How far would you go to protect your family?
Danny and Libby are about to face every parent’s worst nightmare.
When eight-year-old Hope Bird disappears without a trace, from the idyllic village where she lives, life for her family will never be the same again. Her parents know she would never have gone off alone and the police have no idea where she is. Then a child’s shoe is discovered and the case takes an unexpected turn. Soon a suspect is identified but this is only the beginning.
Will they ever find Hope?
Frailty is a haunting, gritty, psychological page-turner about the choices we make.
Ever since I read The Opticians Wife by Betsy Reavley which I throughly enjoyed, I’ve been waiting eagerly to see what the author would come up with next, and OMG she’s surpassed all my expectations. Frailty is an absolute cracker and its definitely going to be on my list of top ten reads this year without doubt. Frailty by Betsy Reavley has not only left me speechless (a very rare thing indeed, as Mr book review café will tell you) but it also reduced me to a blubbering wreck, it’s very rare that a book leaves me emotionally drained, especially a psychological thriller, but my god this book certainly did! From the disturbing prologue to the very last shocking page I struggled to put this book down.
Eight year old Hope Bird disappears without trace, and what follows is every parents worst nightmare, Betsy Reavley takes the reader on a painful journey alongside the devastated parents Libby and Darren. The author paints such a detailed picture of Libby and Darren’s life before and after Hope disappearance. I found myself drawn to both characters, their pain, fear, grief and desperation were palatable and I found myself becoming emotionally involved in their story. We see first hand the devastation a child going missing causes, the toll it takes on relationships and the lengths people will go to when they feel so helpless. Unfortunately Frailty is very much a story of the times, how often do we read about children going missing? the family’s left behind? Far too often in my opinion.
The story is told mostly from Libby’s point of view, but there are also small snippets from Hope which are told in the first person, and it’s these chapters that make for a spine chilling and deeply upsetting read. I should point out there are no terribly graphic scenes, Betsy Reavley deals with a difficult subject with empathy and sensitivity, it’s a book that is definitely not written just to shock. As the weeks of Hope’s disappearance turn in to months the author describes the relationship of the parents with such clarity that their desperation and frustration is tangible. As events spiral out of control and Darren decides to take desperate measures to find his little girl I couldn’t help but empathise with him, this is a man drowning in grief and struggling to keep his family together, and I could understand why he chose to take matters into his own hands, wether he was right or wrong, who’s to say.
Frailty is a taut and gritty psychological thriller, I read this book with an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach and it didn’t disappear until I reached the very last page. There were some “OMG” moments that I never saw coming until they hit me in the face, the author manages to maintain the suspense until she decides to reveal all, so much so I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. This could have been a very depressing read, yes it did make me cry, it’s a story that will pull at even the most hardened heartstrings, but Betsy Reavley has created such a damn good read that when I finished, my first thought was OH WOW. With compelling characters and a well excuted plot there is no way to avoid the cliché: I could not put this novel down! Disturbing and compelling, this is definitely a psychologically astute, edge-of-the-seat story.
I won’t be giving Frailty 5 stars NO SIREE, but I will be giving it the very prestigious GOLD STAR AWARD, I give this award to a book I feel covers every aspect of what I look for in a good read, fantastic plot, great characters and a storyline that drew me in from the first page and kept me in its grip until I reached the very last page.
Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Bloodhound Books (15 Nov. 2016)