Sunday, August 4, 2019

Lost You

Lost You by Haylen Beck
Crown/Archetype: 8/6/19
eBook review copy; 320 pages
ISBN-13: 9781524759582

Lost You by Haylen Beck is a recommended psychological thriller.

Libby Reese has just sold her first novel and she is taking a well-deserved vacation in a resort with her three-year-old son, Ethan. Her husband left her when Ethan was a baby and she has raised Ethan on her own. Now she is enjoying the resort while trying to keep a close eye on Ethan. When he suddenly darts off into the elevator, laughing, Libby doesn't get to him in time and the door closes. Ethan then disappears and the search is on. We know from the opening that a woman has him. Security footage shows a woman, identified as Anna Lenihan, with him. When she is found, she claims he is her son. She must be crazy... or is she?

The plot starts out in what seems to be a very predictable direction and then, suddenly, jumps the track altogether, changes direction, goes back four years earlier, and becomes an entirely different novel. Now we meet Anna when she loses her waitress job in Pennsylvania. She is desperate for money when she learns about a medical research clinic that will pay well and she goes to an interview.  It's to be a surrogate mother and Anna decides to do it.

The sudden leap into a different story is startling and will completely throw you off track. Both of the female characters are well-developed and complex characters, with flaws and Libby is shown to be an utterly different character too. They are both emotionally unstable. It also makes the novel much more interesting, adding twists and turns in the plot and in our emotions. The novel also becomes creepier, and heads toward the unbelievable too. It is a compelling story and relatively fast-paced to keep your interest.
The novel was a rollercoaster for me. It began as a commonplace plot that took a different turn. It became a character study, with comparing and contrasting personalities. There are bad decisions and poor choices. Then it became menacing and... unbalanced. At the end I was unsure exactly how I felt about the novel as a whole.
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Crown/Archetype.

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