Published by Michael Joseph.
Naomi always wanted to be a mother. but three years ago, her husband left, taking their child with him. Now, her daughter has come to stay, and Naomi knows it’s her one chance to re-build her family. But the night ends in a terrible accident. And Naomi tells a lie she can never take back: Naomi reports her daughter missing.
Within hours, her home is invaded. Journalists crowd the driveway. Police search the woods at the foot of the garden. Her ex-husband paces the hall. And Naomi can’t look away. Because the only thing worse than the lie she’s told is the truth: she has no memory of what happened that night….
I feel incredibly lucky to have been given the opportunity to read and review this excellent debut from Lia. The story appealed to me from the off and from page one I knew that I was in for a literary treat.
We meet Naomi as an anxious mother waiting the arrival of her young daughter for a sleep over, the first time Freya has been entrusted to her mother’s care over night for three years so from the off we know there is an unhappy history, something happened that caused Aiden, the father and ex husband, to remove their daughter from the care of her mother. The secrets of Naomi’s past and her struggles with motherhood are unveiled slowly throughout the story.
The sleep over starts well, Freya is excited to be with her mother and Naomi is content to finally have her daughter back under her roof and in her care but the following morning Naomi wakes to discover that a terrible accident has befallen Freya, not knowing what to do and with her past looming large over her, Naomi phones the police to report her daughter missing, the biggest lie she could ever tell and one she cannot take back. She lies to the police, to Aiden and to the press.
The secret that Naomi is hiding begins to take over her and her guilt forces her to build on the initial lie with more untruths, the story builds, the tension mounts and as the reader already knows what the lie is they too are complicit, giving them a unique role as the story unfolds. You feel as though you are right there in the house with Naomi with it’s suffocating atmosphere waiting for the police to come knocking on the door ready to blow the lie wide open and Naomi’s world apart.
I loved this book, I thought the story was fantastic and even though I felt confused by my feelings for the characters that was no bad thing. The knowing of the lie causes a certain element of unease for the reader which just adds to the tension, they are party to the truth and for me, that is very clever writing. It is a gripping read with a shocking twist and honestly I could not put it down, I needed to know what was going to happen. Would the truth come out? Would Naomi crumble and confess all? This is the kind of book that I want everyone to read and I am happy to shout about it all day long, an excellent debut!!!
About the Author
Lia Middleton is a barrister who specialises in criminal law and offender management. She lives with her husband and two young children in Buckinghamshire. When They Find Her is her first novel.
Many thanks to the publisher for providing me with a proof copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. Check out the rest of the blog tour for even more fabulous reviews.