Jess Finnegan should have it all, with eight month old Louis
and a husband in tow, things should have been falling into
place for her life. But it only takes a moment for your world
to fall apart as Jess soon discovers. On a trip out with the
family Jess looses track of Mickey, her husband and Louis.
With her panic rising she searches for her husband and child
and finds no trace. Worse is to come as Mickey is found unconscious
with no sign of her child...
is the debut novel by Claire Seeber. One of the things that
you can say about the narrative is that the tension is so
high that you'll find yourself grinding your teeth. Seeber
is also a cruel writer to her poor heroine Jess. You think
that it would be bad enough that your child disappears with
you having no idea if they are alive or dead, but that's not
enough for Seeber as she slowly unravels the world that Jess
thinks she knows.
the plot reveals, everyone has secrets, even her husband.
As the duplicity of the characters is revealed everyone becomes
suspect until Jess can no longer rely on what she thought
she knew and the pressure slowly starts to unravel her.
of the nice things about the novel is Seeber's ability to
make her audience empathise with Jess. Even through the most
traumatic sections of the book you feel that you just can't
put the book down. Jess is a believable distressed character,
so much so, that you feel her pain, making the book more than
a little distressing to read. This is the mark of a good novel
- the ability to touch the audience on an emotional level.
I had to find fault it would be with some of the secondary
characters which are not so well rounded out. This may be
because Seeber was using a lot of herself in the book and
so forgot to pay as much attention to the other characters
as she should.
as a debut novel it's a real tour de force, in your face,
page turner, with only a few minor quibbles around the construction
of the supporting characters and a very satisfying twist at
the book;s main premise, that of an abducted child, it's fairly
brave of Seeber to release it at a time when the McCann case
is on the news most every night, as there bound to be some
moron who will accuse her of exploitation. That, of course,
would ignore the fact that a book takes longer to write than
the time the case has been around or the fact that children
disappearing is more common than we want to admit in our culture.
a good start to what I hope is a long career for Seeber.