Gone Astray by Michelle Davies

About this book..

When a Lesley Kinnock buys a lottery ticket on a whim, it changes her life more than she could have imagined . . .

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.

My review..

This is a debut novel with a feeling very much of its time. This year is awash with psychological suspense thrillers involving missing children, families hiding multiple secrets and police officers with their own dramas to contend with alongside crimes to solve. This book gives us something a little different as it’s the first I’ve read when the main character is a FLO-a family liaison officer-Maggie who is drafted in when a young girl goes missing.

Mack and Lesley have hit the jackpot….literally! After a win on the Euromillions to the tune of £15 million, they are living the life in a beautiful mansion in a gated community with their only child,15 year old Rosie. On returning from a shopping trip one day, Lesley finds the house alarm turned off and Rosie missing. Has she been abducted and if so is the Euromillions win the reason? Maggie Neville is a FLO who is brought in to support the Kinnock family as soon as the disappearance has been reported. She also has more than a few secrets of her own in her personal life including an outstanding complaint against her from a previous case. The race is on to find Rosie….

I was drawn to this book from the synopsis as I liked the fact that it was told from the point of view of Maggie, a police officer called in about 3 times a year as a FLO. I’ve seen on the news that families have been assigned a FLO after a crime has taken place and often wondered how far their duties extended. It’s not all making tea and fending off the press apparently!! Maggie didn’t seem to have the personal connection with the family that I would have expected but I imagine it may be difficult to maintain a level of professionalism whilst living as an outsider within a house full of grieving or desperate people. I did struggle to feel an attachment to her at times, her relationship with the parents also lacked the empathy I expected but whether this was deliberate or based on research I don’t know. I just felt rather detached at times. Saying that, this is a really enjoyable read plotwise that steams ahead even though it did leave a few questions unanswered. It twists around so that although we are aware of the person who has a grievance against the family, we don’t know w/o not is or how it relates to Rosie until near the end. This is another novel where the use of social media is used to great effect mirroring the real life of today’s teenager.

I assume this will be the first in a series based on Maggie and I would certainly be interested in seeing where she goes from here. Her family life and her relationship with her DCI definitely have more to give and I’m hoping that the author has now settled into her writing style and can relax into her characters a bit more. This is an interesting concept and certainly needs to be explored further.

I received a copy of this book via netgalley in return for an unbiased review.

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jorobertson2015

I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

4 thoughts on “Gone Astray by Michelle Davies”

  1. I love that the main protagonist is different from the usual psychological suspense thrillers, these days it is harder to find originality in characters. This sounds like a good debut novel. I will think twice before wishing about winning the lottery again 🙂

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  2. Sounds good and as you say right in the middle of a raft of books about missing children that are out this year, so it is good to have the story told from a different perspective, for that reason alone I’m very tempted…

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    1. I liked it but I didn’t love it. I think because of The Missing it will take a lot to live up to a book that moved me like that one did. I was left a little cold by this one probably because I didn’t connect with it as much!

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