Tension at its Best: Read Our Review of After You Were Gone by Vikki Wakefield

Tension at its Best: Read Our Review of After You Were Gone by Vikki Wakefield

What happens to a family when a child goes missing? In a busy street market, Abbie lets go of six-year-old Sarah’s hand. She isn’t a bad mother, just exhausted. When she turns around, her daughter isn’t there.

Six years later, Abbie is in love and getting married. But her fragile peace is constantly threatened – not knowing what happened to Sarah is like living with a curse. Then she receives a phone call from an unknown number. A man claims to know what happened to Sarah, but if Abbie tells anyone or fails to follow his instructions, she’ll never find out. How far will Abbie go to know the truth?

Vikki Wakefield is the author of YA novels including All I Ever Wanted, Friday Brown and This is How We Change the Ending (Book of the Year in the 2020 CBCA Awards). Though After You Were Gone is her first novel for adults and her first psychological thriller, it reads like the work of a seasoned crime writer. It’s an incredibly tense, multi-layered suspense thriller that kept me gripped from start to end.

The premise for After You Were Gone follows every parents’ worst nightmare: an abduction of a six-year-old child at a market, there one minute, gone the next. This thought alone is enough to cause sleepless nights, but Wakefield takes the nightmarish scenario even further. The novel moves between chapters titled Now, Before and After, all centring around the pivotal event of Sarah’s abduction. Wakefield brilliantly characterises mother Abbie, whose journey is complex and heart-breaking. Wakefield incorporates her teenage pregnancy and single parenthood into this story, as well as her being riddled with guilt and pain after Sarah’s disappearance. As the novel builds at break-neck speed, you’ll be questioning every character, their motives and even Abbie’s memories. The level of unease and uncertainty that are achieved here are markers of a great thriller.

With After You Were Gone, Wakefield is making her mark as an author to watch out for. This debut psychological thriller is perfect for fans of Anna Downes and J.P. Pomare.

Buy a copy of After You Were Gone here.

Reviews

Unputdownable: Read an Extract from After You Were Gone by Vikki Wakefield

Review | Extract

6 October 2022

Unputdownable: Read an Extract from After You Were Gone by Vikki Wakefield

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    Publisher details

    After You Were Gone
    Author
    Vikki Wakefield
    Publisher
    Text Publishing
    Genre
    Fiction
    Released
    05 October, 2022
    ISBN
    9781922458001

    Synopsis

    What happens to a family when a child goes missing?

    In a busy street market, Abbie lets go of six-year-old Sarah’s hand. She isn’t a bad mother, just exhausted. When she turns around, her daughter isn’t there.

    Six years later, Abbie is in love and getting married. But her fragile peace is constantly threatened: not knowing what happened to Sarah is like living with a curse.

    Then she receives a phone call from an unknown number.

    A man claims to know what happened to Sarah, but if Abbie tells anyone or fails to follow his instructions, she’ll never find out. How far will Abbie go to know the truth?

    Prize-winning and hugely popular author Vikki Wakefield turns her hand to the psychological thriller in this unputdownable novel that will disturb your dreams!
    Vikki Wakefield
    About the author

    Vikki Wakefield

    Vikki Wakefield's first Young Adult novel, All I Ever Wanted, won the 2012 Adelaide Festival Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction, as did her second novel, Friday Brown, in 2014. Friday Brown was also an Honour Book, Children's Book Council of Australia, in 2013. Among other awards, it was shortlisted for the prestigious Prime Minister's Awards, in 2013. Vikki lives in the Adelaide foothills with her family.

    Books by Vikki Wakefield

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