EXCERPT: Monica’s mobile phone lights up; it’s ringing on silent, the caller unknown.
‘Aren’t you going to answer that?’ I say.
She shakes her head, just staring at it.
It stops flashing. I peer at the screen.
‘There are eleven missed calls, Monica. What if it’s her?’
ABOUT THIS BOOK: Here are two things I know about my mother:
1. She had dark hair, like mine.
2. She wasn’t very happy at the end.
Anna has always believed that her mother, Debbie, died 30 years ago on the night she disappeared.
But when her father gets a strange note, she realises that she’s never been told the full story of what happened that night on the cliff.
Confused and upset, Anna turns to her husband Jack – but when she finds a love letter from another woman in his wallet, she realises there’s no-one left to help her, least of all her family.
And then a body is found…
MY THOUGHTS: This was a vastly different read from what I expected.
The story is told from the points of view of Debbie, who is suffering from undiagnosed crushing postnatal depression following the birth of her daughter Anna, and from Anna herself, now also a mother and who has absolutely no memory of her own mother, but is consumed by her disappearance.
Debbie tells of the events leading up to her disappearance, while Anna is struggling in her own relationship, and gradually the two timelines converge.
I have to admit to making a lot of erroneous assumptions, as the author no doubt intended, while reading. So well done on that front Elisabeth Carpenter. While this is marketed as psychological suspense, I am afraid that I didn’t find it suspenseful at all, and it really didn’t need to be. 11 Missed Calls is very much a character driven novel with a touch of mystery.
Mostly I enjoyed this read, but there was one thing that irked me. At one point in the story, something happens, that I can’t remember being explained. It seems it was a device used purely for dramatic effect, and then forgotten.
Overall this was a good read, and I will be reading more from this author. I believe she has a lot of as yet undeveloped potential.
THE AUTHOR: Elisabeth (Libby) Carpenter won a Northern Writers New Fiction Award (2016) and was longlisted for Yeovil Literary Prize (2015 & 2016) and MsLexia Women’s Novel award (2015).
Elisabeth lives in Preston, Lancashire with her family. She loves the north of England, setting most of her stories in the area – including the novel she is writing at the moment.
99 Red Balloons was Elisabeth’s debut novel.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Avon Books via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of 11 Missed Calls by Elisabeth Carpenter for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.
This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2483868792