‘Little Girl Gone’ is Alexandra Burt’s debut novel, published in both eBook and paperback by Avon on the 24th September 2015. To celebrate its release a number of book bloggers are taking part in a blog tour for which LightBrigade PR did some amazing publicity. Today it is my turn and as well as reviewing this book I also have an extract for you to hopefully whet your appetites.
When a baby goes missing things don’t look too good for the mother. Estelle Paradise wakes up one morning and discovers that her baby daughter has been taken from her crib. She searches the apartment but there is no sign of her anywhere and all her stuff has been taken. Estelle doesn’t report the incident to the police though.
A few days later Estelle is discovered in a wrecked car miles from home, with a gunshot wound to her head and no memory of what happened. The only thing she can remember is blood, and lots of it. Will Estelle be able to recall what happened and did she have anything to do with her baby’s disappearance?
There has been a lot of hype about this book so I was looking forward to reading it. I enjoyed this book and liked the author’s writing style. ‘Little Girl Gone’ is divided into four parts. For me the third part was when things really started to hot up and this was when I found the book the hardest to put down.
Estelle had a hard time of things and was judged rather unfairly I thought, just because she had trouble stopping her baby from crying. It was obvious that she needed to get some help and to make matters worse her husband didn’t really want to know. He thought she could snap out of it just like that. So when Mia went missing it was very easy to point the finger at Estelle.
‘Little Girl Gone’ is a psychological thriller which will really get you thinking. Although it was obvious to me who might be responsible for the kidnapping there was still a lot more to the story. I am looking forward to seeing what Alexandra Burt comes up with next.
I give this book 4 out of 5.
Extract from ‘Little Girl Gone’
‘Mrs Paradise?’ A voice sounds out of nowhere. My thoughts are sluggish, as if I’m running under water. I try and try but I’m not getting anywhere.
‘Not stable. Eighty over sixty. And falling.’
Oh God, I’m still alive.
I move my legs, they respond, barely, but they respond.
Light prowls its way into my eyes. I hear dogs barking, high pitched. They pant, their tags clatter.
‘You’ve been in a car accident.’
My face is numb, my thoughts vague, like dusty boxes in obscure and dark attic spaces. I know immediately something is amiss.
‘Oh my God, look at her head.’ A siren sounds, it stutters for a second, then turns into a steady torment.
I want to tell them . . . I open my mouth, my lips begin to form the words, but the burning sensation in my head becomes unbearable. My chest is on fire, and ringing in my left ear numbs the entire side of my face.
Let me die, I want to tell them. But the only sound I hear is of crude hands tearing fragile fabric.
‘Step back. Clear.’
My body explodes, jerks upward.
This isn’t part of the plan.
When I come to, my vision is blurred and hazy. I make out a woman in baby-blue scrubs, a nurse, slipping a plastic tube over my head and immediately two prongs hiss cold air into my nostrils.
She pumps a lever and the bed yanks upward, then another lever triggers a motor raising the headboard until my upper body is resting almost vertically.
My world becomes clearer. The nurse’s hair is in a ponytail and the pockets of her cardigan sag. I watch her dispose of tubing and wrappers and the closing of the trashcan’s metal lid sounds final, evoking a feeling I can’t quite place, a vague sense of loss, like a pickpocket making off with my loose change, disappearing into the crowd that is my strange memory.
A male voice sounds out of nowhere.
‘I need to place a central line.’
The overly gentle voice belongs to a man in a white coat. He talks to me as if I’m a child in need of comfort.
‘Just relax, you won’t feel a thing.’
Relax and I won’t feel a thing? Easy for him to say. I feel lost somehow, as if I’m in the middle of a blizzard, unable to decide which direction to turn. I lift my arms and pain shoots from my shoulder into my neck. I tell myself not to do that again anytime soon.
The white coat wipes the back of my hand with an alcohol wipe. It leaves an icy trail and pulls me further from my lulled state. I watch the doctor insert a long needle into my vein. A forgotten cotton wipe rests in the folds of the cotton waffle weave blanket, in its center a bright red bloody mark, like a scarlet letter.
There’s a spark of memory, it ignites but then fizzles, like a wet match. I refuse to be pulled away, I follow the crimson, attach myself to the memory that started out like a creak on the stairs, but then the monsters appear.
First I remember the darkness.
Then I remember the blood.