Book Review: The Child’s Secret by Amanda Brooke

br1The Child’s Secret

The Child’s Secret by Amanda Brooke
Release Date: 14th January 2016
Publisher: Harper
Buy: PaperbackKindle
Rating:
5h

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A little girl is missing. Her parents are hiding something. Who will pay the price?

When eight-year-old Jasmine Peterson goes missing, the police want to know everything.

What is local park ranger, Sam McIntyre, running away from and why did he go out of his way to befriend a young girl?

Why can’t Jasmine’s mother and father stand to be in the same room as each other?

With every passing minute, an unstoppable chain of events hurtles towards a tragic conclusion.

Everyone has secrets. The question is: who will pay the price?

 

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The Child’s Secret gets off to a terrifyingly dramatic start which incorporates every parent’s worst nightmare. Eight year old Jasmine Peterson has gone missing and top of the list of suspects appears to be the local park ranger, Sam McIntyre.

The story then unfolds in two gripping parts, as we go back in time and discover exactly how Jasmine first met Sam under the Allerton Oak tree during a school visit to Calderstones Park. We get to see how their friendship unfolds and exactly why Sam has become so drawn towards Jasmine. Does he have an ulterior motive? Why, when the police visit his apartmen, does he appear ready to flee?
Secrets are revealed, followed by twists and turns aplenty as the story dips back and forth in time, until the past and present collide. Is Jasmine’s disappearance really all that is seems?
The Child’s Secret is one of those books that I had been chomping at the bit to read. Amanda’s Brooke’s novels are always something special and her latest completely lived up to my expectations.
Amanda is such a clever writer and I love how her storytelling keeps you guessing right up until the very end. For example as the story kicks off things don’t look good for Sam and as the reader you are thoroughly questioning his motives. Then the more I discovered the more convinced I became that something was up…But it wasn’t necessarily in the way that I thought and it’s amazing how quickly your perceptions of certain characters will change throughout the story.

The more that is revealed the deeper you become involved in the novel and your emotions become twisted up amongst the character’s lives. As soon as we were introduced to Jasmine’s parents the story took an even darker turn which was, at times, really difficult to read about. Amanda certainly didn’t shy away from the horrors of living with an abusive family member and I felt heart-broken, terrified and angered at the situation Jasmine’s mother found herself in. It certainly opened my eyes to just how easy it might be for others to judge and exactly how difficult it was for Laura to remove herself from this situation, especially when there’s a young child involved. But does putting a brave face on things really do more harm than good?

I loved how this story played with my emotions and kept me guessing. More than once I thought I had everything in this story sussed out and I was continuously proved wrong. This was such a brilliantly complex story with layer upon layer of intrigue. The structure of the story was so well thought out and hearing from different characters points-of-view throughout the story only added to the effect. Amanda Brooke has such a strong talent for writing from both an adult and a child’s perspective and this helped me to quickly identify and bond with certain characters.
I found Sam to be a really fascinating character and not just because of the way he played with my emotions. Despite what he had or hadn’t done, the more the story progressed the more I wanted to discover about him. Why was he leading such a solitary life? What was he running from? Why did he fear getting close to everyone?
I also really liked Selina. To begin with you think that she is just going to be a secondary character (albeit a very likeable and wise one) but I love the very important part that she plays throughout the story.

This is an Amanda Brooke novel, so you can usually expect two things. The first is that is will be amazing (naturally) and the second is that you may shed a tear or two. The Child’s Secret is certainly no exception and as well as getting you blubbing it will also encourage you to explore so many different themes. This makes it a perfect reading group book as there is literally so, so much content that would be up for discussion.

Perfectly planned and brilliantly executed, The Child’s Secret is definitely one to add to your 2016 TBR, especially if you like mystery, intrigue and something that will pull at the heartstrings. It has firmly placed Amanda Brooke onto my list of ‘Must-Read-Authors’.

A huge thank you to Jaime at HarperCollins for sending me a copy of The Child’s Secret for review. 

 

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Amanda Brooke credit Mark McNulty USE2011

Amanda Brooke lives in Liverpool with her teenage daughter, Jessica. When her three-year-old son died from cancer, Amanda was determined that his legacy would be one of inspiration. Yesterday’s Sun is inspired by her experiences of motherhood.

 

Amanda Brooke  | WebsiteTwitterGoodreads |

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