- Published in Australia by Little, Brown 14 August 2012
- ISBN 978-1-84744-525-4
- 434 pages
- Source: review copy given to me by Hachette Australia
- Read the first chapter on the author’s site
Synopsis (from Publisher)
My name is Piper Hadley and I went missing on the last Saturday of the summer holidays three years ago.
When Piper and her friend Tash disappeared, there was a huge police
search, but they were never found. Now Tash, reaching breaking point at
the abuse their captor has inflicted on them, has escaped, promising to
come back for Piper.
Clinical psychologist Joe O’Loughlin and his stalwart companion,
ex-cop Vincent Ruiz, force the police to re-open the case after Joe is
called in to assess the possible killer of a couple in their own home
and finds a connection to the missing girls. But they are racing against
time to save Piper from someone with an evil, calculating and twisted
The Bingham Girls, Piper Hadley and Tash McBain, are 15 years old when they go missing. They have been best friends for years but Tash is a troubled adolescent and has been told not to return to school. Every one assumes that the girls have gone off to London as they said they would, or at least that’s what Tash said.
Months pass and the search is scaled back. They have gone without trace. The bad things are forgotten and both families paint their daughters in glowing colours.
Three years later and a body is found frozen in a lake and DCI Drury calls in Joe O’Loughlin to investigate a case where a husband and wife have been killed and burnt in a fire at the farmhouse where Tash McBain used to live. A suspect is in custody, a troubled young man who can hear voices and
claims that he saw a girl that night being chased by a snowman. Drury hopes that Joe, by going over the Bingham Girls case from the very beginning, may pick up on clues the original team missed.
For Joe this is a particularly sensitive case because when they disappeared the girls were the same age that his own daughter Charlie is now. Both Piper and Tash had problems at home, separated or unhappy parents, and you can feel the author exploring the issues that surround female adolescence.
The structure of the novel appears to be straightforward but is very clever. Piper Hadley likes writing, but she runs out of paper so there are excerpts from her “mental” journal interposed between chapters describing the findings and events in the investigation that Joe and Vincent Ruiz are carrying out.
As always, a very readable novel, with some heart stopping moments. #8 in the O’Loughlin/Ruiz series. This duo complement each other so well.
My rating: 4.8
Other reviews of Robotham titles
Check if Michael Robotham is touring near you. He will also be at MWF and at Bouchercon in Cleveland later in the year.