Today I’m sharing my review for The Nowhere Child, the debut thriller from Australian author Christian White. I’m so glad I picked this book up. Read on for my review but first the book description…….
A child was stolen twenty years agoLittle Sammy Went vanishes from her home in Manson, Kentucky – an event that devastates her family and tears apart the town’s deeply religious community. And somehow that missing girl is you
Kim Leamy, an Australian photographer, is approached by a stranger who turns her world upside down – he claims she is the kidnapped Sammy and that everything she knows about herself is based on a lie.
How far will you go to uncover the truth?
In search of answers, Kim returns to the remote town of Sammy’s childhood to face up to the ghosts of her early life. But the deeper she digs into her family background the more secrets she uncovers… And the closer she gets to confronting the trauma of her dark and twisted past.
One of my favourite things about reading a book is the fact you are never sure what story the pages of a book will hold. Yes, you have the book description to give you a hint, but even so a story can take so many directions. I thought The Nowhere Child would be a straightforward “girl gets taken, and then found years later” but how wrong I was this book has so much more to offer, it’s dark, genuinely twisted, layered in mystery and intrigue. I should mention the book is the debut thriller from Australian author Christian White, and what a debut, it’s superbly plotted, and one of those books that’s a pleasure to read for all its twist and turns.
What would you do if you discovered your entire life was a lie? That’s the question Kim Leamy has to face when she’s approached by a man whose convinced she’s Sammy Went, a little girl who went missing twenty-eight years ago in Manson, Kentucky. In a quest for the truth she travels to Manson where Kim soon learns that some secrets are best left buried. The Nowhere Child alternate between the past and the present chapters, ensuring the reader’s attention never wanes. The chapters narrated in the past explore the impact of Sammy’s disappearance on her family and the small religious community they live in. The present chapters follow Kim’s journey to discover the truth about her past. Although the theme of a child being stolen isn’t entirely new, the authors telling of the story made this book a compelling read. As one chapter ended, and another began I found myself immersed in Amy’s story, rather like Amy I was desperate to get to the truth of her disappearance.
I found the chapters told in the past to be the most fascinating part of this book, as the author scratches below the surface of Kim’s grieving family, buried secrets bubble to the surface, and relationships already fragile begin to unravel. As to the present chapters as Kim delves deeper into her past what initially presents itself as kidnapping crime mystery novel turns into something darker and far more sinister. Every character from Kim’s past has something to hide, and as each one is revealed the web the author weaves becomes more tangled.
Although some readers may consider this read a slow builder, I thought the pace was perfect; it allows the reader to get to know the various dysfunctional characters from Kim’s past warts and all. The NoWhere Child is a heart wrenching and somewhat chilling psychological thriller which explores several different themes, love, loss, scandal, and religious cults. Christian White’s Debut made for a compelling read with fascinating characters, with a mystery containing so many twists and turns it’s one guaranteed to keep even the most ardent psychological thriller readers entertained. Highly recommended
- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins (8 Aug. 2019)
Buying Link: Amazon UK