Early Sunday morning in the quiet country town of Stinky Gully, five-year-old Bree-Anna takes her doll Baby for a walk.
Jake, passing through, hoping to spend the day with his daughter, sees a chubby girl in pink get into a green car.
Eloise, bar maid and part time cleaner, distracted with protecting her ailing father from her junkie brother, sees pink clothes in loner Randall’s washing basket and doesn’t think twice.
Bree-Anna’s precious Baby is locked in a suitcase on top of a wardrobe.
She has no one to help her and Bree-Anna must remember all of the times she has been brave if she is to survive in Mr Randall’s house.
Possible trigger warnings: abduction, non-graphic child abuse
Shocking but Realistic!
Definitely not my usual choice of reading material but oh, this is a terrific read!
Bree-Anna is five years old and takes her doll, Baby, everywhere with her. So, one Sunday morning with her mother asleep and her brother’s attention elsewhere she sets out for a walk with Baby in her buggy. Others spot her, including the man in a green car who stops and picks her up. When his cleaner spots pink items in his laundry, her brain is so busy with everything else going on in her life that the anomaly doesn’t even register. Separated from her Baby – now locked in a suitcase out of her reach, Bree works out that she can only rely upon one person – herself.
Completely different to anything else I have come across before, this one grabbed my attention from the very first and didn’t let up until the final word. Creatively plotted and beautifully written. What a read! Riveting, mesmerising and rather hypnotic; I was completely engrossed and read this in one sitting. It makes a person understand exactly what the police are up against when they have a missing person’s case land on their desks. Bree-Anna’s plight was horrifying and I was cheering for her all the way through. How did it end? Well, I’m not going to spoil it for anyone else but this is a first-class read – both shocking but realistic and easily commanding a full house of stars. Definitely recommended!
My thanks to Henry Roi PR for my copy of this novel; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.
Tags: crime noir
- Format: ebook, paperback
- Size: 141 pages
- Publisher: Odyssey Book
- Publication Book: 10 August 2021
- Book Links:
Kathryn Gossow has been writing and publishing short and flash fiction in a variety of genres since 2006. Her debut novel Cassandra was a finalist in the Australian Aurealis Awards for Best Fantasy Novel in 2017 and is published by Odyssey Books. She won an ASA Mentorship, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and won a commendation for Flash Fiction from Australia Horror Writers’ Association.
Kathryn is a regular blogger and sometimes gardener of her two-acre garden in a pocket of the Brisbane River. When she is writing, her garden is a mess. When she is gardening, she forgets to write. It seems she cannot have both. She writes for that elusive feeling when she gets into the zone and there is nothing else in the world but her and the words that tumble onto the page. She gardens for the tomatoes. Her short fiction has appeared in the Gingerbread House, Black Magazine, AntipodeanSF, Diddle Dog, elimae, Salome Magazine, among other publications.
- Website: https://kathryngossow.net/
- Twitter: @KathrynGossow
- Facebook: @kathryngossowauthor
- Instagram: @kathryngossow