Source: Review Copy
Published: 16 November 2017 by Headline
When child psychologist Imogen Reid takes on the case of 11-year-old Ellie Atkinson, she refuses to listen to warnings that the girl is dangerous.
Ellie was the only survivor of a fire that killed her family. Imogen is convinced she’s just a sad and angry child struggling to cope with her loss.
But Ellie’s foster parents and teachers are starting to fear her. When she gets upset, bad things seem to happen. And as Imogen gets closer to Ellie, she may be putting herself in danger…
Jenny Blackhurst can certainly write a great chiller thriller. Imogen and Ellie are at the black heart of this book. Is Imogen a reliable narrator, or a troubled woman using past problems to try and solve her current woes? Is Ellie the 11 year old version of Stephen King’s Carrie, or is she, as Imogen believes, a poor child in need of love and care whose sudden family bereavements have left her lost and vulnerable?
Whatever the answer, Imogen needs to find out and quickly. Because Ellie is a child around whom things happen. Things like death and injury, events which threaten her classmates and her teachers and will prove life threatening to Imogen.
Blackhurst has created a tense and dramatic narrative where the chills run up and down your spine as you read. Imogen is a child psychologist with a troubled professional past, who joins the local social work team in her old home town and inherits from her predecessor the case of Ellie, a young girl who is living with a foster family after the death of her immediate family.
Jenny Blackhurst really does know how to both engage and unsettle her reader, drawing them into Imogen and Ellie’s worlds, and yet able to wrong foot the reader at every turn.
This makes for a fascinating and chilling read that twists and doubles back on itself so that you never quite know if you have worked out the answer, even until the very last page.
Beautifully crafted and definitely a great read for a dark and stormy night.
About Jenny Blackhurst
Jenny Blackhurst grew up in Shropshire where she still lives with her husband and children. Growing up, she spent hours reading and talking about crime novels – writing her own seemed like a natural progression. This is her third novel.
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