By Elisabeth Carpenter
I loved this psychological thriller. 99 Red Balloons is a clever, well-written debut novel that caught me up right from the very beginning. When asked to describe her novel in one sentence (by author/blogger Sam Carrington), author Elisabeth Carpenter says, ‘two girls go missing, decades apart, and family secrets are slowly revealed’. The story gallops effortlessly along with a large cast of very believable characters and great dialogue. Elisabeth skilfully blends a number of different threads, each told from a different point of view. She led me totally astray – cleverly misleading me for most of the story. It’s a great ride – a skilful, suspenseful roller coaster of a book which left me breathless. Highly recommended if this is your genre.
Two girls go missing, decades apart. What would you do if one was your daughter?
When eight-year-old Grace goes missing from a sweetshop on the way home from school, her mother Emma is plunged into a nightmare. Her family rallies around, but as the police hunt begins, cracks begin to emerge.
What are the secret emails sent between Emma’s husband and her sister? Why does her mother take so long to join the search? And is Emma really as innocent as she seems?
Meanwhile, ageing widow Maggie Taylor sees Grace’s picture in the newspaper. It’s a photograph that jolts her from the pain of her existence into a spiralling obsession with another girl – the first girl who disappeared…