Thursday, 24 September 2015

Little Gone Girl by Alexandra Burt
Release Date: 24th September 2015
Publisher: Avon
Genres: Psychological Thriller / Crime

The stunning debut from Alexandra Burt has already created a buzz at London Book Fair and is expected to be the next killer thriller to hit the bestseller charts. Little Girl Gone has been hailed as “impossible to put down” by Edgar Award winning author, Meg Gardiner and is a thrilling, nail-shredding page-turner that fans of ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘Before I Go to Sleep’ won’t be able to put down.

A baby goes missing. But does her mother want her back?

When Estelle Paradise’s baby daughter is taken from her crib, she doesn’t report her missing. A week later, Estelle is found in a wrecked car miles from home, with a gunshot wound to the head and no memory. The only thing she can remember is the blood…so much blood. She knows she holds the key to what happened that night – but what she doesn’t know is whether she was responsible.

About the Author

Alexandra was born in Germany. After her college graduation she moved to Texas and, while pursuing literary translations, she decided to tell her own stories. After three years of writing classes her short fiction appeared in the Freedom Fiction Journal, All Things Girl, MUSED Literary Review, and Heater Crime Fiction Magazine.

She is a member of Sisters In Crime, an organization promoting the advancement, recognition and professional development of women crime writers.

She lives in Texas with her husband, her daughter, and two Labradors.

 Little Girl Gone is an exciting roller coaster book that has the reader feeling a whole host of emotions from start to finish. Throughout the story we become gripped by the range of emotions Estelle is going through. Those of us who have had children know how difficult a constantly crying baby is. To listen to that for months and months on end will frazzle even the strongest of people. From the beginning we see Estelle start to unravel and with little help from her husband James, her paranoia about Mia soon becomes an out of control beast and reaches crisis point when dangerous and dark thoughts creep into her mind. Even as I was reading the book I could almost hear a baby crying in the background throughout. Estelle becomes trapped in a nightmare where her perceived failings as a  mother and wife soon isolate her from the rest of the world. She soon creates her own personal prison, hiding within 4 walls, unkempt, disillusioned and exhausted! She becomes a ghost in her own life, trapped in a personal nightmare. Alexandra Burt has a unique writing style that instantly places the reader into the shoes of the main protagonist, drawing us into their world.

After Mia goes missing, Estelle is found seriously injured in a car miles away from home and suffering from amnesia, and so begins a new journey and a different direction into motherhood. With her every move and decision being questioned by the police and the media this new journey is one where she is the only person who might know where her missing child is. With help from Dr Ari, its a race against time to unlock the secrets hidden within Estelle and find her daughter. But, even Estelle can't be sure whether Mia has been kidnapped or she herself has harmed her. Are there other characters at play here who had something to do with what happened to Mia?  The book skips from past to present, giving us glimpses of what life was life for Estelle and what events might have brought her to where she is now. When Mia goes missing, Estelle's panic, tinged with a hint of relief from the constant demands Mia was making, is palpable. Her frustrations at not making herself understood is equally as frustrating for the reader and at times I just wanted to scream 'TELL THEM!!!' I willed her to do more. I wanted her to be spurred into action immediately and became even more frustrated. Often I found it difficult to understand her logic. I totally love a book that can evoke this type of emotion in me. Whilst being a fantastic psychological thriller that had me reading well into the night and desperate to know more about the search for Mia, it also explores issues such as post-natal (postpartum) depression / psychosis, mental illness, attachment and grief. And of course, loneliness and feelings of never being good enough. Its also about second chances and making things right. Ultimately, its about love. It was an exciting read that I would highly recommend. Loved it!

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