About the book
Tess is visiting friends in rural Vermont when she is driving alone at night and sees a young, half-dressed toddler in the middle of the road, who then runs into the woods like a frightened deer.
The entire town begins searching for the little girl. But there are no sightings, no other witnesses, no reports of missing children. As local police point out, Tess’s imagination has played her false before. And yet Tess is compelled to keep looking, in a desperate effort to save the little girl she can’t forget.
I hadn’t realised when I started reading this novel that it wasn’t the first book set in rural Vermont and some of the characters had appeared in the earlier books. But I didn’t feel like I had missed any backstory and that they could all be read as standalone novels very easily.
When Tess goes for wine late at night, she shouldn’t really be driving. On her journey home through a remote area she sees a very young girl in the road and when she can’t find her notifies the police. After a search by everybody in the area fails to turn up any evidence the town loses faith in her account. But she refuses to give up, breaking the law and placing herself in danger trying to find her.
The narrative occasionally switches back to a time in Guatemala. You know that she has had had a hard time in the past and it is these flashbacks that reveal what happened. Some of these are only brief but show an increasing amount of sadness and tragedy.
I couldn’t escape a feeling that I had read something similar last year but I did enjoy the novel. The characters were all likeable and believable. The lead investigating officer wasn’t the most approachable or understanding member of the police but I tried to understand his reasoning behind his actions. However, his role was quite small, this is more of a family drama even though it includes an investigation into a missing child.
I loved the description of the area, the remoteness that could be both beautiful and threatening. I will look for the other books that feature the same characters.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.