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…
Little Girl Gone is a psychological thriller that focuses on Estelle, a struggling mother of newborn baby Mia, who is obviously suffering from severe post natal depression. One day baby Mia goes missing without a trace, and Estelle desperately tries to find out what happened to her baby and where she’s gone. Various circumstances mean that she is not believed by the police and even her own husband, who think she is to blame, and after a while she starts to wonder: has she done something to Mia?!
Though the story did keep me reading on, I felt like it could have been improved upon. A lot of the circumstances and occurrences felt a little too ridiculous, as were the reactions of many of the characters. I know that some of the ‘bad luck’ or ‘coincidences’ had to happen to ensure that the story could progress as it was intended to, but some of it just felt a little too unbelievable. Then again, this is a thriller and I would expect to suspend by disbelief whilst reading it.
Unfortunately I also struggled with the length of this novel; it could have been cut down by a lot, and there were times when I got a little bored of reading about her sessions with the psychologist. Though I’m not a reader who always wants action, action, action, I still felt this was a little slow at times and could have been sped up towards its conclusion.
However, I really enjoyed the air of mystery throughout. I wasn’t sure until a good way through whether Estelle had done anything to her child or not, only further reinforced by Estelle’s unreliability as a narrator (and this trope has become well-used in the current wave of psychological thrillers all compared to Gone Girl and The Girl On The Train (which this novel was also compared to, of course, though I don’t think it really applies very much personally).
The way Alexandra Burt presents Estelle’s state of mind and suffering is really effective. I felt like I could really imagine what she was going through and found it quite upsetting and emotional at times, particularly when reading about her awful experience of post-natal depression, and how on the whole it was so widely misunderstood by so many people around her.
I really enjoy this genre and feel like Alexandra Burt has created a readable novel which is definitely entertaining; it kept me reading until the end so I feel like it had the basic elements there, it just wasn’t anything special. For psychological thriller-junkies, though, it’s worth a read!
Many thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC of this novel in return for an honest review.
I felt the same about this book as you did – the plots more unlikely twists meant that I felt an excellent premise was undermined.