Adult book reviews, Book Reviews

Dear Child by Romy Hausmann – ARC Review

My Rating ~ Four stars

RELEASE DATE: 31 December 2020

Publisher: Quercus Books

Format: E-ARC

Pages: 343



In a windowless shack in the woods, Lena’s life and that of her two children follows the rules set by their captor, the father: Meals, bathroom visits, study time are strictly scheduled and meticulously observed. He protects his family from the dangers lurking in the outside world and makes sure that his children will always have a mother to look after them.

One day Lena manages to flee–but the nightmare continues. It seems as if her tormentor wants to get back what belongs to him. And then there is the question whether she really is the woman called “Lena,” who disappeared without a trace 14 years ago. The police and Lena’s family are all desperately trying to piece together a puzzle which doesn’t quite seem to fit.




Thankyou to Quercus Books for providing me with a copy of Dear Child, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Lena has been living with a monster, forced to pretend she is the wife of the man who abducted her, and the mother of his two children.  With everything from toilet breaks to meals scheduled and strict rules, enforced with violence, Lena is desperate to escape.  When she finally gets her chance, she’s thrown from a life of imprisonment to a life of confusion and fear.  

Mattias lost his daughter Lena  14 years ago, when she was abducted walking home from a party and has never stopped searching for her.  When he gets the call to say there is someone called Lena at the hospital he is overjoyed, but when he gets there, it doesn’t seem that the likeliest explanation is necessarily the correct one. 

Dear Child was an explosive thriller that was both twisted and creepy.  Just figuring out one mystery was difficult enough, but there were several side mysteries too! This one was truly scary and chilling.  I kept thinking about it long after I finished reading.  I really, I don’t know if ‘enjoyed’ is the right word, maybe appreciated? the way the author was able to show different characters reacting to the trauma they’d experienced in different ways.   Both of the children and the abducted woman had vastly different responses to the situation, just as people do in real life.  I think it’s important for books to show that not everyone reacts the same to trauma/grief/PTSD.  There are varying responses and there’s no one right way to act.  

Dear Child is a brilliant, dark psychological thriller and I really don’t want to give too much of the story away.  The many twists and reveals are best experienced without any prior knowledge, so I’ll just say, if you love those books that have you looking over your shoulder, this one is for you!






Photo via my Instagram account – Bookbookowl

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