By Michelle Davies
Published by Macmillan (24 March 2016)
Lesley and her husband Mack are the sudden winners of a £15 million EuroMillions jackpot. They move with their 15-year-old daughter Rosie to an exclusive gated estate in Buckinghamshire, leaving behind their ordinary lives - and friends - as they are catapulted into wealth beyond their wildest dreams.
But it soon turns into their darkest nightmare when, one beautiful spring afternoon, Lesley returns to their house to find it empty: their daughter Rosie is gone.
DC Maggie Neville is assigned to be Family Liaison Officer to Lesley and Mack, supporting them while quietly trying to investigate the family. And she has a crisis threatening her own life - a secret from the past that could shatter everything she's worked so hard to build.
As Lesley and Maggie desperately try to find Rosie, their fates hurtle together on a collision course that threatens to end in tragedy . . .
Money can't buy you happiness.
The truth could hurt more than a lie.
One moment really can change your life forever.
Gone Astray is a well-written cross between a police procedural and psychological thriller.
It follows a family whose lives changed drastically when they won millions of pounds and they start drifting apart. Money really doesn't buy happiness and isn't the answer to many of life's problems - and this is the main theme of the plot. When teenage daughter Rosie goes missing, family secrets and lies bubble to the surface.
Gone Astray is tightly plotted, and there were several twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end. I read most of the book in one sitting - it's fast paced, compelling and easy to read. The characters are believable and I enjoyed reading the investigation from the point of view of a Family Liaison Officer - providing an insight into their work.
This is the first in the DC Maggie Neville series - I really warmed to her as a character and look forward to seeing what's next in store for this troubled Family Liaison Officer. The author's experience as a freelance women's magazine journalist is apparent in her writing - mixing crime and family dynamics very well together to produce a great debut novel.