Buy this book at
To Past Reviews Index
Back to Last Page

Losing You

Nicci French

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Michael Joseph Ltd

Published : 2007

Copyright : Nicci French 2007

ISBN-10 : HB 0-7181-4782-0
ISBN-13 : HB 978-0-7181-4782-2

Publisher's Write-Up

Nina Landry is supposed to be taking her two children on a Christmas holiday today. But the road away from Sandling Island seems littered with obstacles. Most pressing of all, her 15-year-old daughter, Charlie, has yet to return from a night out ...Minute by minute, Nina's unease builds to worry and then panic. Has Charlie run away? Or has something more sinister happened to her? And why will nobody take her disappearance seriously? As a series of half-buried secrets lead Nina from sickening suspicion to deadly certainty, the question becomes less whether she and her daughter will leave the island for Christmas - and more whether they'll ever leave it again.

Column Ends


Reader Reviews

Why not Submit a Review your own Review for this book?

Review by Chrissi (310107) Rating (8/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 8/10
Written to be read in one sitting, this has no chapter divisions or other natural gaps to halt the flow of the narrative. The natural kettle breaks are missing, which makes for a decision as to what kind of reader you are. If, like me, you can sit for an extended period of time to immerse yourself in a story then this is very pleasant (although tea should be provided by someone else, as should other forms of sustenance that require only one hand to take in). If, however, you enjoy a set period at a certain time of day then you may find that your normal “chapter before bed” will take you half way through the night leaving you a consequently bleary morning the next day.

This is a story of a woman, Nina, searching for her daughter, Charlie, who has simply not come home one day. The family are going away on holiday and she knows that her daughter would simply not have run off. The more she investigates, though, the more she finds out about her daughter and her relationships with other people, the less she realises that she knows the young person her daughter is becoming.

Nina and her husband moved to Sandling Island to escape London, only he did not settle and she did. Consequently, Nina remained with their two children and Sludge the Labrador. Charlie as a young woman, is somewhat secretive about her life and Nina has, up to now, not infringed upon her privacy in an effort to retain some vestige of their previous relationship but, with mounting panic as various avenues are explored and discarded, she starts to sift through the clues of Charlie’s life.

Initially, Nina is merely perturbed that Charlie has not come home from her paper round to empty the washing machine and feed Sludge, but as the morning continues she contacts the police and starts searching. Unfortunately, there are few clues and the young people who are supposed to be Charlie’s friends are unable or unwilling to tell her what they know.

When the police do start to take an interest in the case, Nina is told to stay out of the way but she feels that they are not moving quickly enough to help her and continues to look, finding a crime scene which could have very serious implications for her daughter.

The relationship between Charlie and her Nina is at the heart of this fast paced story, although teenagers have secrets, Nina is convinced that Charlie would not just run away. The efforts of the police and her friends to convince her that this is normal teenaged behaviour do little to quieten Nina’s fears, increasing the tension in the narrative.

The impression of panic and time slipping away is very well communicated, first with the impatience of a mother on a deadline to have everything ready for the family holiday and later with greater urgency in the knowledge that her daughter would not have run away. There is often a feeling of there being something else, hidden or missed, that neither you nor Nina can quite grasp, it makes for a fraught climax, with a series of realisations that the people that you thought you know are rarely how they present themselves to you.

If you can settle yourself for a period – and I would heartily recommend a rainy Sunday or something like that, with a willing person to provide hot chocolate and cook lunch, this really is a book to be read with few interruptions. The level of suspense generated is great and you will find yourself engrossed and desperate to finish it.

Do you think that you can buy a sign that says ‘Danger – Do Not Disturb – Person Reading’? I think we need a couple of those in this household; it would be very sensible and prevent any misunderstandings that could arise from being disturbed at a crucial moment.
Chrissi (31st January 2007)

Back to Top of Page
Column Ends