Rating: 4 out of 5.

This haunting crime thriller is hard to put down and will keep you turning to pages wondering what happened and if you’ll ever find out.

About the Book

‘A remarkable suspense debut… exciting and unsettling.’ A.J. Finn, author of The Woman in the Window

He won’t rest until he finds out the truth…
Cal Lovett is obsessed with finding justice for the families of missing people. His true crime podcast is his way of helping others, even if he can’t help himself.

His sister, Margot, disappeared when he was a child. Only one man seems to know something. But he’s behind bars and can’t be trusted.

So when the family of a missing Scottish woman begs for his help, he heads to Aberdeenshire in search of the truth.

Does Cal have what it takes to unearth the secrets hiding in the hills? And what if he finds something that leads him back to the heart of his own family’s past?

A gripping crime thriller by a brilliant debut novelist, perfect for fans of Jane Casey, Fiona Barton and Loreth Anne White.

My Thoughts

This is a very compelling crime drama that’s hard to put down. You’re drawn right along with Cal and into his obsession with finding out what has happened to the various women and girls in the story. The stories will probably haunt you long after you turn the last page, and it’s easy to see how they could so easily take over Cal’s life. The author has developed a rich world and atmospheric setting that is so wonderful to picture, no matter how bad the circumstances. Our main character is a deeply flawed and injured hero, and he continuously makes choices that make it hard to sympathize with him. But he comes down just this side of likeable for the most part.

The relationships in the story are complicated and wonderfully developed. Each character is flawed in their own way and so incredibly human. This is an almost painful examination of the human condition and how tragedy and loss can affect day-to-day life forever. It says so much without directly coming out and saying it, and the author has done such a lovely job at presenting her case. The relationship between Cal and his family – both his born family and his chosen one – are done so well. I especially enjoyed his relationship with his daughter, and how it grew through the story.

I enjoy dual timeline stories when they’re done correctly, and this one was used well. It revealed things just as they were needed and not a moment before. While I easily suspected the answer to the main puzzle very early on, it wasn’t in a cliche or unpleasant way. And there were absolutely still surprises. The author kept me guessing on several points right up until the end, which is something I’m always grateful for in a mystery. I am so grateful to the author and Love Books Tours for including me in this tour. I will absolutely keep my eye out for more of this series.

Who’s It For

Fans of true crime podcasts and gritty mystery novels alike will enjoy this book. Anyone who enjoyed “Only Murders in the Building,” might enjoy this book as well. Though, that series is a comedy, and this is definitely not comedic. It is a very serious, sometimes dark book.

Content Warnings: Graphic Violence Details, Suicidal Ideation, Adult Situations, Adult Language, Infidelity

About the Author

Heather Critchlow grew up in rural Aberdeenshire and trained as a business journalist after studying history and social science at the University of Cambridge. Her short stories have appeared in crime fiction anthologies Afraid of the Light, Afraid of the Christmas Lights and Afraid of the Shadows. She lives in St Albans, UK.