Blog tour: 25 March to 21 April 2021
Naomi always wanted to be a mother.
But three years ago, her husband left, taking their child with him.
Now, her daughter has come to stay, and Naomi knows it’s her one chance to re-build her family. But the night ends in a terrible accident. And Naomi tells a lie she can never take back.
Naomi reports her daughter missing.
Within hours, her home is invaded. Journalists crowd the driveway. Police search the woods at the foot of the garden. Her ex-husband paces the hall.
And Naomi can’t look away. Because the only thing worse than her lie is the truth.
Naomi has no memory of what really happened that night.
Naomi Williams thought she had the perfect life with an adoring husband, Aiden, a group of lovely friends and a beautiful baby daughter, Freya. But, three years ago, her world fell apart and Aiden left, taking Freya with him.
When Naomi is finally trusted to have four-year-old Freya overnight, one November evening, she can’t wait to spend some time with her and be a mum and do the things that she’s missed out on, like giving her a bath and showing Freya her redecorated room.
Sadly, the sleepover ends tragically when Naomi wakes up in the morning and is horrified to discover there’s been a terrible accident. Rather than telling the truth about what has happened, she lies and reports Freya missing to ex-husband, Aiden, her boyfriend, Rupert, and to the police.
The police arrive, and so do Aiden and his wife, and everyone springs into action in the frantic rush to find Freya before it’s too late. Naomi is thrown into a nightmare and she loses her chance to confess about what has actually happened, and becomes embroiled in more and more lies as she tries to hide the truth.
The story is action packed and goes at a fast and compelling pace. In flashbacks to previous years, we begin to learn what took place in the past and discover why Naomi and Aiden’s relationship broke down and why Aiden ended up looking after Freya.
Naomi is a complex and flawed character and I wondered how reliable she was as a narrator. I was shocked by her actions and disapproved of things she’d done in the past but was also sympathetic to her and felt that she’d had a tough time with her mental health, even before the shocking incident at her house, and hadn’t been supported enough by her family, friends and professionals. I really went through the full range of emotions with Naomi and felt frustrated and upset for her, and with her, as events progressed.
The setting for the novel is very atmospheric and chilling – the large farmhouse was Naomi’s childhood home, and it backs onto the woods and is surrounded by fields and has barns and an orchard. Plenty of land (50 acres) in which a small child can disappear. When snow starts to fall, it seems even more bleak and frightening.
Overall, I really enjoyed When They Find Her – it was cleverly plotted, well written and gripping. I couldn’t put it down and read it in two sittings, totally absorbed by the story. There were lots of twists and turns and some clever misdirection, and I was very surprised by some of the revelations as the novel progressed! It was certainly a tense and traumatic read at times! I liked the way the flashbacks to the past were woven into the story – they enabled the reader to put all the pieces of the jigsaw together and learn how things had worked out so badly for Naomi.
This was a great read and I’m already looking forward to the author’s next book, which appears to be out the day before my birthday in August!
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About the author
Lia Middleton is a barrister who specialises in crime and offender management. She graduated in drama and theatre studies before transferring to a legal career, which she practises alongside her lifelong love for writing.
When she isn’t writing, Lia enjoys reading, travelling, and discovering new food markets and festivals. She lives with her husband and two young children in Buckinghamshire.
Thanks to Chrissie Antoniou at Michael Joseph Books for my proof copy of When They Find Her and for my place on the blog tour.
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