Cover Image: After You Were Gone

After You Were Gone

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Member Reviews

This book is literally a parent's worse nightmare come true. Such a shocking read in the best way possible. I could not put it down!

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A gripping thriller with empathy. The family drama is high and the pages are filled with suspense so tightly packed that it takes awhile to discover it all.

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This is the first time reading this author & I enjoyed this book! I will definitely read more of her books in the future!

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And interesting story told from three different times in the characters life. A great read from an Aussie author, who I look forward to reading more from.

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I was drawn from the start 9f this book, in fact from the blurb. A missing child is a disturbing topic. A lot 9f background on Abbie's earlier life , the mother of missing girl Sarah., , I hoped it had some relevance to the plot as it became a stop and start read for me as the tension waned a little. but then it was on full throttle as unexpected events occurred. I couldn't turn the pages quick enough to discover the outcome of this gripping story

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This is a hard book to rate, the plot is quite original and there were certainly elements that hooked me in and made me keep reading. To the credit of the author the main character rang true, and here is where the problem started for me. I just couldn't bring myself to like Abbie and what she did.
The story is told in three time lines, prior to Abbie's daughter being kidnapped, the present and the past after the kidnapping. The present finds Abbie six years after her six year old daughter disappeared and about to get married. However, on her wedding day a couple of reminders of Sarah send Abbie into a downward spiral and from there things just seem to get worse.
For the most part the book was wholly believable, but at some stage, I think around the last third it seemed beyond the realm of possibility.
I would be keen to read more by this author as the book is well written and has so much potential packed into it. Thank you Netgalley and Text Publishing for the opportunity to read this digital ARC.

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A psychological thriller that has you rushing towards the end, After You Were Gone is another fantastic novel by Vikki Wakefield. Touching on the themes of family, friendship and morality, this novel will have you questioning the complexity of relationship dynamics.

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What a great read, I was captivated from the opening paragraph and found it hard to put this one down.
The writing was great and the characters drew you in.
.I will recommend this read.

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Set in Australia mostly in 2010. Abbie’s life falls apart when her young daughter Sarah goes missing without a trace. Not long after Abbie marries Murray in 2010, Abbie starts receiving disturbing phone calls from someone claiming to know what happened to Sarah.
A psychological thriller about a missing child. Full of twists and turns and complicated family relationships. The pace was fast and there was lots of action towards the end.

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A gripping book that kept me wanting more.
The plotline was really well done and entirely relatable in the daily struggles of parenthood. I found the changes between past and present easy to follow and thought they flowed beautifully.
I would have loved an epilogue for this book though as I felt it wrapped up quickly in the end.

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This is less of a thriller or a whodunit, and more of a "how far would you go in order to get your child back". For me, it was a difficult read emotionally, and I imagine many parents would feel the same.

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If you are a fan of Vikki Wakefield's exceptional YA fiction titles, this, her first adult title, will seem very familiar. Dark and brooding, with tightly drawn characters, Wakefield writes a great mystery.

The main character lost her child several years ago, abducted by unknown assailants. Now, she is receiving messages, seemingly from the person who took her. Is it real, or yet another hopeless lead?

There are some great twists and turns in this novel, with the psychological tension rising quickly, and never subsiding until the end. Like her YA fiction, Wakefield writes about people on the margins (the poor, homeless and lost), and this is not exception.

I can't wait for more!

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Ahh!! I was so excited to receive 'After You Were Gone' by Vikki Wakefield in the mail from Text Publishing, as I still vividly remember reading and loving Vikki's previous novel 'Ballad for a Mad Girl' back in 2017. I do love a good thriller, although I have stepped away from the genre a little over the past year... I think it's mainly because out of the few thrillers I've read this year they all felt quite predictable as though the plot followed a formula, however whenever I read a truly thrilling, suspenseful and exciting book like 'After You Were Gone' it really reminds me as to why I love thrillers so much!

There was so much to love about this book. I loved the switching POV of the main character Abbie's life both in current time and 6 years ago prior to when her daughter Sarah went missing. I didn't want to put this book down and read it in a few sittings, but if I didn't have uni and work I know I would've binged it in a day. I think it was just such a well thought out thriller, with so many 'breadcrumbs' and I had so many theories that kept me guessing till the end which I loved. I wish I could know more about the character's lives at the end but all in all I did love the ending and I'm so happy with the outcome - I feel like I went on an emotional rollercoaster with all of the character's and I was cheering for them at the end haha!
All in all, I highly recommend this book for my fellow Thriller lovers that love an Australian setting.

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After You Were Gone is the story of Abbie, who's daughter Sarah disappears. Six years later, Abbie starts getting strange phone calls from someone professing to be able to tell her what happened to her daughter if she follows his instructions.

So, I'll start off by saying this: this book was not my cup of tea. I had figured that this would have been more of a thriller where she puts the pieces together to figure out what ultimately happened to her daughter, but this is not that type of book - it's more about someone putting someone else through a great deal of psychological (and in some cases physical) torture. I found it very irritating and was close to putting the book down in a number of cases.

Subjectively, I'd score this book about a 1 or a 2 as I really did not enjoy it.. But being objective, I'd give it a three. If this is your type of book, it's definitely a page-turner. But on the other hand I found a great deal of it unrealistic - in particular, the lengths that Abbie was willing to go without really questioning the caller or demanding more proof.

Thank you to NetGalley for this advanced reading copy.
#AfterYouWereGone #NetGalley

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This ARC was provided to me via Kindle, from Text Publishing and #NetGalley. Thank you to the publishers, NetGalley and the author for the opportunity to preview and review. Opinions expressed are completely my own.

Suspense, intrigue, twists and turns abound.

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4.5 ★s
After You Were Gone is the sixth novel by award-winning Australian author, Vikki Wakefield. Almost six years after her daughter Sarah has gone missing, and just a few days after her wedding to a man some twenty years her senior, Abbie Morgan gets a call from someone she’s convinced took her daughter. Just when she seems to be getting a handle on life …

Abbie has thought herself a bad mother at times and carries a lot of guilt over Sarah’s disappearance. Six years on, though, it is still uppermost in her emotions, making her vulnerable to this unknown caller’s demands. If she is to find out what has happened to Sarah, she must follow a set of instructions, do things clearly designed to alienate and isolate her from family and friends, to remove her support base.

“I’d give him what he wanted, whatever the cost, I knew that. Knowing the worst and living with it would be better than imagining the worst and having the story change, daily, like a never-ending twisted fairytale.” This, she does, believing she will be able to take her revenge.

Abbie seems wilful, stubborn and too proud to admit she needs help, perhaps a legacy of a dysfunctional youth under her mother’s critical eye, of being in her friend Cass’s shadow. “The older I got the more I realised I had made decisions— having Sarah, leaving the security of my parents’ home—that were simultaneously risky and gave me a feeling of control. That perceived control, however, was an illusion.”

On her own: “I was me without Cass, without my family being too close, without being judged as a pregnant teen, a single mother, or the careless parent of a missing child.”

The story is told over three timelines: before, after and now. Many will find this an uncomfortable read, with a protagonist whose rationale behind her decisions is difficult to fathom, but most will read on in fascinated horror as she dismantles her life at the direction of an unknown caller with a vague promise, eroding the trust of those close to her. Later chapters bring a twist few will predict.

Wakefield writes a cast of complex characters who don’t easily endear themselves to the reader. She does give them wise words and insightful observations: “I know what it’s like when people treat you as if you’re damaged. It’s exhausting enough trying to live your life without having to convince others you’re fine, just to make them feel better.” Dark, powerful and thought-provoking.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Text Publishing.

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How far would you go to find out the truth?

This book delves into a missing child and the lengths that a mother will go through to find out what happened. This book grabbed me at first but slowly lost its steam. Abby wasn’t the most likeable person either which makes it hard to “relate to” in the storyline.

Overall this was a good story with some twists and turns and it’s worth the read.

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

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I enjoyed parts of this book but I felt other parts dragged. I thought breaking the story up into Before, After and Now worked well. I particularly enjoyed the Before but struggled with the others.

One of the reasons I wanted to read this book is that it is set in Australia.

I didn't guess the ending. It seemed a little clunky for me.

I received an advance review copy from NetGalley for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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Thrillers are one of my most favourite genres to read so I was truly excited for this one. I am happy that I wasn’t left disappointed.

The story jumps between before and after the disappearance of Abbie’s daughter Sarah and how having no answers after six years of her being missing without answers still haunts her.

<b>“It’s okay to be happy.”
“I know.”
“Do you?”</b>

I had a miscarriage when I was seventeen years old and there were so many times when I would have to remind myself that it was okay to find happiness in moments in my life so this quote hit me really hard and I had to immediately highlight it.

It might be a silly thing to be happy about but the author is Australian and this story is set in Australia. It’s not often I see things being set there so it made me really happy to be able to read this and support a fellow Australian.

I was so invested in this story from start to finish. It kept me on the edge of my seat and left me anxious to see what happened next which is exactly what you want when it comes to stories like these. I would definitely recommend this to people who enjoy thrillers!

<i>Thank you to NetGallery and Text Publishing for providing me this arc!</i>
<i>I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.</i>

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Fast moving and totally consuming. The story of Abbie and her lost daughter captivates from the first page. Cleverly divided into three different time segments, before after and now the story unfolds by shape shifting into each of those settings. Abbie’s story is that of a teenage pregnancy and her determination to bring her daughter up as a single mother, it’s not easy and family are not always able to support her choices. She struggles and her life is real and vibrant, beautifully captured. It all falls apart when she loses six year old Sarah at a market. Then the crime thriller starts and just grows and grows till I couldn’t put it down. It is dark , I suspected everyone and everything for three quarters of the novel. The three areas of writing do provide some much needed respite. Just when I thought I would have to take a break we slipped into another time before, after or now. It really worked well for me. Vicki Wakefield knows what she is writing about , she understands grief and trauma and the complexities of living through tragedy. I loved Abbie’s honesty and her ‘risk it all ‘ approach to life. I’m so glad it ended as it did, I couldn’t have taken much more. Thanks to @netgalley and text publishing for a copy to review. The opinions are mine.

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