Paula Daly – Just What Kind of Mother Are You?

There surely can’t be many things worse than the horror of your child going missing. Paula Daly’s debut tells the story of a missing child but what sets the story apart is the fact that it’s the narrator’s friend’s child that goes missing

It all happens through a case of crossed wires. Guy and Kate Riverty think their daughter Lucinda is staying at her friend Sally’s house that night but Sally never went to school that day. The child goes missing when she’s supposed to be in the care of Sally’s parents, Lisa and Joe.

Lisa Kallisto is fiercely passionate about her work at the nearby animal shelter. She’s witnessed some terrible events in her life, including his father’s wife slashing her wrists in front of her. The guilt of the lost child wears her down but she remains devoted to her family and her work.

The book largely tells the story of Lucinda’s experience and that of Detective Joanne Aspinall. It’s a brilliantly fast-paced work that details the investigation into the case and pressure that lies on the shoulders of the police investigating what’s happened. We get to see the workings of the case with Joanne’s hunches and the various leads that come forward.

This is a great read that wrestles with the guilt involved in feeling responsible for the disappearance of a child. It really gets under the skin of the high level of anxiety that comes with questions about diffferences in social class and feeling you’re lacking something as a parent.

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