No One Saw A Thing by Andrea Mara @AndreaMaraBooks @transworldbooks

Source: Review copy
Publication: 11 May 2023 from Bantam Press
PP: 384
ISBN-13: 978-1787636507

My thanks to Bantam Press for an advance copy for review

Two children get on the train. Only one gets off…

No one saw it happen.

You stand on a crowded tube platform in London. Your two little girls jump on the train ahead of you. As you try to join them, the doors slide shut and the train moves away, leaving you behind.

Everyone is lying.

By the time you get to the next stop, you’ve convinced yourself that everything will be fine. But you soon start to panic, because there aren’t two children waiting for you on the platform. There’s only one.

Someone is to blame.

Has your other daughter got lost? Been taken by a passing stranger? Or perhaps the culprit is closer to home than you think? No one is telling the truth, and the longer the search continues, the harder she will be to find…

I can’t imagine what it must be like having to manoeuvre two children and a buggy through the tube system in London. I can barely tolerate the tube and I’m allegedly a fully functioning adult. No One Saw A Thing is the first of Andrea Mara’s books that I have read and on this showing, it certainly will not be the last.

Mara makes great use of pace in this domestic thriller that keeps you guessing all the way through.

Sive, a journalist and her husband Aaron, a high profile criminal barrister, have brought their three children to London from Dublin for a reunion with Aaron’s old flatmates.

But one morning at Bond Street Station their lives are completely disrupted when Sive tries to take her son Toby in his buggy and both her daughters, Faye (6) and Bea (2) on the tube. Momentarily distracted, Sive loses sight of her daughters until she sees them on the train which is leaving the station. Her stomach plummets and she has many very anxious moments as she waits for news from the next station. While her 2 year old, Bea is found there safe and well, there is no news at all of Faye.

Andrea Mara’s nail-biting psychological thriller plays on this nightmare scenario as the couple frantically search for answers about what could have happened to Faye – and why?

With a tight cast of characters Andrea Mara’s novel takes us back to that flatmate reunion and Aaron’s former flatmates, Dave, Scott, Maggie and Nita. As with any tight knit group of friends, there are secrets, there is competition and in this case, a huge helping of one-upmanship.

Mara weaves the story of this friendship throughout the search for Faye and she does not hesitate to load her plot with so many false leads and suspicious activities that everyone becomes a suspect.

Mara does great job of showing Sive’s increasing levels of panic and the frantic search for answers as she and a journalist try to work out why Faye has disappeared. Sive here is vulnerable and Aaron fails to come across as sympathetically as he would like. No-one escapes scrutiny, however, and as deadly secrets are revealed it becomes a race against time to find the perpetrator and rescue Faye.

I read this on holiday and enjoyed the break-neck pace and the layered plotting which leads to an understanding of the past in order to inform the present.

Verdict: A fast-paced psychologically thriller that tugs at the heartstrings while twisting and turning every few minutes. Great holiday fare.                                Waterstones                                     Hive Stores

Andrea Mara is a Sunday Times and Irish Times top ten bestselling author, and has been shortlisted for a number of awards, including Irish Crime Novel of the Year. She lives in Dublin, Ireland, with her husband and three young children, and also runs multi-award-winning parent and lifestyle blog, Hide and Seek, her second thriller to be published in the UK and internationally, became an instant top ten bestseller.

Published by marypicken

Passionate book reader. Love all kind of books from 19th century novels to crime thrillers. My blog is predominantly crime, psychological thrillers and police procedurals with a good helping of literary fiction thrown in.

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