Half a World Away

imageHalf a World Away was a great reintroduction to Cath Staincliffe’s novels. The book is about new graduate Lorelei who goes on holiday to China. She sets up a blog and posts regular diary posts with photographs and emails her family regularly. And then it all stops. The blog isn’t updated, phone calls go to voicemail and emails remain unanswered. When her parents feel they are not getting enough answers they fly over to try and find her.
The biggest thing for me with this novel was how different life was in China to how it is here. No freedom of speech, people afraid to get involved in case the police or people with power became aware of it. Jo and Tom are being controlled by the Chinese police, they are held back repeatedly as they try and search for their daughter. Jo also has problems at home to deal with as well. Her husband has been made redundant, and her youngest child has mood swings.
I found this a quick fascinating read, I wanted to know what had happened to her and also because I was learning about a country that I knew nothing about. Despite the police, the food and the climate its appeal was still there. I didn’t really think of it as a crime novel. It is a crime investigation but mostly it is about the desperation felt by a parent in finding their daughter.
Thanks to the publisher and the author for the copy via netgalley.

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