Daniel is my son. He has always been mine. And he always will be.
On some level deep inside, Laura Bateman knows something is wrong. That her relationship with her son is not what it should be. That it is based on lies.
But bad things have happened to Laura. Things that change a person. Forever.
For twenty-six-year-old Daniel, the discovery that his mother is not who he thought comes close to destroying him. As his world turns upside down, he searches for sanity in the madness that has become his life. Daniel is left with nothing but questions. Why did Laura do something so terrible? Can he move past the demons of his childhood?
And the biggest question of all: can he ever forgive Laura?
Oh my goodness what a tangled web Maggie James presents the reader with, from the opening chapter I just knew I was going to love His Kidnappers Shoes. Full of suspense and intrigue it’s one of those books you just want to read in one sitting. The novel explores the twisted relationship between a mother and her son, both have dark secrets which up until the novel began have been well and truly buried, but secrets have a nasty habit of coming out when you least expect them, and this is certainly the case in this novel.This is a story that explores secrets, lies, denial and ultimately forgiveness, and I enjoyed every page of this intriguing novel.
This is a hard book to review without giving away major spoilers so I’m going to keep my review short. All the characters in His Kidnappers Shoes have their own demons to confront, and what follows is a tense and at times a very disturbing and shocking read. Maggie James has managed to create such complex characters that I found myself completely invested in their sorrowful tale. At times I couldn’t help disliking Laura, after all here was a mother who had done the most terrible thing without any thought for others or the consequences of her actions, but her character also generated a great deal of sympathy from me at times which I wasn’t expecting. Whilst not condoning her actions I could understand what drove her to commit a horrifying crime after a terrible tragedy.
As for Daniel my heart broke as we learn more about his childhood and the harrowing things that happened to him, you can’t help but become emotionally involved in his story. Thanks to the authors superb plotting of her characters by the end of the novel I felt I really got to know them and their reasons for certain behaviour were made clear. As Daniel tries to come to terms with events you can feel his anger, torment and frustration, you can’t help feeling every emotion alongside him as he tries to get to the truth.
Some of the subject matter in this novel may upset some readers, but it’s not used for the “shock factor” but adds depth to the plot and the characters. A quote came to mind when I was reading His Kidnappers Shoes “Before you start to judge me, Step into my shoes and walk the life I’m living and if you get as far as I am, just maybe you will see how strong I really am”, you won’t be able to help but judge the characters in this book, but the author has expertly explored issues that may well help you understand their motives better, my feelings towards Laura changed as I learnt more about her. I found this book to be incredibly sad and a thought provoking read with realistic characters and a taut and highly original plot, it’s a psychological thriller that I would highly recommend.
5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️out of 5
Paperback: 284 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (15 Nov. 2016)