologies for the general email, but I desperately need your help. My goddaughter, Coco Jackson, disappeared from her family's holiday home in Bournemouth on the night of Sunday/Monday, August 29/30, the bank holiday weekend just gone. Coco is three years old.
When identical twin Coco goes missing during a family celebration, there is a media frenzy. Her parents are rich and influential, as are the friends they were with at their holiday home by the sea. But what really happened to Coco?
Over two intense weekends - the first when Coco goes missing and the second 15 years later, at the funeral of her father - the darkest of secrets will gradually be revealed....
Taut, emotive and utterly compelling, a pause-resisting, 'ripped from the headlines' novel that you will want to talk about with everyone you know.
©2015 Alex Marwood (P)2015 Hachette Audio
The promised secret was revealed late in the story and the ending felt rushed and unfinished. The focus was more on what the secret was and didn't really deal with what happens after it was discovered. Even the predictable 'twist' only revealed in the epilogue was left so late that you wondered if you had predicted the plot wrongly, until at the last paragraphs releasing you were right all along.
The tone and inflections of the characters make it easier to understand the mindsets of the various points of view.
Heather, India, or the other extra children. They are surplus to the plot.
It is disappointing that characters not involved in the original secret do not get to learn the full truth of it. It would have been worth exploring the psychological implications, especially given one of the pivotal story tellers seems obsessed with psychological conditions. A plot thread where that character explores justice / revenge could have been interesting. Also, there is a death which is touched on but never fully delved into. Given the cause of the death of '#3', it seems like an opportunity missed to not have '#4' explicitly implicated...?
The storyline is very good with characters that you feel many different emotions towards - empathy, sorrow, disgust and even liking at times! The voices used by the narrator were a little annoying, especially the voice used for Sean. However, overall the experience was enjoyable.
Unputdownable thriller that I couldn't leave alone. Some of the basic set up is borrowed from a real case but that made it even more engrossing. Haven't raced through anything this fast since the Girl on the Train, would have been done in a day if I wasn't at work! Excellent story and narrator, I eagerly await the next story from either.
"The narrator makes this."
Good, solid family secrets type novel about a missing child, if a little bit predictable. Borrows heavily from some of the better known real life missing children cases. Pretty engaging though.
The narrator is excellent, especially when performing the dialogue of the children. I've had several books ruined by narrators over playing children, but in this one the performance was spot on.
In the top 20 - I have about 500.
Kept me guessing until close to the end.
No - too dark for that
It is an awful subject and most of the characters were vile people and they didn't get what they deserved but it kept me enthralled until the end and I will read more by the author.
"another brilliant book by Alex Marwood"
loved it from start to finish it's really easy to listen to and a fantastic story. Imogen Church does a fantastic job as always at bringing the characters to life.
"A good story, but ultimately disappointing!"
I would recommend it to a crime fiction enthusiast. Its a good story, but a flawed book.
Not as good as her first two. Wicked Girls in particular, is excellent.
I had high expectations of this novel, especially as it was recommended to me by another author whose work I love. The story itself is very engaging. I gained the impression that it is inspired partly by the case of Marilynn McCann (just as Marwood's excellent debut novel Wicked Girls was, I feel sure, inspired by the case of Jamie Bulger). I loved the story until the twist at the end which read like too quick a change of direction, with little substance. I think it would have been better to stick with what we had already been given to believe and follow it through (trying to make a point within giving spoilers here!), but I guess this may be a matter of personal taste. The ending left me a bit flat and disappointed due to this. What brought my star rating down from a four to a three though is the shoddy dialogue in places (surprising since Wicked Girls was so excellent and The Killer Next Door, very good too). It read like the early draft of a good book in places. For example, consecutive sentences beginning, He said . . . She said . . . He said . . . She said . . .! And a sentence that read "I wonder if I should come out, she wonders"! Seriously?
"worth everyone of the 5 stars."
a gripping family dilemma unfolds , twists and lies to the very end. a great narrator . i loved that the mystery was detective free .
This is a "virtual" page turner, ended up listening when I should have been working!!!
"a good story good characters and very well read"
thought I had worked it out early on but I was so wrong really enjoyed it .listen to all three books by this author well worth getting
"the darkest secret"
not liking her"male" voice. the narrator. the story is brilliant and well written with twists and turns all the way.
"Borrowed Plot - Awful Characters"
First the good - mostly well written, though I did find the head hopping points of view a bit confusing at times and it pulled me out of the story. Characterisation was excellent. Plot came together well at the end.
What I didn't like - obviously based on the Madeleine McCain case and I didn't like the fact that a former journalist was apparently making money out of her parents misery. I found the characters obnoxious perhaps with a couple of exceptions and I worked out the plot well before the big reveal. Read this as an assignment. Not really my type of Crime novel - much prefer the likes of Rebus.
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