A young woman has been stopped for shoplifting. She has stolen a bread roll, some cheese and an apple. She is starving and looking at the haul in desperation. The supermarket call in the police and her interrogation begins. They can’t find out who she really is or a prison sentence will be guaranteed. Her mind flicks back to the Missing Persons documentary that she had watched on TV with her boyfriend. Her resemblance to one of the women featured on it was almost uncanny. Looking at both of the police officers she watches them carefully. “My name is Rebecca Winter. Eleven years ago I was abducted”.
There are two threads running through the book. One is the story of the usurper, the young stranger who works her way into the Winter family claiming to be their long lost daughter. The other is that of sixteen year old Becky herself and her life in the weeks running up to when she disappeared. Vince is the detective who failed to find Rebecca the first time and he throws himself into the search to find out where she has been and who abducted her.
At first she is glad of the warm family home, the nice parents, younger twin brothers and a whole new life to settle into but as she starts to find out more about the real Becky the more she needs to know what actually happened to her. She too, starts to feel like she is being followed and then the texts starts coming. Someone knows the truth.
The first half of the book occasionally feels a little slow but unfortunately there is no other way to set the scene so perfectly. It weaves the two stories together and leaves you suspecting all kinds of people – her Dad, the next door neighbour, her best friend’s Dad – but as the pace picks up and you begin to realise what happened that summer in 2003 the true horror of the events starts to hit home.
No spoilers here – I’m not going to reveal the twist – but I really didn’t see it coming. It was a real Wow moment and a complete and utter shock. Can’t wait to read some more by Anna Snoekstra!
Supplied by Net Galley and Mira UK In exchange for an honest review.
UK Publication Date 22 Sept 2016. 320 pages.