Today I’m delighted to be on the blog tour for Playdate by Alex Dahl. I loved her book The Boy Next Door so was excited to receive an invite to the blog tour. Many thank to Head of Zeus for the invite and my review copy of the book.
It was meant to be your daughter’s first sleepover.
Now it’s an abduction.
Lucia Blix went home from school for a playdate with her new friend Josie. Later that evening, Lucia’s mother Elisa dropped her overnight things round and kissed her little girl goodnight.
That was the last time she saw her daughter.
The next morning, when Lucia’s dad arrived to pick her up, the house was empty. No furniture, no family, no Lucia.
In Playdate, Alex Dahl puts a microscope on a seemingly average, seemingly happy family plunged into a life-altering situation. Who has taken their daughter, and why?
Playdate takes every parents worst nightmare and twists it into a shocking and emotionally gripping storyline that grabbed me from the first few pages. When Elisa let’s her daughter Lucia go to a new school friends house for a play date, the girls have so much fun that it turns into a sleepover. Elisa has reservations as it’s Lucias first sleepover but she visits the home, meets the family and is happy that everything is fine and Lucia is happy. But next day when they go to pick her up, house has been cleared and Lucia has disappeared along with her friend Josie and Josie’s mother. What follows is a terrifying search for, not only a young child, but the truth about why Lucia was taken…
Alex Dahl has created a disappearance novel with a difference. It’s not a fast paced thriller in style but more of a slow burning, character based mystery. That’s not to say there aren’t twists and turns-there are!-but it takes its time building up the tension by visiting each of the main characters in turn to discover how Lucias disappearance has affected their lives. So although the pace slows down in the middle section of the book, it gives a greater depth of understanding of how everyone reacts to such a sensitive subject. The last few chapters throw up some unexpected twists and I found the epilogue especially a poignant and fitting ending.
I found it compelling to see how a parents deepest and darkest fears were crafted into this emotional and compelling tale which left me feeling a little sad as really there were no winners here. But Alex Dahl does well to make us care about her characters despite their faults and that’s what I took away with me from Playdate. A worthwhile read.
Alex Dahl is a half-American, half-Norwegian author. Born in Oslo, she studied Russian and German linguistics with international studies, then went on to complete an MA in creative writing at Bath Spa University and an MSc in business management at Bath University. A committed Francophile, Alex loves to travel, and has so far lived in Moscow, Paris, Stuttgart, Sandefjord, Switzerland, Bath and London. Her first thriller, The Boy at the Door, was a Sunday TimesCrime Club star pick. Follow Alex on Twitter (@alexdahlauthor), Instagram (@authoralex) and Facebook (alexdahlauthor).