Book Review – The Girl In The Red Coat – Kate Hamer…

Eight-year-old Carmel has always been different – sensitive, distracted, with an heartstopping tendency to go missing. Her mother Beth, newly single, worries about her daughter’s strangeness, especially as she is trying to rebuild a life for the two of them on her own.

When she takes Carmel for an outing to a local festival, her worst fear is realised: Carmel disappears into the crowd. Unable to accept the possibility that her daughter might be gone for good, Beth embarks on a mission to find her. Meanwhile, Carmel begins an extraordinary and terrifying journey of her own. But do the real clues to Carmel’s disappearance lie in the otherworldly qualities her mother had only begun to guess at?

Oh dear. Oh dear me. I really wanted to enjoy this book as I’d heard good things about it from a couple of friends of mine. However the glowing reports I’d received sadly did not match up with my own opinion of this book, which I found a struggle to read. It was that bad.

Am I really the only person in the world that disliked this book? I’m looking through the reviews on Goodreads and the vast majority of them are far too positive, they really are.

This book is based on a tried and tested formula. That of a kidnapped child. Carmel is taken from her over anxious and paranoid mother at a festival by a strange man. One could argue that Beth’s (the mother) paranoia was justified as she does lose her daughter but the author takes this concept way too far.

The story flips back and forth between Beth and Carmel but towards the end of the book becomes woolly and ever harder to follow. How did this couple manage to get a girl with no ID and no passport into the States who have some of the most stringent immigration control laws in the world? It just doesn’t sound believable and that makes it a misnomer in what is supposed to be a believable story.

As the book goes on I get more and more turned off by the religious aspects of the story. Atheist and proud here. I found this story really rather difficult to swallow.

This book is labelled as a psychological thriller. Huh? In what alternate universe is that then? This book is about as much of a psychological tension filled thriller as I am a gold medal ice skater!

The ending is my biggest beef of the whole story though. It is so insubstantial and abrupt it leaves you with a sense of emptiness and feeling incomplete. This book left me feeling cold.

A one out of five star read.

Be kind to each other.x

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