• Publication date: 3 May 2018

• Publisher: Viking

• Language: English

• ASIN: B075VK44WS

About The Book

In the award-winning Elizabeth is Missing debut novelist Emma Healey explored grandmother Maud’s attempt to solve an 70-year-old mystery as she succumbed to dementia.

Now, in her dazzling follow-up Whistle in the Dark, we meet Jen, mother to 15-year-old Lana – who has just been found after going missing for four desperate days. Lana can’t talk about the missing days. As her daughter’s life falls apart, Jen turns detective to discover what happened . . .

How do you rescue someone who has already been found?

With thanks to Jennifer Acton, the author and the publisher Penguin Books UK for my ARC copy

Firstly, I thought the name of the book was excellent as was the beautifully illustrated jacket and frontispiece.

Although I have a copy of Emma Healey’s much acclaimed debut novel ‘Elizabeth Is Missing’ I haven’t yet read it but after reading and enjoying this book, her latest, it is now high up on my TBR pile.

When Jen and Hugh’s troubled daughter Lana goes missing for four days while on a painting holiday with Jen they are drawn into a nightmare. Every parent’s worst nightmare in fact. Their plight makes national headlines as any such case would do. The media circus is unrelenting and even when Lena is found alive after four days it continues – this isn’t a spoiler because the book doesn’t start with a prologue, it starts intriguingly with a chapter titled ‘The End’ where Lena’s reappearance is described.

Lena, who is known to suffer from periods of depression, has some superficial injuries and symptoms of exposure to the elements but refuses to say what has happened to her, or where she’s been. Claiming to all that she can’t remember anything about those four days.

What follows is the constant anxiety and emotions experienced by the family but more so Jen who goes through the agonies of worry and guilt examining her relationship with Lena and questioning her role as a mother. Lena and Hugh have another daughter Meg, Lena’s older sibling. Lena had previously tried to harm herself and is having therapy.

Meg, although loving and caring towards her younger sister experiences some resentment towards her being the constant recipient of her mother’s attention.

This novel explores the family dynamics of living and coping with a troubled child. The constant nagging anxiety and the uneasy monitoring of the uncommunicative child’s social media accounts and social life.

The story is excellently told and the little snippets of information revealed bit by tantalising bit left me as the reader drawn into the story and having to read on and on until the very end.

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About The Author

Emma Healey wrote her first short story when she was four, told her teachers she was going to be a writer when she was eight, but had learnt better by twelve and had decided on being a litigator (inspired entirely by the film Clueless). It took another ten years before she came back to writing. She grew up in London where she went to art college and completed her first degree in bookbinding. She then worked for two libraries, two bookshops, two art galleries and two universities, and was busily pursuing a career in the art world before writing overtook everything. She moved to Norwich in 2010 to study for the MA in Creative Writing at UEA and never moved back again. Elizabeth is Missing is her first novel