What if you left your child alone, and something terrible happened?
Anna James is an anxious mother. So when she has to leave eleven-year-old Harrie home alone one evening, she can’t stop worrying about her daughter. But nothing bad ever happens in the sleepy village of Barton St Martin.
Except something goes wrong that night, and Anna returns to find Harrie with bruises she won’t explain. The next morning a local businessman is reported missing and the village is sparking with gossip.
Anna is convinced there’s a connection and that Harrie is in trouble. But how can she protect her daughter if she doesn’t know where the danger is coming from?
Lauren North has taken a dilemma faced by every parent and woven a scarily realistic psychological thriller around it. It’s always a worry when you have to decide it’s the right time to leave your child home alone as it needs to happen for the first time at some point but here, that decision leads to an horrific situation both for Anna and especially her daughter, Harrie…
I loved the way the narrative was written here. We have Anna, a woman I think that everyone can relate to, making the decision to leave Harrie while she takes her youngest daughter to pick up Harrie’s twin from gymnastics. She knows that she’s seen as a worrier but her anxiety may be justified as her past is revealed and her present situation explained. And then there is Harrie. What happens to her when she’s left home alone? Why won’t she speak to her mother about it? And why is there a silver car now following her? Then finally, we meet Anna’s friends via their what’s app group. It’s here that we realise all may not be as we think as the group also has a secret “spin off” group that Anna knows nothing about!
It becomes obvious when a newspaper reporter starts asking questions that the night Anna made her difficult decision has led to something quite shocking but we are kept in the dark about this till very near the end. In fact, there are so many twists, red herrings and secrets that I had absolutely no idea idea what had happened or why until everything was revealed! And that’s what I love about Lauren’s North’s books. She’s become one of those writers who is an automatic buy for me as I love the way she keeps me guessing throughout her gripping storylines.
Safe At Home is one of my hot picks for September. It’s tension filled from start to finish as we become heavily invested in this family and their lives. I can highly recommend it!
Lauren writes psychological suspense novels that delve into the darker side of relationships and families. She has a lifelong passion for writing, reading, and all things books. Lauren’s love of psychological suspense has grown since childhood and her dark imagination of always wondering what’s the worst thing that could happen in every situation.
Lauren studied psychology before moving to London where she lived and worked for many years. She now lives with her family in the Suffolk countryside. Readers can follow Lauren on Twitter @Lauren_C_North and Facebook @LaurenNorthAuthor