Lost You by Haylen Beck

This book was not what I expected, with an unusual plot but it was extremely gripping throughout, right until the shocking end.

You’re looking for your son. But she found him first.
When a little boy goes missing, his mother desperately wants to find him . . . before someone else does.
Libby would do anything for her three-year-old son Ethan. And after all they’ve been through, a holiday seems the perfect antidote for them both. Their hotel is peaceful, safe and friendly, yet Libby can’t help feeling that someone is watching her. Watching Ethan. Because, for years, Libby has lived with a secret.
Just days into their holiday, when Libby is starting to relax, Ethan steps into an elevator on his own, and the doors close before Libby can stop them. Moments later, Ethan is gone.
Libby thought she had been through the worst, but her nightmare is only just beginning. And in a desperate hunt for her son, it becomes clear she’s not the only one looking for him.
Who will find him first?

I opened this expecting a traditional family thriller, but this book was not what I expected. The plot was unusual, emotional and I was left guessing the whole way through. It begins with a harrowing first chapter, where I was then desperate to carry on reading to find out what happened to get to that point.

As the book goes back in time, we are introduced to Libby, a protective and caring mother to her only child, Ethan. They seem a lovely pair, desperate for a bit of fun and relaxation on holiday, but there is a sense of gloom hanging over them from the start. I was tense, waiting for something to happen, but somehow when it did I wasn’t ready for it. Beck’s pacing is uusual, hitting the reader with key events at a different pace to the usual thriller, so the reader is kept on their toes throughout.

As the book then goes back in time we’re introduced to new characters. I don’t want to give away too much, but this is where the book really does get interesting. Over this part of the book I was conflicted, as I grew to care about multiple characters who had the same interest. It was excellent writing, keeping me uncertain about what would happen and how I would feel about it either way. I really enjoyed this sense of the unknown and suspense – sometimes in thrillers I find I’m able to guess the gist of the plot, but this one really kept me guessing.

The ending to this is genuinely shocking. It’s emotional, especially the way Beck writes it, as for a moment the reader is too shocked to comprehend what’s happened. Despite the unusual plot, the ending is where this book really stands out from the crowd. Just when you think you’ve got it solved, Beck comes out with another blinding plot twist. Right until the last page, you’ll find yourself hooked with this book!

Lost You
Haylen Beck
Vintage, 6th August 2020

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