When I wasn’t watching – Michelle Kelly


Published August 2014

Every parent’s worst nightmare…

Eight years ago, Lucy and Ethan Randall’s little boy, Jack, was abducted and murdered by teenager Terry Prince. A moment’s distraction had ripped a family apart – and with the loss of their son came the collapse of the Randalls’ marriage. Tortured by memories, Lucy was left to battle her grief while raising her remaining son alone.

Now, Jack’s killer has walked free, giving him the second chance at life that little Jack never had. Lucy’s wounds newly opened, her world is turned upside down a second time when another child goes missing – and she can’t shake the suspicion that Prince has struck again.

When DI Matt Winston, the same officer who found Jack’s body, is assigned to the case, the echoes of Lucy’s past grow ever more insistent. Bound by their tragic shared experiences, Matt and Lucy grow closer – and become fixated on bringing the culprit to justice. But now history has repeated itself, answers seem even further out of reach. And for Lucy, it’s time to face her ghosts, and ask the most terrible question of all: can she ever really forgive herself.

My thoughts

Thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for my review copy of this book.

Eight years ago Lucy’s young son was murdered. Lucy turned her back for one minute and he was taken from her garden. She is still coming to terms with the pain and loss, which broke up her marriage. Lucy was married to Ethan. Her surviving son, Ricky, is finding life tough and is going off the rails. When her son’s killer is released, it opens old wounds for the family. Matt Winston, the DI who was in charge of the case when Lucy’s son died, finds Ricky shoplifting and comes into their lives.

I really couldn’t work out where this book was going in the first half and I found that a bit confusing. It turned into a tale about how people deal with loss and death, in painful circumstances. I also had difficulty initially believing in the relationship that developed between Lucy and Matt. It seemed rather fast and inappropriate, at times.

One of the strengths of the books lay in Lucy and her desire for revenge. I could completely understand how she wanted justice for the death of her son and how she felt failed by the criminal justice system. She seemed a mix of vulnerable, self absorbed and angry. The relationship with Ricky, her surviving son, seemed very believable. The family were drowning in pain and guilt. Ricky’s pain seemed to be the one that no one really noticed.

Interesting mystery, especially the second half!

About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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