Little Girl Gone – Alexandra Burt

Published 24 September 2015 by Avon, Harper Collins UK


**Get ready for the next ‘must-have’ on your reading list. GONE GIRL meets THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN in this stunning, unsettling psychological thriller.**

A baby goes missing. But does her mother want her back?
When Estelle’s baby daughter is taken from her cot, she doesn’t report her missing. Days later, Estelle is found in a wrecked car, with a wound to her head and no memory.
Estelle knows she holds the key to what happened that night – but what she doesn’t know is whether she was responsible…

My thoughts

Nothing impresses me more, than a story with a delightful dark mystery at its heart and a strong emotional pull. In Alexandra Burt’s debut novel, we follow an anguished and disturbed mother of a missing baby.

Estelle is a young mother, who is not coping very well with life. Her baby is very unsettled and nothing she does seems to make much difference. She has post natal depression and can barely function. Estelle is involved in an accident and finds herself lying in a hospital bed, with partial amnesia. Estelle’s baby daughter is missing. What happened to the baby? Has Estelle killed her child? Why was the baby never reported missing?

I challenge anyone not to become fascinated with Estelle and her life. I spent a lot of the time trying to work out Estelle. In the first part of the novel, it is easy to form a negative opinion of Estelle and her actions towards Baby Mia. Her behaviour is strange. This is a woman on the edge. She is in so much emotional pain and her head is a complete mess. Her husband is so remote and unaware. She has no one there for her in a practical or even an emotional sense. She has a very skewed sense of the world and her place in it. Gradually as the novel progresses, we see Estelle in a psychiatric unit getting some much needed mental health support. We gain a better understanding of her. And finally with a twist or two, we get answers about what happened to the baby.

This is a strong and extremely satisfying dark debut, with an underlying mental health theme. For me, the strength of the book lay in the descriptions and behaviours of a woman with severe post natal depression. It all felt very believable. Recommended.

My thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for my review copy!

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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