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By: K.L. Slater
K. L. Slater returns following her gripping debut, SAFE WITH ME with another twisty psychological suspense BLINK, with plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing.
Meet Toni, a woman in Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham. Trapped by silence within her own body. Terrified. Screaming to be let out. She is alive- she wants to escape this nightmare. A defibrillator is keeping her alive. This cannot be happening, but yet it is very real.
No one knows she can hear what they are saying. She desperately is crying out for help. She is blinking and no one seems to notice. She needs "help" for her daughter. She is haunted, desperate, and tormented. What happened to her beautiful girl?
Had everyone given up on Evie? They only talked as they had personal knowledge about their family. Evie's terrible, neglectful mother and her unhappy home. She must think back to before it even happened.
" . . . For one day very soon, you will wake up to the realization that the horror has only just begun."
Flashing back and forth from three years earlier to the present, readers slowly learn the backstory and it unravels.
Toni Cotter’s husband Andrew was killed in a freak accident in Afghanistan. As a single mom, taking care of her daughter she is stressed, with money problems and her grief of being left alone. She takes comfort in the little pills left over from her husband’s accident to help her get through.
With the bills mounting she is forced to move, look for a job, and change Evie’s school. These life changing moments created more havoc. She had to move closer to her mom for help- for a fresh start.
As they say, when you are desperate, trouble has a way of seeking you out and sticking to you. The new neighborhood is not so safe, nor the school. Especially the teacher’s assistant. She feels guilty.
She had dragged her daughter from a respectable neighborhood to live next to a convicted criminal. She did not have very many friends or a support group to turn to. Even her own mom appears critical of her actions. She needs to keep her job to help them survive.
Between the malicious wasps, and the crazy teacher’s assistant, Harriet Watson from St. Saviour's Primary School, with her own psycho-problems — bullying Evie, Toni, and Toni’s mom, Evie’s constant whining about not wanting to go back to the school, and afraid— as well Toni trying to balance work and home life, and a new job— she begins relying more and more on the little pills. She is in a sleepy haze most of the time.
Others are watching her every move.
We slowly learn why Toni is hospitalized. Her daughter has been missing for three years. Everyone has given up on her. Toni must set things right. She must protect and find her daughter.
How will she do this when they could take her off life support. No one knows she is trying to be heard, trapped in her own body. Someone is out to get her. Are the police even still looking for her?
The question. Who, and why? There may be more than one person on her trail and now she must delve deep to solve this mystery and rescue her daughter. Take back the life which was brutally ripped from her.
In the blink of an eye, one day she receives a phone call regarding her mom. She had an accident and cannot pick up Evie from school on time. Toni must leave work to tend to her mom at the hospital and is late picking up Evie. She tried calling and no one answered. Evie is gone. No trace. How could she vanish? She had let down her own daughter.
At the time, she has no idea someone is controlling everything around her. Nothing is by accident. It is carefully planned, orchestrated, and manipulated.
A ruthless psychopath wants revenge.
Slater delivers a strong second novel, keeping the tension high; however, some parts were slow and dragging a bit--and the ending felt rushed; however, overall a solid thriller with a nice twist you are not expecting. An author to follow. Highly recommend both books.
In our day of social media where everyone’s life is on display, when in the wrong hands, of a psychopath, this could mean danger for the person in question and all those close and dear to them. Some people will go to great lengths for revenge. They can destroy. Guard you lives. A cautionary tale. Be careful of routines. They may kill you.
In addition to the reading copy, also purchased the audiobook, narrated by Lucy Price-Lewis delivering an entertaining performance especially for the characters of Toni, Harriet, and Evie.
I enjoyed reading the author's inspiration behind the book. It is true how the public and press are interested in how parental error may have contributed to events, rather than in debating the actual issue of —by whom the child has been taken.
So easy for someone to take advantage of a parent, child, teen, or anyone when they are in a bad place. Their defenses are down. Gullible. They trust, to easily when they are not thinking correctly. When someone is struggling or grieving. Someone they trust with their lives, their children. How do you cope with a tragedy and the crippling guilt? In today's world when everyone expects a parent to be perfect.
For fans of Clare Mackintosh's I See You. Someone may be watching.
A special thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.