Losing You: A Novel

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Nina Landry’s day just keeps getting worse. It is her fortieth birthday, and she is happy about leaving her home on Sandling Island, off the coast of England, for a vacation in Florida. She is going with her boyfriend Christian and her two children, teenager Charlie and younger brother Jackson. But things start going downhill fast. First, Nina’s car breaks down. Christian appears to be terminally stuck in traffic. Charlie hasn’t come home from a sleepover. No one has packed. Still, there is plenty of time to prepare and get to Heathrow for their flight, which doesn’t leave for hours, so Nina doesn’t worry excessively.

Then the worst complication arises. Charlie has planned a surprise birthday party for her, and friends descend on their house expecting food and drink. And Charlie, the host of the party, has still not returned home and is not responding to her mother’s text messages. As the hours tick by, a frantic Nina cancels her vacation plans and throws her energy into finding her missing daughter, whom she is certain did not just take off over some imagined slight, as the police seem convinced.

This is a satisfying suspense novel, which drew me back to it again and again, eager to find out which clue Nina would follow next. With the intuition of a desperate mother, Nina tracks the evidence of her daughter’s disappearance with a laser focus that sharply contrasts with the police’s nonchalance. In the process, she finds out things about her daughter that she had not known, such as her having two boyfriends. The police begin to take Nina more seriously when her search leads to the body of another missing girl and then to the scarf her daughter had been wearing the night before in her ex-husband’s car.

I did think the way Nina manages to push around veteran police officers in what becomes an official investigation strained credulity at times, and her constant exclamation that “there isn’t time” repetitive, contributing little to the urgency of the plot, which is gripping as it stands. Overall, this story of a mother’s devotion to and search for her child is powerful.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 368 pages
Publisher William Morrow Paperbacks
Publish Date 2020-01-28
ISBN 9780062876034
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue February 2020
Category Popular Fiction


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