So today I am delighted to bring you a review of the debut novel by Anna Snoekstra. Many thanks to Cara at @HQStories for inviting me to take part.
About this book…
In 2003, sixteen-year-old Rebecca Winter disappeared.
She’d been enjoying her teenage summer break: working at a fast food restaurant, crushing on an older boy and shoplifting with her best friend. Mysteriously ominous things began to happen—blood in the bed, periods of blackouts, a feeling of being watched—though Bec remained oblivious of what was to come.
Eleven years later she is replaced.
A young woman, desperate after being arrested, claims to be the decade-missing Bec.
Soon the imposter is living Bec’s life. Sleeping in her bed. Hugging her mother and father. Learning her best friends’ names. Playing with her twin brothers.
But Bec’s welcoming family and enthusiastic friends are not quite as they seem. As the imposter dodges the detective investigating her case, she begins to delve into the life of the real Bec Winter—and soon realizes that whoever took Bec is still at large, and that she is in imminent danger.
I absolutely raced through this book although I wasn’t too sure about it when I started. We meet a nameless girl who has just been picked up for shoplifting. She has obviously been through some difficult times as she’s desperately hungry but she doesn’t want to give her real name (in fact she remains nameless throughout the whole book) To avoid getting arrested she remembers a case she saw on tv where her boyfriend said she looked like a missing girl, and so tells the police when they arrive that her name is Rebecca Winters, and that she’s the missing girl. Now at this point I thought “What? How’s that going to work then?” But it has been 11 years since Bec disappeared after her shift at the local McDonald’s and I know there have been well documented cases where impostors have fooled grieving family members who are only too desperate to believe they have their loved one back. Yes, there were a few times I needed to suspend believe but ultimately this dark and suspenseful debut grabbed hold of me and became a gripping page turner as I was desperate to find out what happened to Bec all those years ago.
I do hate comparing books to Gone Girl but there was definitely an essence of that here with its sinister secrets and characters that all seemed to have something to hide. There was a darkness that belied the fact that it was set during a heat wave-it felt gloomy and shadowy as we follow Bec through her last few days before her disappearance. And in the present imposter “Bec” starts to realise that something is very wrong and that whatever happened to the real Bec may also be about to happen to her. At this point I have to say that I enjoyed both timelines and didn’t rush through Bec in 2003 to find out more about “Bec” in 2014 or vice versa.It followed perfectly and I just loved the sense of foreboding throughout as the tension grows steadily towards the climax. And what an ending! I’m still feeling shocked and slightly grubby as I sit here now! I think it would transfer well to the big screen so hope someone snaps up the rights to it pretty soon or they will be kicking themselves!
I really enjoyed this and would quite happily pre order the next book written by Anna Snoekstra on the basis of this one. I received my advanced copy via netgalley in return for an unbiased review.
Only Daughter: A gripping thriller of deadly deceit is available to buy now from Amazon UK.
About the author…
Anna Snoekstra was born in Canberra, Australia in 1988. She studied Creative Writing and Cinema at The University of Melbourne, followed by Screenwriting at RMIT University.
She currently lives in Melbourne with her husband and tabby cat.