Heidi Perks brings us an intricate psychological thriller that will keep the reader both riveted to the book and constantly guessing about what is really going on. The opening segment is perfectly formatted to grab the reader and cause him or her to become fully engrossed and following events described with bated breath. Charlotte is planning to take her three children to the fair for a full day’s outing when her friend Harriet asks her to take her daughter Alice with her. Thinking that one more child within the confines of a supervised fair will be little problem Charlotte agrees.
The children are enjoying themselves, running from one ride to the next so that when they come to the Ferris wheel Charlotte has no qualms about asking her 10 year old son Jack to keep an eye on everyone. She takes a break to glance at the e-mails on her phone. When the children come running out of the ride Alice is not with them. A frantic search ensues helped by many other people and eventually the police. No Alice; she has disappeared and possibly kidnapped by person or persons unknown.
As the days unfold with no trace of Alice it is Charlotte that bears the brunt of the criticism for losing the little girl. Her friends don’t contact her anymore and one newspaper reporter insinuates that she was lost in Facebook while Alice was carried off. The time goes on with a horror entering into the picture. The dead body of a young boy kidnapped about a year prior to these events is found and Harriet and her husband fear the worst with possibly the same kidnapper involved.
Ms. Perks builds the characters of Charlotte, Harriet and Harriet’s husband in a way that the reader can sympathize with these people subjected to a kidnapping of a child and the distinct possibility that a death has occurred.
Needless to say, the novel is a mesmerizing visit to a situation that is impossible to visualize if occurring close by. Very well done.
1/19 Paul Lane
HER ONE MISTAKE by Heidi Perks. Gallery Books (January 8, 2019). ISBN 978-1501194221. 320p.