By Eva Holland
Published by Orion (Paperback - 7 April 2016)
My daughter is a liar. A liar, liar, liar. And I'm starting to see where she gets it from.
When Rosalind's fifteen-year-old daughter, Stephanie, ran away with her teacher, this ordinary family became something it had never asked to be. Their lives held up to scrutiny in the centre of a major police investigation, the Simms were headline news while Stephanie was missing with a man who was risking everything.
Now, six years on, Ros takes a call that will change their lives all over again. He's going to be released from prison. Years too early. In eleven days' time.
As Temperley's release creeps ever closer, Ros is forced to confront the events that led them here, back to a place she thought she'd left behind, to questions she didn't want to answer. Why did she do it? Where does the blame lie? What happens next?
The Daughter's Secret covers a very topical issue - that of a 15-year-old girl who runs away with her teacher. Rather than focus on the 'missing child' events, this story takes place six years afterwards - when the teacher is finally being released from prison.
Through flashbacks to the past, you're taken through the rollercoaster of emotions that Ros experienced when her daughter Steph ran away. In the present day, you can see how these emotions are still present, impacting on the whole family unit. Steph hasn't really spoken about her experience for six years. Now that Steph is home and her teacher, Nate Temperley, will soon be free, Ros begins to distrust her daughter yet again.
The chapters are written in the form of a countdown to Temperley's release, so the tension and unease builds up easily as the book progresses. Would Steph run away with Temperley again and turn her back on her family? Would he take revenge on those who had kept the two of them apart for all those years?
For me, this was a definite page turner, with various twists and turns and an unexpected ending. I was completely caught up in Ros' emotions, especially as she thought of ways to take revenge on Temperley, and also in the family dynamics. The book is cleverly plotted, beautifully written and an easy - although thought-provoking - read. It is marketed as a psychological thriller, but I would also say it also fits in well with family dramas.
I received an Advance Reader Copy through NetGalley.