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Synopsis from goodreads
A girl is missing. Five years old, taken from outside her school. She has vanished, traceless. The police are at a loss; her parents are beyond grief. Their daughter is lost forever, perhaps dead, perhaps enslaved. But the biggest mystery is yet to come: one week after she was abducted, their daughter is returned. She has no memory of where she has been. And this, for her mother, is just the beginning of the nightmare.
After Anna by Alex Lake is a book about deception, malice, betrayal and a family torn apart. Basically, it has everything that makes a great psychological thriller. The book starts with the abduction of Anna and we are thrown right into the drama as her parents start looking for her.
At the forefront, we learn of their anguish as they seek answers about her whereabouts. We see things from Julia’s perspective and it is easy to sympathize with this mother going through the horror of losing a child. Interestingly, the abductor is the second narrator. Getting into the abductor’s head adds to the eeriness of the story. Their identity is definitely kept a secret. Also kept secret is the motive behind the abduction. All these work well is building the suspense of the story and keeping readers guessing. I had so many questions about who took Anna and why.
I also liked how the author used the aspect of social media. There are all these other stories going around about the missing child and especially her mother. There is also the mystery concerning the identity of the person behind all the media reports.
Julia as the protagonist starts off as being very unlikable. She seems so cold and detached especially from her marriage. However, as the story progressed, I was able to see another side of her and understand the motives behind her actions. The other characters are portrayed in form of clues. I liked how the author gradually develops their characters. We actually get to know them better as the story progresses. They become more intriguing and this definitely added to the thrill of the narrative.
After Anna by Alex Lake was quite a fascinating read. I devoured the book in just a day and couldn’t put it down until I was done. I just had to get all the answers! The pacing is wonderful with so much happening in each chapter hence I was at the edge of my seat until the last page. I recommend this book to all fans of psychological thrillers.
About the Book