99 Red Balloons by Elisabeth Carpenter

September 6th, 2017 Kimberly Review 43 Comments

6th Sep
99 Red Balloons by Elisabeth Carpenter
99 Red Balloons
by Elisabeth Carpenter
Genres: Psychological Thriller
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Two girls go missing, decades apart. What would you do if one was your daughter?

When eight-year-old Grace goes missing from a sweetshop on the way home from school, her mother Emma is plunged into a nightmare. Her family rallies around, but as the police hunt begins, cracks begin to emerge.

What are the secret emails sent between Emma’s husband and her sister? Why does her mother take so long to join the search? And is Emma really as innocent as she seems?

Meanwhile, aging widow Maggie Taylor sees Grace’s picture in the newspaper. It’s a photograph that jolts her from the pain of her existence into a spiralling obsession with another girl – the first girl who disappeared…

thriller Standalone ADDICTIVE

I absolutely love when a story hooks you from the first few pages and 99 RED BALLOONS did just that. Elizabeth Carpenter weaves a tale involving two missing girls, one from the past and one from the present into a heart-pounding thriller all while she exposes cracks in the families foundations. Fast-paced and clever 99 BALLOONS is a tale you cannot set down.

Our story begins in the town of Lincoln situated in Lincolnshire County, north of London. Eight-year-old Grace, who has recently begun walking home from school with her friends, stops at the sweet shop and never makes it home. What unfolds is a suspenseful tale that wraps the reader up and keeps you guessing.

The story is told from different perspectives. First, we have Stephanie, Grace’s Aunt who arrives at her sister’s house when Grace first goes missing.  She ends up staying to support her throughout the ordeal. The second perspective comes from Maggie an aging grandmother living in Lancashire. Her five-year-old granddaughter Zoe went missing twenty some years ago. The story of young Grace reopens thoughts on Zoe’s disappearance. Carpenter then treats us to an unreliable narrator, that of a young girl. It creates a little unease as we don’t know if the voice is that of Grace or Zoe.

I found the voices of Maggie and of course the missing child to be the most interesting. I struggled to like Emma and her husband. Stephanie’s narration kept us abreast of the current missing case and cast doubt, but nothing distinguished her from the other characters. This I think was my only complaint. However, this story was more plot driven and I certainly couldn’t stop reading.

I had a million questions while reading and I love when I experience that edgy feeling of not knowing. I grasped at each red herring and began to question everyone. What were Stephanie and Emma’s husband up to? What secret is Emma keeping? Hints about the sister’s childhood came into play and left me wondering. While admittedly I did see the twist coming, watching all the pieces slip into place kept me flipping the pages until its completion.

99 Red Balloons by Elisabeth Carpenter delivered a heart-pounding thriller with plenty of twists. Click To Tweet

Yes, the title is in reference to the German version of 99 Balloons. Enjoy!

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

43 Responses to “99 Red Balloons by Elisabeth Carpenter”

  1. Katherine

    I’m going to have this song in my head for the rest of the day! This sounds amazing! I love the 2 different missing persons cases and am so curious to see how things work out.

  2. verushka

    The first thing I thought when I saw this cover was IT, because the promo for it has started big time, and of course there are red balloons everywhere! Then I read the blurb for this — and this sounds fantastic!

  3. Alyssa Marie

    This is a perfect book for the upcoming Halloween season! I love this time of year, as these creepy reads are seriously what I live for. And the price on Amazon is amazing! I will be checking this out ASAP. Thanks!

  4. A Belle's Tales

    Well, my friend, this is exactly my kind of read! Grabbing this one up! Thanks for putting it on my radar, for the great review, and for the song that’s now stuck in my head. Lol. 😉

  5. Lily

    This sounds great, glad you loved it. I skipped over this one, but upon reading your review this sounds perfect for fall I need now

  6. Sophia Rose

    These stories where anyone can be responsible and nobody is who they seem are great. Didn’t know about this one, thanks! 🙂

  7. Laura Thomas

    You hooked me eight from the beginning of your review! Just like the book hooked you:) I love this genre and sounds thrilling!

  8. Carole

    This sounds like my kind of book actually. I love a good mystery but I have to admit that the title didn’t really appeal to me much but the story sounds great.

  9. Stormi Johnson

    I knew this one was going to be good! Darn it, I didn’t get approved for it and go figure it’s a good one. Oh well, one more for my wishlist. 🙂

  10. Angela

    The song was the first thing I thought about when I read the title! This one looks amazing and sort of reminds me of Broadchurch. Adding it to my to buy list!

  11. kindlemom1

    This is definitely the time of year I start to pick more and more of these books up, I will keep this one in mind, it does sound interesting, glad you enjoyed it.