Tuesday 4 July 2023

Book ~ "After Anna" (2015) Alex Lake

From Goodreads ~ The real nightmare starts when her daughter is returned ...

A girl is missing. Five years old, taken from outside her school. She has vanished, traceless. The police are at a loss; her parents are beyond grief. Their daughter is lost forever, perhaps dead, perhaps enslaved. But the biggest mystery is yet to come: one week after she was abducted, their daughter is returned. She has no memory of where she has been. And this, for her mother, is just the beginning of the nightmare.

Julia and Brian have been married for a few years and have a five year old daughter, Anna. Julia has fallen out of love with Brian and tells him she wants to divorce. He doesn't take it well which makes things stressful at home. 

One day Julia is tied up in a meeting and is late picking up Anna after school ... when she finally arrives, Anna isn't there and the police are called. Needless to say, this adds more stress at home because Brian and his mother blame Julia and she is attacked on social media for being a bad mother. When Anna is suddenly returned a week later and has no idea what had happened, Julia hopes that everything goes back to "normal" but things actually get worse.

It's been a few years since I've read one of this author's books and I thought this one was just okay. The writing could have been tighter as it seemed to drag at times. Plus for example, Julia takes her keys out of her purse and puts them on the counter ... and then picks them up twice in the same paragraph. It is written in third person perspective in Julia's voice and first person perspective in the kidnapper's voice. I didn't find it hard to figure out whodunnit, which was revealed towards the end. Considering a child is missing, the police didn't seem overly concerned or when Anna was returned. As a head's up, there is swearing and violence.

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