“How far would you go to protect your family?
Danny and Libby are about to face every parent’s worst nightmare.
When eight-year-old Hope Bird disappears without a trace, from the idyllic village where she lives, life for her family will never be the same again. Her parents know she would never have gone off alone and the police have no idea where she is. Then a child’s shoe is discovered and the case takes an unexpected turn. Soon a suspect is identified but this is only the beginning.
Will they ever find Hope?”
I am absolutely delighted to welcome you to my stop on Betsy Reavley’s Frailty blog tour. I was thrilled to be one of the first readers to experience Betsy’s phenomenal last book, The Optician’s Wife in it’s early days. You can read my review of TOW by clicking here. Easily one of my books of the year! Like The Optician’s Wife, Frailty is a standalone psychological thriller and the fifth novel from the pen of Ms Reavley. I am over the moon to have both Carrion and The Quiet Ones on the #terrifyingTBR which I can’t wait to read as I am such a fan of Betsy’s writing (Frailty has only increased my level of ‘fangirling’).
The Bird family are your average, everyday, normal family. That is until 8 year old Hope is kidnapped on her way back from the shops one summer’s day. Her parents, Libby and Danny, are devastated, their lives turned upside down and younger sister, Gracie is left heartbroken and confused. There are no ransom demands, no clues, nothing for the police to investigate. That is until one of Hope’s shoes turns up in a bin. The shoe leads the police to a suspect, someone they’ve had on their radar but no concrete evidence to go on before now. But is he Hope’s kidnapper? Danny certainly thinks so and he’ll do whatever it takes to protect his family and get his daughter home…
Betsy Reavley says in the acknowledgements of Frailty that it was the hardest book to write. I can understand what she means. As a mother of two, this for me was a difficult book to read. The subject matter is a tough one. You can’t help but think, no matter how fleetingly, how you would feel if it was your child that had gone missing. It’s heartbreaking stuff, particularly as every so often you reach a chapter written from Hope’s point of view. It will pull on your heartstrings and turn you to mush! You have been warned.
I found it hard to warm to Danny but I liked and could easily relate to Libby. Libby and Danny’s search for their daughter was a difficult read and I felt a little bogged down by the emotionally intense chapters. Had the book only been about their search for Hope then I’m not sure I would have made it to the end. But I knew with Betsy Reavley at the helm, there would be an almighty twist coming. And there was!
The last half of this book made it for me. The decision Danny makes, the completely unexpected outcome….absolutely brilliant. The book picked up a great pace and I was completely absorbed. I will say, however, by the time I was two thirds through, I had worked out who had taken Hope (I’m putting this down to my overly suspicious nature and the fact that I live and breathe crime novels; Frailty is not an obvious story and the reveal is quite astounding).
Would I recommend this book? I would but prepare yourself for a tough read. My heart ached for Hope. But I felt particularly sad and sorry for her sister Gracie, who seemed to be pushed to one side throughout (I have a Gracie myself, that may be the reason!). Great twists and I loved the way the story built to that massive ‘Reavley twist’. Looking forward to reading more from this author soon.
Four out of five stars.
Frailty by Betsy Reavley was published in the UK by Bloodhound Books on 15th November 2016 and is available in paperback and eBook formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads | Bloodhound Books |
Author of The Quiet Ones, The Optician’s Wife, Carrion, Beneath the Watery Moon and the poetry collection The Worm in the Bottle. Betsy was born in Hammersmith, London.
As a child she moved around frequently with her family, spending time in London, Provence, Tuscany, Gloucestershire and Cambridgeshire.
She showed a flair for literature and writing from a young age and had a particular interest in poetry, of which she was a prolific consumer and producer.
In her early twenties she moved to Oxford, where she would eventually meet her husband. During her time in Oxford her interests turned from poetry to novels and she began to develop her own unique style of psychological thriller.
Betsy says “I believe people are at their most fascinating when they are faced by the dark side of life. This is what I like to write about.”
Betsy Reavley currently lives in London, with her husband, 2 children, dog, cat and chickens.