From part of the blurb - this is all you're getting from me.
"On a stifling summer's day, eleven-year-old Jack and his two sisters sit in their broken-down car, waiting for their mother to come back and rescue them. Jack's in charge, she said. I won't be long.
But she doesn't come back. She never comes back. And life as the children know it is changed for ever."
Belinda Bauer is one of my "buy as soon as the book is released" authors. I've loved absolutely everything she has written, although I do have some favourites. And it seems that the most treasured among my ever growing collection are those featuring children, traumas and their effect on these children. This has three. Children, that is - Jack and his two sisters. And they're brilliantly portrayed as they navigate life without mum.
The story also features old favourites - DCI John Marvel (loved him from The Shut Eye and Darkside) and DS Reynolds (from Finders Keepers) lighten the mood with their bumbling rapacity for solved crimes, or just "don't let me stuff this one up". But far and away the winner here is the plot. The scene setting in so many places, but so obviously right for the tone - each aspect of this story is essential, the line keeps moving and your head keeps spinning. Just what we've come to expect from the talented Man-Booker long-listed award-winning author. I loved it.
A well deserved 5 stars. Read it, before everyone else does.
You may also enjoy The Beautiful Dead or Rubbernecker, or Blacklands from the same author. Or what about The facts of Life and Death? And put the kettle on, I'm going to need some more tea after this one!