Amy Myers is known for her short stories and historical novels featuring Victorian chef Auguste Didier and chimney sweep Tom Wasp. Her contemporary series features classic car detective Jack Colby, and she is currently working on a new 1920s mystery series featuring Nell Drury, chef at Kent’s Wychbourne Court.
This gripping and well written thriller was first published in 2007 and now makes a welcome reappearance from Myriad Editions. I reviewed it on its first publication – and on its second reading am no less impressed by it. More if anything. The strength of the writing and the author’s brilliant evocation of how a child mind works combine to terrifying effect.
Nine year old Eleanor is playing hide and seek in June 1968. Her companion is another nine year old, Alice, although she is not exactly, in Eleanor’s view, a friend. But when Alice goes missing Eleanor does her best to recreate for the police and family exactly what happened, just as she was asked to do. This has ramifications both for the Ramsay family and for Alice’s own parents, and thirty-one years later the after effects of that day are still making themselves felt. The story holds the reader glued to it until the very end when the truth emerges about the day Alice disappeared from the ruins of Tide Mills on the Sussex cliffs.
Lesley Thomson has a masterly control of detail, piling one upon another until the location, characters and their family lives are startlingly vivid. A novel one cannot forget – and I never have. Next please!