Thank you to Holly Minter at Transworld / Penguin Random House for the invitation to read the new Lauren North book on NetGalley. Apologies for the delay in sharing my thoughts. The book was published earlier this month in the UK and is currently 99p on the Kindle. This is the third book written by Lauren that I’ve reviewed – my last review can be found at https://mentoringmumof2bookreviews.home.blog/2020/07/27/one-step-behind-by-lauren-north/
What if you left your child alone, and something terrible happened?
Anna James is an anxious mother. So when she has to leave eleven-year-old Harrie home alone one evening, she can’t stop worrying about her daughter. But nothing bad ever happens in the sleepy village of Barton St Martin.
Except something goes wrong that night, and Anna returns to find Harrie with bruises she won’t explain. The next morning a local businessman is reported missing and the village is sparking with gossip.
Anna is convinced there’s a connection and that Harrie is in trouble.
But how can she protect her daughter if she doesn’t know where the danger is coming from?
I enjoyed reading Lauren‘s two previous books so I had high expectations for Safe at Home. As a mother of two teenagers, it is difficult to start to leave them on their own as they become old enough to be left without having ‘what if’ thoughts. Lauren has picked a quandary that many parents experience.
However, we slowly discover that Anna has more reasons than most to worry about being safe at home, having fled a wealthy home to live on a tight budget in the countryside, spending money that she doesn’t really have to make her children happy and fulfilled by their after school activities.
Anna is also alone with her children for much of the time, as her husband is working away to try to earn enough money to improve their lives. I loved how the reader is slowly fed information about the past and the present as the tension builds. The use of the WhatsApp messages between the different groups worked well as the reader tries to work out what has really happened.
I have to admit that towards the end of the story, I didn’t trust anyone in Barton St Martin. And the closing lines were a ‘wow’ moment. I’m pleased to say that this was another excellent book by Lauren North and I look forward to reading more from her in the future. A bargain on the Kindle at 99p this month.