Book Review - The Birthday Party by Wendy Dranfield @WendyDranfield
Charlotte waves at her mother across the crowded lawn.
Little red boots on, cowboy hat crooked over her blonde pigtails, she’s been looking forward to this party for weeks.
Moments later, she disappears without a trace…
Kathy Hamilton drives away from her sister-in-law’s pristine-white suburban house in Maple Falls certain she’s left her daughter in safe hands.
On the hottest day of the year, a birthday is the perfect excuse to gather friends, family and neighbors around the pool for a barbecue.
But when she returns hours later to find her little girl has vanished, her world shatters.
Nobody laughing and drinking in the garden that day saw anything unusual.
Kathy’s eldest daughter is anxious and hardly eating.
Is she sick with worry for her sister or hiding a terrible secret?
The phone rings and rings, but why can’t Kathy get hold of the babysitter?
And is she imagining it, or when her husband rushed from work to join the search, was he wearing a different shirt to the one she saw him leave the house in that morning?
As the temperature rises, and long-buried secrets begin to surface, it’s clear that even the most perfect families keep devastating secrets.
But in a town as small as this, is there anyone you can trust?
What was it all about
A missing child arc where a child of six disappeared from a birthday party, while playing with her cousins. Lies soon emerged as a truth popped out of the book every few pages.
How it made me feel
I was absolutely excited to read the book. To be honest, I was in a weird slump where none of the books that I started excited me. But this book was brilliant.
The first chapter leaped out of the book to grip me by the throat and compel me to read the book at one go.
The plot arc, we thriller readers were all well-versed with, but it was the treatment given by the author Wendy Dranfield, that had me at the edge of my seat.
I was reading it in bed, and the number of times I got up with a gasp had me reeling in joy. That was how a thriller should be written.
Secrets, secrets, and still more secrets had my pulse ricocheting all over the place until I reached the end.
Explosive. OMG. The ending chapters left me slack-jawed. No, I didn’t expect that at all.
Everything. For me, it brought me out of the routine of my life and took me on a thrilling ride from beginning to end.
The writing was well calculated to take the reader to the zenith of the roller-coaster ride. The subplots were well planned by the author. I imagined she had a white board that helped her to keep all the characters in line and make them do nefarious acts.
The swirling world of secrets kept the book feel like the kernels of popcorn where one would burst out of the book, wickedly delicious.
Emotions were well balanced, was happy that the author did not go overboard.
This was a cleverly written thriller where the author placed the characters at the right place, then brought in some new ones to deliver the secrets which others couldn’t have discovered on time.
This was not necessarily bad, but I cried at one point. Only those who had read the book would know the reason. But that was not a bad thing at all. I was just so much into the book.
A solid, craftily written thriller by an intelligent author who had the pulse of the book tightly leashed in to allow pure suspense and thrill to burst out at the right moments. Of course, you’ve got to read it!!
Publication Date: January 2022
I downloaded the digital version of the book from an online retail, and this is my journey down its pages, straight from the heart. STRICTLY HONEST and UNBIASED.
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