by David Bell
Published by: Penguin
Genres: Mystery, Suspense thriller
Four years after Tom and Abby's 12-year-old daughter vanishes, she is found alive but strangely calm. When the teen refuses to testify against the man connected to her disappearance, Tom decides to investigate the traumatizing case on his own. Nothing can prepare him for what he is about to discover.
Cemetery Girl was an addictive novel, that kept me up till 3 in the morning to reach the conclusion. Bell weaves a believable tale of a parent’s worst nightmare. He delivers it with an authentic voice in Tom Stuart.
Protagonist Tom Stuart, father of Caitlin and husband of Abby tells this riveting story from his perspective. The story is broken into three parts. The first part deals with events leading up to Caitlin’s disappearance. The second takes us through the aftermath and how it impacts them. In the third part of the book, Caitlin returns, thin, dirty and silent. She is changed; gone is their beautiful vibrant daughter. This isn’t how they imagined her return, and Tom is still seeking answers.
This story while fictional could be ripped from the headlines of any newspaper. It gives us an in-depth look at the chilling horror of having your child abducted. Tom and Abby are flawed, both as humans and parents. I would be naïve to believe I was a perfect parent. I think we all question ourselves. Bell’s characters show us their raw emotions. They give voice to unspeakable thoughts making this all the more surreal. While this isn’t a Stephen King novel, the tale is so real, so horrible that you will find yourselves checking on your kids in the middle of the night.
Cemetery Girl will leave its mark on the reader. The next headline of a child’s abduction will draw you back in and make you think about the unthinkable. I will unquestionably be reading more of David Bell’s work.
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