A Pittsburgh woman finds she’s the prime suspect when her daughter’s kidnapped in Drake’s dark psychological thriller.
In July 2013, 3-year-old Sophia Lassiter disappears from a park where she’s playing only to show up a short time later unharmed except for a small mark on her arm that her mother believes might have been an injection site. Frightened, Sophia’s parents—professional photographer Jill and successful lawyer David—watch their child even more closely than usual. But despite their vigilance, one morning they climb out of bed and find that Sophia’s once again gone missing. While the police focus more and more on the beleaguered parents, a woman named Bea Walsh has been perfecting her evil plan to steal Sophia and see that Jill and David take the fall for her disappearance and faked death; her plan seems to be working. Meanwhile, the author flashes back to a journal written by an unknown woman to an unknown man, dissecting their affair and ultimate breakup. Drake builds suspense slowly and methodically, but many readers won’t stick around long enough to care: Jill’s a judgmental snob, Bea’s cruel and unhinged, David’s a detached social climber, and even Sophia, the toddler, comes across as a brat. Additionally, the series of events surrounding Sophia’s disappearance come across as contrived and implausible, with an over-the-top villain, a cop that dresses like a hooker, another cop who practically sneers his questions, and a hypercritical protagonist with a superiority complex.
Unlikable people and unlikely situations redeemed by decent writing and the only truly appealing character in the book: a little dog named Cosmo.