Monday, 24 July 2017

99 Red Balloons by Elisabeth Carpenter Book Review


Two girls go missing, decades apart. What would you do if one was your daughter?

When eight-year-old Grace goes missing from a sweet shop on the way home from school, her mother Emma is plunged into a nightmare. Her family rallies around, but as the police hunt begins, cracks begin to emerge.

What are the secret emails sent between Emma's husband and her sister? Why does her mother take so long to join the search? And is Emma really as innocent as she seems?

Meanwhile, ageing widow Maggie Taylor see Grace's picture in the newspaper. It's a photograph that jolts her from the pain of her existence into a spiraling obsession with another girl - the first girl who disappeared . . .

This is a gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist that will take you breath away.


Every so often a book comes along with a twist that really knocks you for six. 99 Red Balloons by Elisabeth Carpenter is one of those books. It is a psychological thriller that is filled with suspense from the first page and the writing and the characters keep you turning the pages. I’m sure that this book will be a big hit this summer.

Two girls go missing, decades apart, what if your daughter was one of them? Eight-year-old Grace Harper disappears outside a sweet shop in her hometown of Lincoln. When ageing widow, Maggie Taylor hears about Grace’s disappearance on the news she is immediately taken back to the time of her own granddaughter’s kidnapping more than thirty years ago. Is it possible that the two cases are connected?

I really enjoyed reading this book. It’s one of those books that you just have to keep reading until you turn the final page, there was a great use of tension throughout the book and then Elisabeth delivered that twist. I love those moments when you’re just totally taken aback by what you just read that you have to put the book down for a bit to process it. The author really did surprise me. I’ll be telling everyone I know to read it just so that I can discuss it with them.

The book is told from multiple perspectives and I really liked the unique voices that Elisabeth gave to everyone of her characters, particularly to Stephanie and Emma, I found it interesting to see how their relationship as sisters played out in the wake of Grace’s disappearance, particularly as I didn’t like their mother at all. I really liked how Elisabeth constructed her plot which I thought was really clever which is why I won’t say anything more about it here.

A brilliant debut novel, Elisabeth Carpenter has created an intriguing and suspenseful read. I’ll be keeping an eye out to see what she does next. Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for providing me with a copy to read. 

Publisher: Avon

Publication date: 24th August 2017

Print length: 352 pages


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