by Ann Troup
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Published by: Carina UK
Genre: Mystery, Light Romance
Rating: 3.5 Stars
NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Mandy Miller disappeared from Hallow’s End when she was just 3 years old. She was never found.
Thirty years on, Elaine Ellis is carrying her mother’s ashes back to Hallow’s End to scatter them in the place that she once called home. Elaine has never been there, but it’s the only place Jean talked about while she was growing up – so it seems as good a place as any.
As Elaine settles into her holiday cottage in the peaceful Devonshire village, she gets to know the locals; family she never knew she had, eccentric and old-fashioned gentry, and new friends where she would least expect them. But she is intrigued by the tale of the missing girl that the village still carries at its heart, and which somehow continues to overshadow them all. Little does she know how much more involved in the mystery she will become…
Lately, I've been hard-pressed to finish a book. Almost every time I pick up a new one, I can't seem to get past the first chapter. The writing has been juvenile, the plot predictable from the start. The Lost Child, however, immediately captured my attention. Although the solving of the mystery wasn't earth-shattering, the story kept my attention due to the characterization the author created.
Although Elaine herself wasn't overly fascinating to me, nor was Dan - her love interest - Brodie and all of her extended family flew off the page, right at me. Each was engaging and I wanted more from each of them.
Besides the secondary characters, my other favorite part was the glue that held every scene together, like a bread crumb trail: Jean's ashes. Elaine went to Hallow's End to scatter her mother's ashes. Unfortunately, she dumps them right away and leaves a dusty trail behind her wherever she goes in the novel. The writer did a fantastic job of weaving every scene together by adding a dusting of Jean here and there.
The reason I gave it a 3.5, though, is due to the author's love of run-on sentences. For example: "None of us realise how crap this thing might turn out to be, this is the only beginning, and it might get worse, it might get better, but we'll do it together, OK?" Now I love commas and all (as you can tell from this review) but i don't enjoy run-on sentences broken up by commas. I'll let you count for yourself how many sentences were smooshed into the above.
Overall, I enjoyed it.