Sunday, January 14, 2024

The Child at My Door

The Child at My Door by Sam Vickery
1/23/24; 306 pages

The Child at My Door by Sam Vickery is a highly recommended domestic thriller that exposes a family's secrets.

When a taxi drops off a four-year-old boy at her door, Clarissa knows is shocked. When the taxi driver and the boy both identify her as the grandma, she knows it's a mistake but has the boy, named Tommy, come in for them to sort it out and find his mother. When she asks, Tommy tells her his mom said to call her Grandma and he says his mom is called Chloe. Clarissa's daughter Chloe left home fifteen years ago and she has told everyone that Chloe died. If Chloe is alive, where has she been for the last fifteen years?

There is no doubt that once you start reading The Child at My Door it soon becomes un-put-downable. Once this well-written thriller starts it builds slowly but steadily until you can't turn the pages quickly enough. You will find yourself glued to the pages to see what happens next. Readers will quickly learn that Tommy was sent to his previously unknown grandmother because her daughter is in an abusive relationship with his father, Scott, and she needs to protect Tommy. While some issues are clear in the novel, others are more obscure and hidden under layers of secrets and lies.

But all isn't quite as it seems with Clarrisa or Chloe and neither seems to be a reliable narrator. Chapters alternate between the two and also between the past and present. Soon questions will arise about what really happened fifteen years ago and why are the neighbors, Mirium and Jeff, so concerned about the boy and her caring for him? Are they really noisy neighbors or do they have reasons to be concerned. A complicated backstory soon emerges.

Admittedly, you have to agree to set disbelief aside and just follow where Vickery decides to take you and what information will be revealed in the plot. I did guess some major plot elements early on, but there were several surprises and some great slight of hand along the way that had me doubting my intuition. This is an entertaining novel.

Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for providing me with an advance reader's copy. My review is voluntary and expresses my honest opinion.

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