I don’t really too many thrilling or suspenseful novels anymore. I went through a phase around the time of Gone Girl (you know, with everyone else) where I read a lot of them, but I seem to prefer lighter reads these days, or things that are more heartwarming, which could just be because of the stage I’m at in life right now. That being said, when I read the synopsis for Lost You by Haylen Beck, which is in stores now, I thought that maybe this would be the one that got me to come running back…
Libby needs a break. Three years ago her husband split, leaving her to raise their infant son Ethan alone as she struggled to launch her writing career. Now for the first time in years, things are looking up. She’s just sold her first novel, and she and Ethan are going on a much-needed vacation. Everything seems to be going their way, so why can’t she stop looking over her shoulder or panicking every time Ethan wanders out of view? Is it because of what happened when Ethan was born? Except Libby’s never told anyone the full story of what happened, and there’s no way anyone could find her and Ethan at a faraway resort . . . right?
But three days into their vacation, Libby’s fears prove justified. In a moment of inattention, Ethan wanders into an elevator before Libby can reach him. When the elevator stops and the doors open, Ethan is gone. Hotel security scours the building and finds no trace of him, but when CCTV footage is found of an adult finding the child wandering alone and leading him away by the hand, the police are called in. The search intensifies, a lost child case turning into a possible abduction. Hours later, a child is seen with a woman stepping through an emergency exit. Libby and the police track the woman down and corner her, but she refuses to release Ethan. Asked who she is, the woman replies:
“I’m his mother.”
I had a really hard time getting into this one, and I’m not sure why, because the premise was pretty exciting. It became much more twisty than I thought it would, and I didn’t see where the plot was going until pretty late in the story.
I always have a hard time when I dislike most of the characters in a book, and that could have been my problem here. Libby is clearly unstable and anyone else who becomes important to the story (minus the couple Libby meets on holiday—those gents are a delight!) are shady and hard to relate to.
If thrillers or suspenseful novels are up your alley, though, this might totally be your jam. The more of them I read, the more I think these aren’t really for me.
“Tell the truth, because nothing is better than the truth. The truth has no regrets, didn’t she always say that? Yes, she did.” —Haylen Beck, Lost You
Thank you to NetGalley and Crown Publishing Group for the advanced copy, and to Alex Pasarelu on Unsplash for the featured photo depicting motherhood.