Book Description and info:
They stared at each other, and Maggie felt the tightness in her middle expand as it shifted, burning its way up… Painful sobs rose in her throat as Colin, his face expressionless now, reached for his mobile and tapped 999.
When three-year-old Olivia disappears from the beach, a happy family holiday comes to an abrupt end. Maggie is plunged into the darkest nightmare imaginable – what happened to her little girl?
Further along the coast, another mother is having problems too. Jennifer's daughter Hailey is starting school, and it should be such a happy time, but the child is increasingly moody and silent. Family life has never seemed so awkward, and Jennifer struggles to maintain control.
The tide ebbs and flows, and summer dies, but there is no comfort for Maggie, alone now at the cottage, or for Jennifer, still swamped by doubts.
‘A psychologically astute, edge-of-the-seat story.’ Hilary Johnson
‘Unsettling and disturbing… I couldn’t put it down.’ Rebecca Muddiman
‘Breathtaking and utterly compelling.’ Debi Alper
Heres an extract so you can have a taster of Linda's writing before you rush out and order your own copy
Maggie stood in the doorway and stared into Olivia’s bedroom. It was tiny, like all the rooms in the cottage, but this one was still. Toys, games… everything in here had been motionless for a week now. Baby dolls vied with Barbies on the shelf, an assortment of soft toys lay strewn across the bed, and Olivia’s darling Old Bear was sitting on a wooden chair by the window.
Maggie could hear the sea battering against the cliffs. High tide. The beach would be covered in water now; surging, white-tipped waves beneath a flawless blue sky. How beautiful Cornwall was, and how lucky they were to have a holiday cottage here. That’s what they’d thought until last week, anyway. If this had been a normal day they’d have been picnicking on the clifftop, or shopping in Newquay. Or just relaxing around the cottage, laughing and squabbling and eating too much. All the usual holiday stuff.
But nothing was normal anymore, and Maggie knew that tomorrow was going to be the worst day yet. The twenty-third of August. Olivia’s birthday. Right now, Maggie and her daughter should have been making the cake Olivia had planned so happily, the raspberry jam sponge with pink icing and four pink and white candles.
No need for any of that now. Maggie stepped into the room, grabbed the pillow from the bed and buried her face in it, inhaling deeply, searching for one final whiff of Olivia, one last particle of her child. But the only smells left were those of an unused room: stale air, and dust.
‘Livvy, come back to me, baby,’ she whispered, replacing the pillow and cradling Old Bear instead, tears burning in her eyes as she remembered holding Olivia like this, when Joe had whacked her with a plastic golf club on the second day of their holiday. She’d had two children then. She hadn’t known how lucky she was.
‘I didn’t mean it, I didn’t.’ Her voice cracked, and she fell forwards, her kneecaps thudding painfully on the wooden floor. How could she live on, in a world without Olivia?
‘I’m sorry, Livvy, I’m sorry!’
She had barely spoken aloud all week, and the words came out in an unrecognisable high-pitched whimper. Bent over Old Bear on the floor, Maggie began to weep. Her voice echoed round the empty cottage as she rocked back and forth, crying out her distress.
But no-one was there to hear.