Contemporary, Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer

I saw this novel and read its premise and immediately, I classified it as a thriller. I didn’t look at any online reviews or any other information regarding this novel when I started. And now that I have completed this novel, all I can say is that it is definitely not just a thriller. It is so much more.

Carmel Wakeford is a very special 8-year-old. She has a vivid imagination and gets lost in her own world a tad bit more than normal. She also has a way of knowing just what to say or do to make one feel better. Her mother, Beth, loves her fiercely and is very overprotective of her. One day, at a local children’s festival, Carmel gets lost in the crowd and is separated from her mother, Beth. She is approached by a man who claims to be her grandfather and he tells her that her mother is in the hospital. Carmel is taken by him to live with his family. As days become weeks, and then turn into months, Carmel realizes that her “grandfather” believes she has a very special gift. While Beth frantically tries to find her daughter, Carmel goes through a journey that will shape her life and make her question who she is – and who she can become.

The reason I say that this is not a thriller is because this story deals with the raw emotions experienced by every individual that is exposed to this tragic event. Told in alternating voices of Beth and Carmel, the story takes Β the reader through the pain and hope that a mother lives with when her child is abducted as well as the confusion and helplessness a child feels when she has nowhere else to go. It is an emotional rollercoaster and it will affect you, because it certainly affected me. The strength of this novel is not just in the plot and the nail-biting question of “will Carmel be found?”; the strength of this novel comes from the depth of the characters and their struggle throughout their journey. I love this novel and I can’t stop thinking about it because it has just resonated so deeply with me. Anyone looking for a novel that explores the emotions behind a thriller, read this one.

Happy reading ~

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