by Tess Stimson
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Pub Date 05 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 06 Aug 2021
Avon Books UK, Avon
A twisting and emotional thriller that demands to be read in one sitting. Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell and Jackie Kabler.
You thought she was safe. You were wrong…
Alex knows her daughter would never wander off in a strange place. So when her three-year-old vanishes from an idyllic beach wedding, Alex immediately believes the worst.
The hunt for Lottie quickly becomes a world-wide search, but it’s not long before suspicion falls on her mother. Why wasn’t she watching Lottie?
Alex knows she’s not perfect, but she loves her child. And with all eyes on her, Alex fears they’ll never uncover the truth unless she takes matters into her own hands.
Who took Lottie Martini? And will she ever come home?
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 286 members
Thanks Netgalley for allowing me to read this book. Alex and her daughter Lottie are enjoying their time at the beach. When Lottie is kidnapped, Alex has no idea where her daughter is. This book kept me guessing until the very end.
Single mum Alex is attending a beach wedding in Florida with her 3 year old daughter Lottie. When Lottie suddenly disappears, questions are quickly asked. Did someone take her? Why did no one notice she was missing? What was her mother doing?
A great gripping read with twists and turns along the way and an ending I didn’t see coming.
This was a raw, emotional story which really drew me in, giving a real sense of a mothers loss when a child goes missing. Cleverly done and with an ending I really did not expect.
Stolen by Tess Stimson is a brilliant, cleverly plotted story about a missing child and the lengths a mother will go to, to get her back!
It’s one of those books that you can’t stop reading once you start. It’s easy to read and the chapters flow readily from one thrill to the next. The character development was well paced and the more we get to know them, the more empathetic we feel.
Many themes were covered: single parenting, betrayal, race, the media…all intertwined to create a compelling narrative examining some difficult subjects.
There were many twists to the story and I really enjoyed the ending.
#stolen #tessstimson #netgalley #avonbooks
Thank you NetGalley for this advanced copy. Wow! I couldn't get into the last book by her, but this one was incredible! So many twists that I didn't see coming. Just when you believed she had found the culprit, something else gets thrown in there. Shocking ending!
This is a really engaging thriller - at times I thought I'd guessed what was happening but then the story took on a different turn!
Really enjoyable thriller with great characters and really interesting and twisty plot!
Wait just one minute while I catch my breath and pick my heart up off the floor.
Wow! This book grabbed onto me and would not let go. I didn’t want to do anything besides read this book and not put it down. This is another Tess Stimson five stars book.
Alex is a lawyer, a human rights lawyer, who has always been a career woman. When she got pregnant, and her daughter Lottie was born, she let Luca, her husband, do the majority of the raising of Lottie. It wasn’t that Alex didn’t want a child. It wasn’t that Alex didn’t love her child. But Luca was so much better at it and her work kept her pretty busy. But then tragedy struck and Luca was killed in a freak accident. Alex is an adequate mother, but a little overwhelmed at the willful, stubborn Lottie. Then Lottie goes missing at a friends’ wedding and Alex is thrust into a nightmare of wondering where Lottie is and doing everything humanly possible to find her as she vows to he the best possible mother to Lottie when she finds her.
My heart broke for Alex. As there are with any tragedy, there will be those perfect parents out there that think Alex is a terrible and negligent mother and would side with the media and vicious public about her capabilities as a mother. There but for the grace of God go I - very wise words. Whip really thinks their child isn’t safe We are all minutes away from tragedies that we were lucky enough to avoid. Alex went through very real and accurate feelings and emotions and I went right through them with her. I have known some parents that have had this kind of terrible misfortune and they are haunted by what happened. Alex’s portrayal is very accurate for a woman who has lost her child in this way and reading what she feel and what she goes through is such an emotional journey, for her and for the reader.
So, who would take Lottie? And why? And is she still alive? Who can she trust? Her life becomes consumed with finding her. We are teased with little hints of who it could be. My mind changed several times. I did guess right at one point but then moved on to someone else. All I wanted to do was forget everything and devour this book.
I highly recommend this book as well as others by the same author. You will lose yourself in the story and feel like the characters are actually people you know. Her writing style is captivating, no wandering mind when the reader is reading her books.
Thank you to the publisher and net galley for the opportunity to read and review this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Gripping read. One minute you think you know 'whodunit' only to find you're wrong.
Without giving any spoilers, this author is a wonder at twists and turns.
You just can't put the book down till you find the truth!
WoW I freaking enjoyed this book.like no other!
I wished there was more (something) not sure what but overall I enjoyed this book!
Good writing and plot!
I read this book in one sitting. I had to know how the story concluded. A single Mom attending her best friend’s destination wedding with her 3 year old bridesmaid daughter. Daughter goes missing ...the reader is hooked!
I am a great fan of Tess Stimson’s work, so this book was like candy to me! The story of a young child’s disappearance and the lengths the petrified mother goes to in order to find her are the crux of this tale. Highly recommended!
The writing, the plot, the characters, the unbelievable ending-- utterly fabulous and one of the best books I have ever read. The lady can write!
Do NOT miss out on reading this mystery/suspense novel. You won't be able to put it down. I couldn't.
I went through so many emotions reading this. This hits you right in the gut and then when you think the hurt is done it comes back around for another swing.
A missing child. Who is to blame. Is she alive? Is she dead? Where is the line drawn?
Such a powerful and emotional read. Grab the tissues…
Absolutely unputdownable story. Stolen is a story about every parents nightmare, when your child is taken from you. Alex is at her best friends wedding, Lottie her 4 yr old daughter is the flower girl. Lottie is taken from the wedding venue and sets off an international search for her.
With her life under a microscope, Alex is judged harshly in the media for being a successful lawyer and having a career.
Will Alex ever find out who took Lottie? Will Alex ever find her?
Thank you Netgalley for complimentary copy.
I could not put this down. Quite apart from the compelling, knuckle-biting plot, the writing style draws the reader in and keeps them there. This is no ordinary thriller. Among the twists and turns of the kidnapping case are untouchable topics like race, misogyny, feminism and how these colour the handling of such cases. Unwelcome truths about the reality of parenting a difficult child are laid bare for the media to pick at while social media is used by the author as a clever way to capture the wider context of the case. Highly recommended.
i havent read a Tess stimson book before but boy was i gripped infact i stayed up all night reading which i only do if i cant put a book down there was so many twists and turns just when you think you know where its going sometbing else is thrown at you - poor Alex - I wasn't sure about quinn but i do like her - I loved the end i think it brought the whole thing together.
cant wait to read more from Tess Stimson
A brilliantly crafted suspense thriller; Stolen, for me was a perfect read for Mother’s Day. While the plot is essentially about a mother’s pursuit to find her daughter who was taken away from her, it also deals with the guilt that all working mothers are subjected to, for prioritizing their career over their kids. I believe this topic resonates with so many women out there.
Human rights lawyer and single mom, Alexa Martini’s life is torn apart when her three-year old daughter, Lottie, goes missing at a friend’s wedding. As the cops get involved and the investigation is underway, it is soon established that Lottie was taken by someone familiar to her. While still reeling from this information, in addition to the horror of her missing child, Alexa is also exposed to intense media scrutiny and mom-shaming for her dedication to her job and her less-than-perfect mothering ways.
If it weren’t for the compelling writing of the author, I don’t think I would have been able to finish reading this story. It is heart-breaking to read through Alexa’s raw grief and terror as she imagines the unspeakable scenarios that her child may be subjected to. I love that I could identify with Alexa, a flawed woman, who wasn’t necessarily the best mother around, but still loved the bones of her child and fought till the very end to bring her home. I was prepared to hate Quinn, right off the bat, for her brash ways and her preconceived notions about Alexa, but she totally redeemed herself towards the end.
The author also uses this plot to address the issue of all those missing kids from colored families, who don’t have the necessary clout or white privilege to have their stories brought to the forefront. The plot twists kept me on my toes and had me pointing fingers at every other character. For such a well-written story, I found the ending a little too far-fetched to be credible. But thank God, it ended well, anyway.
Overall, a gripping and anxiety-inducing novel. Though I had unintentionally picked this book to read, Lottie’s dialogue at the very end, where she says, ‘Mummies always come back,’ seemed like a fitting ode to this day.
Thanks to Netgalley and Avon books for providing a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This was my kind of book. Loved the cover to start of with, the description sounded promising and from the first chapter of mother and daughter flying out to a beach wedding I could tell I would enjoy it. Lottie was annoying to start with and both mother and daughter were obviously flawed but you could see early on that the mother deeply loved the child and was distraught when Lottie went missing on the eve of the wedding party. From then on things just got better and better and I couldn’t wait to find out who had taken Lottie. A fabulous book and would recommend it to all. I’ll definitely be looking out for more books by this author in the future. A page turner from start to finish. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This has been a read filled with tension and suspense and I have been completely hooked. I have adored the way this has been written and fully engaged in this novel.
Raw, honest, brings you to the edge of your seat.
"I didn't realise, until that moment, that the child I never wanted to have has become my reason for living."
Twenty-nine year old Alex is an up-and-coming human rights lawyer for a law firm in England. She is also a single mom, who loves her daughter, Lottie.
Juggling between a full-time job and motherhood (another full time job), Alex is trying to stay fair to both, and advance in her career. It seems to be working out fairly well, up until 3-year-old Lottie disappears at her best friend's destination wedding in Florida. Alex rips the hotel and the beaches apart in vain. The police mobilize a search team, to no avail.
Everything that Alex has known comes to a pause as she is determined to find her daughter. She questions everything, and takes all the help she can get from her family and friends. But Alex will not rest until she finds Lottie, and she most certainly will not give up.
I generally really enjoy reading crime novels, but I am often disappointed when I can easily figure out the ending. However, I did not see this plot twist coming.
I also really liked how flawed, and real Alex's character was. This is definitely one of my favorite thrillers this year.
*I received this ARC in return for an honest review.
Another unputdownable thriller about a child who goes missing at a family wedding. She should have been safe with friends and family but when Lotte goes missing her mother starts to not trust anyone even friends she has known all her life and could the truth be even closer to home?
This is my first book by Tess Stimson, but it certainly won't be my last! This was a real page turner for me, the characters were amazing and the story line could be taken right out of today's headlines.
It's every parents worst nightmare. Alex and her three year old daughter Lottie travel from the UK to Florida to attend her best friends wedding. During the reception, Alex suddenly realizes Lottie has not been seen for several hours, and is missing.
So begins years of searching, dead ends and suspicions against Alex. Portrayed in the media as a bad mother, neglectful, every move she makes is scrutinized on the internet, by people she has never met, crowds of people follow here everywhere and the media is never far behind. Where is Lottie and more importantly, is Alex involved in her disappearance?
Many thanks to Netgalley and Avon Books for the gifted copy for my fair and honest opinion,
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and opinion. This is the first book I've read by Tess Stimson and I can say it certainly won't be my last! This was a real page turner for me, the characters were amazing and the story line felt like it was taken from today's headlines. I recommend you should start reading early in the morning or else you will end up staying up way too late reading this (speaking from experience) as you will not want to put it down. Can't wait to read more by Tess Stimson!
Quite a simple story, that was a quick, easy read! It centred on a child being abducted and what happened in the years that followed, mother’s fight to find her etc... It did have twists and turns and I wrongly guessed 2 or 3 times... All in all I enjoyed and would read more of this authors work
A gripping story with lots of twists and an ending I didn't see coming. Highly recommended
Thank you for the opportunity to read an early copy of this book
The hard thing about Stolen is that after meeting Lottie it’s impossible for the reader to imagine anyone wanting to kidnap her. The story gets ten times better after she disappears and I found this a gritty twisty tale and I’d definitely recommend it.
This was great read and I loved all the twists and turns. I had no idea how it was going to end.
Alex is taking her daughter Lottie to be a flower girl at her best friends wedding.
During the wedding Lottie disappears. What follows is the horror of the investigation as everyone is investigated to try and find out what has happened to Lottie.
I loved the characters particularly Alex who is not the perfect mother but a strong woman who is doing her best.
I would definitely read this author again.
Thanks to Avon books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I absolutely LOVED this book. It kept me gripped all the way through and I was desperate to find out what had happened. Did I love the ending? No. But it didn't ruin the experience for me.
Lottie is a stubborn, precocious 3 year old. She's attending a wedding as a flower girl when she goes missing. Her mother Alexis is distraught- who has taken her? Why would someone do this? The book starts prior to the kidnap and concludes some years afterwards. I don't want to give spoilers so I won't!
It's a very well written book and the pace is excellent- it zips along nicely! I liked Alexis as a character and loved the relationship she had with her parents. I didn't like the ending, but it definitely made my jaw drop! It's a cleverly crafted novel and I'll definitely search out more works by this author. Thank you to net galley and the publishers for my copy of this book.
This is a sensitive and interesting missing child story that raises interesting and timely issues, with a heck of a twist.
If you’ve followed the Madeline McCann case at all, you’ll notice that the premise of this book bears some strong resemblances to that case. Alexa is a mom who never yearned or planned to be a mother. But when her daughter Lottie was born, she loved her fiercely. Similar to the McCann story, Alexa faces judgment and accusations of bad motherhood when her daughter is taken from a posh resort while being not-too-closely watched by friends at a wedding. I really liked the way this story explored the fact that even an imperfect mother can be the victim of a kidnapping - but once the world realizes she’s made some serious mistakes in her parenting, the suspicion and judgment will all fall on her. Yet no one really faults the fathers of kidnapped children for their poor parenting or blames them for the crime.
I also liked the way the book took care to make Lottie a less traditionally attractive child, and pointed out the many ways in which beautiful white children get media coverage and sympathy in kidnappings while so many children of color and also children who aren’t instantaneously seen as “beautiful” do not.
I thought the first 3/4 of this book was an extremely thoughtful, introspective, and sensitive examination of a flawed (as we all are) mother’s anguish over her child’s kidnapping. The mystery was extremely compelling throughout, with great misdirections and red herrings. Was the kidnapper someone Alexa and Lottie knew, or a total stranger?
The ending comes with a legitimately shocking twist and I can’t say I loved it. For me, there was one particular aspect of the ending twist that required a huge suspension of disbelief. (I think you’ll know it when you see it.) Nonetheless, this was a compelling and truly unputdownable read by a very talented and thoughtful writer. It was a 4 star plus read for me until the ending, which bumped it down to maybe a 3.75, but I still really enjoyed reading this thoughtful and timely book. Tess Stimson is now a writer whose books I will always read, blurb unseen - both this book and her last, One in Three, were so well-written and unputdownable. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.
With thanks to Avon, NetGalley and the author for this thoughtful page-turner!
This was my first netgalley read and I loved it! It was riveting and kept me guessing the entire time. With twists and turns throughout, I kept making guesses about the abductor but I was wrong every time. The ending threw me for a loop as well! Highly recommend this one.
Gripping, emotional read. Once immersed in it, it begs to be finished. Multiple red herrings but finally a true ending.
This was a page turner, and I finished the second half in one sitting this afternoon, because I had to know the ending (which is a shocker!)
Is Alex the perfect mother? No.
Does she love her daughter? Of course.
When three-year-old Lottie goes missing, despite police efforts and the overwhelming media coverage, months pass without her being found. What happened to little Lottie?
A great mystery with memorable characters, and a quick read you won’t want to miss. Unputdownable!
Thank you NetGalley for this advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
Wow.. I devoured this book in a few hours. Jam packed full of twists and turns, real on the edge of my seat reading. Loved all the characters and suspense. The ending was not expected. I will be recommending this to everyone.
I couldn't put this one down! I don't know where to begin with this thriller thrill ride. Twists and turns, surprises to keep you on the edge of your seat. Tess Stimson knows how to keep readers engaged. You feel like you are next to the main characters partaking in the activities.
I was riveted by this novel, when that moment where you realise you have lost sight of your child turns into days, then weeks, then years. Unthinkable fear and guilt. And was Alex a 'good mother'? Did her frustrations as she struggled to embrace motherhood and combine it with her career play a part in Lottie's disappearance? Alex has to rely on herself to continue the hunt for Lottie when it seems futile.
Read and reviewed in exchange for a free copy from NetGalley. I really enjoyed this, devouring it in less than a day. It was gripping right from the start, and there were out loud exclamations as new plot twists occurred. Whilst the narrative jumped a bit and events were sometimes unclear, I would thoroughly recommend this novel.
Wow what a great, yet heart breaking, story. This was so real to me when I was reading it that I could feel the pain, then the twists really blew me away!!
Thank you Netgalley and Tess Stimson for a copy of this title.
A fantastic read. I thought I knew the ending, then I didn't. This happened so many times that I gave up guessing and just enjoyed a good book.
Thank you Tess
Lottie is 3 years old and very grown up for her age. Alex, her mother is devoted to her, but suddenly, at a friend's wedding, Lottie is missing. Alex may not have been as attentive to the child as she should have been, but Lottie knows not to go off with strangers, doesn't she? Soon after much searching, the police turn their attention to Alex. What was this mother doing when her child went missing and who else was watching Lottie.
I enjoyed reading this book and it flowed well and held my attention and had a good surprise ending.
I thank the author, publisher and Netgalley for my ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Alex and her three year old daughter Lottie fly out to Florida for her best friend Marc’s wedding to Sian. During the post wedding celebrations Lottie goes missing and what ensues is a two year world wide search to find her daughter with Alex never giving up hope. The story is told by Alex and journalist Quinn who becomes obsessed with the story.
The inspiration for this novel comes from the real life case of Madeline McCann and the author mirrors judgements made on Alex’s career, parenting and reactions in the various forms of media in the narrative. Alex knows she’s not a perfect mother but she does love her daughter and this is not in question. Lottie is a pretty little girl but by no means an easy child which some of the excellent dialogue between mother and daughter bears witness to. This is a well written novel, the style is lively and engaging and I especially like the short, punchy chapters. The pace for much of the book is fast and there are good twists and red herrings to keep you constantly questioning, wondering and pondering! The portrayal of Alex is very good, her panic, terror, fear, guilt and culpability with added suspicion of the authorities and others is well done. The press firestorm is very good and we see Alex ripe for the picking as it becomes a tabloid worthy, red top headline story with all the ensuing speculation. Quinn is a great character too, a real larger than life personality with a terrific backstory. Her importance in the storytelling is a good call by the author as it allows for the inclusion of other overlooked missing children stories that take a back seat to those that do get the focus, usually pretty white girls like Lottie. I like the juxtaposition of Alex, a human rights lawyer confronting the white privilege in the story and I love how she fights back against those judgements and the steps she takes as a consequence. There is a good amount of breath taking tension in the first three quarters, there are some shocking jaw dropping discoveries and revelations as you go through this emotional rollercoaster read.
However, then we get to the ending and I’m sorry to say that I don’t like it much at all which is a real pity as up to this point it’s a five star read in my opinion. I just don’t buy it, there are too many far fetched and unbelievable elements and one persons involvement is far too left field for me to accept. After how authentic the rest of the book feels, it simply doesn’t fit.
Overall, until the ending this is a brilliant read and that’s what I’ll take away from it and I’ll always want to read Tess Stimson’s books.
With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Avon Books UK for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review
Alex and her daughter Lottie are having fun on the beach when suddenly Lottie vanishes,why did no one see what happened.This book had me gripped and well worth 5*
I would imagine that most parents at some time in their lives have experienced every parent's worst nightmare, the heart stopping moment when you are out somewhere and lose sight of one of your children. The overpowering emotions, fear, terror and panic as you frantically search from them, constantly calling their name. Then the immense feeling of relief when you find them again and wrap them in your arms, swearing never to let them out of your sight ever again. Now, imagine that you couldn't find your child, that they had just disappeared, vanished, gone, without a trace, no witnesses, no evidence, they were just simply....gone.
This incredible thriller is narrated predominantly from the perspective of Alexa Martini, a human rights lawyer and single mother to three year old Lottie (Charlotte) Alexa admits that although she loves her daughter, she has struggled to bond with her and has often felt that being a mother is a bit of a inconvenience. The last thing Alexa needs is to being flying to Florida to attend a lavish wedding but the groom is her friend Marc who had placed his own life in hold after the death of Alexa's husband. A wedding is supposed to signify the start of the newly weds lives together but for Alexa this wedding will mark the end of life as she knows it and the beginning of every parents worst nightmare. Sometime during the celebrations, Lottie disappears and Alexa finds herself plunged into the complex world of missing children, politics, paedophiles, the dark web and facing judgement from various aspects of the media and faceless trolls on the internet. As time passes, Alexa grows frustrated with the police investigation and starts her own desperate quest to find her daughter. A search that will push her to the limits mentally and cause her to be suspicious of everyone in her life, including her own family. There are people in Alexa's life who are not who they appear to be but could any of them have been involved in Lottie's disappearance? Would Alexa ever see her daughter again?
Alexa was a complex individual, who if I'm honest I liked a lot more by the end of the story than I did when she was first introduced into the story. I had to admire her determination to uncover what had happened to Lottie but there was also times when I had doubts about the reliability of her narrative. Could she have actually been involved in the disappearance of her daughter? Had Alexa done something horrific and blocked her actions from her mind? Was her search a clever rise to distract people from her own guilt?
Interspersed throughout the book was chapters that were voiced from the perspective of Quinn Wilde, a journalist who had been badly injured after a IED exploded beneath her jeep whilst she was in Syria. Quinn doesn't like human interest stories, she prefers the danger and excitement of being a war correspondent and she finds herself taking a instant dislike to Alexa Martini. But as time passes, she begins to suspect that there is more to Lottie's disappearance than the usual missing child case and becomes addicted to uncovering the truth. Quinn was a opinionated and very often not very likeable individual for the vast majority of the story but I did actually end up liking her by the time I finished the book.
Omg, wow....just wow, this book is absolutely bloody brilliant, it's a intricately plotted, cleverly written, character driven story that is packed full of twists,turns and red herrings, keeps me guessing and glued my kindle. There was numerous realistic characters who could have known what had happened to Lottie and the truth when it was revealed was a genuinely, unexpected mind blowing shock. I would love to watch a film adaptation of this addictive thriller, worth all the stars and more and very very highly recommended
Alexa is on her way to Florida for a wedding with her daughter, Lottie, who is a flower girl. After the wedding Alexa can't find Lottie and she has no idea when she actually went missing. Alexa will become a person of interest as well as many of the people in the story.
I suspected at one point who might have taken Lottie but abandoned that thread based on an early memory of Alexa. This is a story that will have many twists before the truth is revealed.
Oooh from the first page I was hooked. It's a gift to craft unsympathetic yet likeable characters and yet Stimson has achieved it with Stolen. We meet Alex, a 20 something lawyer who is single mum to Lottie. Lottie is three going on thirty - precocious and full of sass. The duo are in Florida for Alex's best friend's wedding. When Lottie goes missing Alex's nightmare begins. Her media portrayal is far from sympathetic and the twists and turns had me on the edge of my seat as Alex's battles to find out what happened to Lottie. Superbly crafted, clever read from an extremely talented author.
Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for providing this ARC for my honest review.
This story gripped me from the very beginning. I was eager to know what happened to Lottie even though I wasn't happy with the ending. Highly recommend!!
This was a wild ride that kept me guessing until the end. It centers on single mom Alex who attends a wedding in Florida with her 3-year-old daughter Lottie when the unthinkable happens; Lottie disappears.
This was one of those books where the author throws red herring after red herring at you- I kept feeling clever for knowing I had figured it out to being thrown by the next twist. The ending was a huge surprise to me, but made total sense after I digested it.
The story was fast-paced and kept me reading well into the night. Alex was a very human character who wasn't perfect and knew it- I appreciated that she felt very real to me, even if that meant I was sometimes frustrated with her.
Overall, I would recommend this book to those who like mysteries and psychological thrillers- get ready to lose sleep while you keep turning pages! Thanks to Netgalley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Firstly thank you to net galley for letting me read this early arc of Tess Stimsons next release.
Ive read a few of Tess' books before and like when i read those, this one did not disappoint.
The story is of 3 year old Lottie who whilst on holiday with her mum, disappears. Its every parents worst nightmare. I cant even begin to imagine how it would feel. Fast forward over 2 years and Lottie still hasnt been found. This is where all the twists and turns happen. I genuinely didnt see it coming and i tried so hard throughout the book to work out who it was that took her but i just couldnt figure it out. I thought id worked it out a few times, but i was qrong and thats what Tess wanted you to think was happening in my opinion, amd it worked because i had no clue. It kinda shows that you really do need to be careful who you trust because actually, those closest to you, sometimes might not be who you think. This is definitely one to look out for, i thoroughly enjoyed it. I definitely recommend
Stolen by Tess Stimson is a tour de force of intrigue, and you will want to devour it in a single session. I am always emotionally drawn to a story with a missing child at its centre, and I was completely captivated by this one from the very start.
Alex is a single mother travelling with her three year old daughter Lottie from the UK to Florida to attend a friend's nuptials. Lottie is a difficult child, and that assessment is me being exceptionally kind. When Lottie goes missing from the wedding reception while her mother is indisposed, Alex questions just how effective she is as a mother, despite the fact that Lottie is her entire world. The desperate race is on to find little Lottie before it is too late.
Ms Stimson has crafted a tale that is a whirlwind of twists and turns, and you will be left breathless.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Avon Books UK for an ARC.
Crikey reading this book has taken up my days and nights for 3 days! I couldn't stop reading it. I liked the background, the fact that Alex didn't find motherhood easy. That doesn't mean she didn't love her daughter Lottie who is kidnapped when she is 3. Alex cannot stop looking for her and sees her everywhere she goes. Surely if she was dead Alex would feel it. The story is full of twists and turns and you think you have an idea who is involved to then suddenly going down a different route. I loved it!
This book preyed on my worst fear as a mother. You think your child is safe and when you turn around she’s gone. The not knowing, never giving up that sliver of hope. This book was gut wrenching at times. It followed a winding road of hope and despair and suspense. The characters were fantastic and the plot was well done. So many times I thought I figured out whodunit only to be wrong. An absolute gem of a read
You can join the rest of the World, as sympathy turns to judgment of Alexa Martini.
The story is immediately engaging as a refreshingly imperfect mother, Alex, and her shall we say “willful” three year old daughter, Charlotte Perpetua Martini, are traveling from London to Florida for a destination beach wedding.
Alex is friends with the groom and little “Lottie” is to serve as a bridesmaid-her role-one of the flower girls.
All goes surprisingly well, and the adult guests are enjoying cocktails, dancing and other activities, while the little girls, all dressed in pink, are running around at the closed event.
So, how did Lottie disappear without a trace?
The investigation begins locally, but soon becomes a Worldwide search after the U.S. President mentions what happened to the young tourist in a speech he is giving. Compared to the earlier (real life) case of Madeleine McCann, this makes Lottie’s disappearance seem like it could be an actual case as well.
As more details emerge, Public Opinion becomes divided with some continuing to think that what happened is tragic, while many decide to use the case as a referendum on Alex’s mothering-and still others use it to start a conversation about if children of color, and/or those less affluent, receive as much media attention.
Taking up the charge, is a former war correspondent-a journalist named Quinn, who becomes obsessed with the case.
For MOST of the book, I was completely enthralled, despite this trope being overused.
I felt Alex’s despair and the misdirection kept me intrigued which is why I am giving this 3.5 ⭐️rounded up instead of down.
Unfortunately (SIGH) I do agree with the other early reviews-the ending which could’ve been believable, went too far, and became pretty implausible-disappointing me after what had been an otherwise entertaining and credible story.
First publication expected on August 5, 2021.
Thank You to Avon Books for the gifted ARC provided through NetGalley. It was my pleasure to offer a candid review!
A suspenseful read that was hard to put down! The unthinkable happened to Alex, her daughter disappeared into thin air during a wedding when she decided to fulfill her own needs and trust her daughter to be watched by other attendees. She had to live with that decision and live with the horror of what could of happened to her daughter. The media has a field day and years later an unlikely friendship with a journalist may be the best thing to happen to her. The twists and turns will have you at the edge of your seat!
Alex Martini and her headstrong 3 year old daughter, Lottie are attending the wedding of Alex's best friend in Florida. Lottie is to be one of the bridesmaids. The day of the wedding, Lottie disappears and nobody seems to know what happened.
This was a good book. It kept me guessing the whole time and halfway through we are thrown a curveball that unravels everything we had thought was happening. I definitely did not see that coming and I enjoyed it. The author knows how to keep you on your toes. The ending was nothing like I imagined and was satisfying. I definitely recommend this book and am excited to read more by this author.
Thank you to Netgalley and Avon Books UK for the ARC of this book!
This book drew me in from the very beginning. Every mother's fear, you turn your back for a minute and your child is missing. Poor Alex is a working mother with a willful child. Is she not allowed to have a life of her own just because she's a mother? She's at a wedding surrounded by friends with security bracelets required to go in and out of the gate. She asks friends to keep an eye on her child while she sneaks off to have a little fling. It is a wedding. Is she not allowed to have any fun? Evidently not since her child goes missing. What happened to Lottie? Who took her? How did she go missing from a security-enforced party? Will she ever be found? I never did guess who took Lottie. Stolen is a great book I loved it!
Wow Stolen is the first book from Tess Stimson I have read and after this I will be looking at the others that she has written. This is a gripping read, which I was hooked from the start.
Alex is a Criminal rights lawyer and has a year 3-year-old girl called Lottie. She is also a widow. Her husband Luca died in a freak accident in Genoa the previous year when a bridge collapsed. Luca was the main carer for Lottie while Alex went to work. So, when he died, she has struggled to bring her up. Alex does love Lottie, but Luca was better looking after her.
Alex’s friends Marc and Sian decide to get married in Florida and asks Lottie to be bridesmaid who Lottie doesn’t really want to do. But when they get to Florida on the beautiful beach Lottie seems happy But, when she is with the other bridesmaid she seems to be enjoying in the fun. So, she disappears with one of the make guests. She is single after all. They have sex. At the same time her daughter disappears.
It is a mother’s worse nightmare when their child disappears. The police arrive and starts search. The media gets involved which starts a media frenzy to find Lottie. Even the President makes an appeal. Is she alive of dead? But they all lead to dead ends, but Alex does not give up.
Thank you, Avon, for a copy of Stolen. This was a gripping unputdownable thriller of how far you would go to find your missing child. This is not your typical missing child story it is quite different to others I have read. There is a lot of twists and turns. Also questioning the competency of the mother involved and the way the media conducts themselves in this situation. It also had a hint of Madeline McCann story in it as well. And the ending??... You will have to find out about that when you read it yourself.
Have you ever had so much yard work to do that neighbors were giving you the side-eye? That's where I found myself this weekend. But they'll have to keep giving me the stink eye because I could not pull myself away from this book!
This twisty, riveting story of an abducted young girl breathes new and refreshing life into this crowded troupe. I loved how the author was able to dive deep into the impacts to the mother who lost her child - was she a bad person or just unfortunate?
The author blended in many realistic angles like the vileness of public opinion, the ruthlessness of the media, and the shameful truth about race when it comes to resources for missing children searches.
The ending is a bit OTT but I think fully plausible in Thriller World where we can suspend belief just a little. My only criticism is the character motivations behind the ending were quite weak.
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for an ARC of this book. #Stolen #NetGalley
Pub date: 8/5/21
Wow my head is all over place what a fantastic read my heart was pounding throughout the book as I just couldn’t figure out what was going to happen it was breathtaking !
This really is one fast paced twisted read and quite a number of times I though I had things figured out and was oh so wrong and I loved that I was. I read a lot of thrillers so when you come across a book that completely blindsides you it’s a wonderful feeling and all praise to Tess Stimson for the superb writing that sent me down so many wrong paths.
I don’t rehash the plot you can read that in the overview but basically it’s a missing child story or so I thought because really it was a whole lot more than that and that’s what made it special. I thought halfway through the read I knew what was going on but then bang all my working out the plot moments were turned upside down and I had no clue as where this book was going and as I said that’s what made this a 5 star read and one I really can highly recommend.
Many thanks to Tess Stimson for a twisted and wonderful read I loved it.
My thanks also to NetGalley and Avon Books UK for giving me the chance to read the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
A cleverly plotted novel giving a real sense of a mother’s loss when a child goes missing.
Easy to read with twists and turns along the way to an unexpected ending.
My thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for an advance copy in return for an honest review.
Thank you Avon Books and NetGalley for a WHOA WHAT JUST HAPPENED book!!!! Stolen has soooooooooo many Twists, I still can’t wrap my head around this novel, I do NOT like reading anything about kids being missing but this was done in a way that is unputdownable!!! This book kept me Riveted! WOW WOW WOW!!!!
Stolen was a good read, I felt the panic and horror that Alex went through and the journey she went through on her search for Lottie. I marked it down a star as I felt the plot got a little silly at the end.
Alex Martini and her 3-year old daughter, Lottie, travel from London to Florida to attend the wedding of Alex’s friend, Marc. Everything is going swimmingly until Lottie disappears during the reception.
The authorities are quickly brought in, and the story of missing Lottie swiftly makes the news. As the media and public are quick to take sides on whether they think Alex is involved in her daughter’s disappearance, or a bad mother regardless, Alex has one thing on her mind: Finding out who took Lottie and what happened to her.
The case eventually makes international news, and while more leads come in, more suspicion also falls on Alex.
She decides that nothing will stop her from trying to find her daughter, no matter how long it takes.
This is such an engrossing and pretty original take on the missing/kidnapped child trope, and I really enjoyed it up to about 80% of the way. It touches on social media/news media slandering, support based on race, and the hardships of a working woman raising a child on her own. I couldn’t wait to see how it all came together.
However, while the ending had a twist I didn’t see coming, it was such a colossal letdown. It was implausible and didn’t match the tone of the rest of the book. In addition, it made me realize there were a few plot holes in other parts of the story.
Overall, I’d still recommend this as Tess Stimson is a fantastic author and it could’ve easily been a 4 or 5 star read.
3.5 stars rounded up because loving a book 4/5 of the way through is better than the alternative.
Thank you to Avon Books UK for providing me with a widget for the ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Review also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com
I love Tess Stimson as an author and read many of her books. Stolen did not disappoint me as a reader. As a mother myself I did find the novel hard to read at times, as Tess's writing is very relatable. As other reviews point out this is very similar to Madeline McCann's disappearance and involves very sensitive issues.
We meet Alex and her daughter, who is three (Lottie). Alex and Lottie are at a friends wedding when the awful thing happens, which is little Lottie is taken. This is such a heart breaking read and made me feel uncomfortable at times but I love the way that Tess Stimson's characters actually come alive when you read them and you are in the midst of the story.
The story is fast paced, and I read the novel within 2 days as I just wanted to know what had happened to Lottie. The unexpected twist at the end really threw me off as I was not expecting it, but I do enjoy a read where the ending is not what you thought it was going to be.
A great read, very well wrote and a gripping tale.
Thanks to NetGalley, Tess Stimson and the publisher for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
A really well plotted story about a missing child and a mother's fight to get her back.
This is a book that you can’t stop reading once you start - such a page turner - It’s really well-paced and the chapters move freely from one thrill and twist to the next which builds up to a cracking ending.
I was pleasantly surprised about this book. I liked it more than I thought I would. The author is definitely a talented storyteller. The story kept me glued and it got better the more I read. It had enough twists to keep me entertained. Quinn's story was very interesting to me. She was my favorite character. I look forward to this author's next book.
I’ve been in a book funk for months, the worst in many years where all I could do was read a few pages and get bored. Well Tess Stimson has made me one happy lady. Stolen gripped me from the very first page and kept me intrigued until the very last.
This novel was everything I could possibly wish for. There’s so many twists and turns and kept me guessing until the very end.
Tess is a fabulous writer. I’d highly recommend this and can’t wait to delve into another one of her novels.
Having read many novels by Tess Stimpson in the past I was eagerly anticipating an enjoyable read in the novel ‘Stolen’ – and was absolutely not disappointed!
This is a fast paced novel with that trademark sass that any fans of Tess Stimson’s writing will be well accustomed to! Characters are likeable, quirky, relatable and very well portrayed. The story felt original and gratifyingly twisty in parts.
The plot centres around Alex a lawyer and mum to three year old Lottie, a spirited child who tests Alex to her limit. We learn that Alex’ ex-husband Luca tragically died a year previously. The unthinkable happens when Alex attends a wedding. The story that unfolds tells of the devastation that Alex feels in the aftermath of events that are suggested by title of this novel. To avoid spoilers I will not share any more of the plot, only to say that it is WELL worth being read!
This book has it all humour, angst, grit, mystery - it most definitely delivers on ‘bang for your buck’!
My thanks to author, NetGalley and publisher for the opportunity to review this novel in exchange for an advance copy.
Great suspense novel. Had a few great twists that really surprised me. Loved the ending.
Alex is a single mom of Lottie. Lottie is a precocious little three year old. At Alex's best friend's wedding, every mom's worse fears come to light, Lottie has disappeared. The path to finding what happened to Lottie kept me turning the pages.
I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
I have read and loved Stimson’s previous novels and a third of the way through I felt this was her best so far. The grief and rage of Alex seems so real, raw and authentic after baby Lottie goes missing at a destination wedding. British reads can’t help but see the real life Maddie MCCann in this story that becomes an international media sensation and the underserved blame on the professional working mother. Halfway through, I was reading a five star book and completely riveted by the writing and couldn’t wait to get to the conclusion and tried to figure it out when I was driving, shopping etc - that’s how involved I was. Five star couldn’t recommend it more review coming up. Then the ending happened. I had to reread it twice. This should not be the ending. I wish it had stopped about 20 pages before it did. I’m all for a surprise big twist at the end, but not this one. It negated the exquisite writing, wonderful character development and Alex and Lottie deserve a different wrap up. Four stars with a heavy heart.
Alex is attending her best friend's destination wedding with her daughter Lottie. Alex left the majority of parenting to Lottie's Dad, but he died unexpectedly and now she is a single mother trying to navigate motherhood alone.
When Lottie goes missing her world is turned upside down naturally, but can she get her back?
A taut and uncomfortable thriller. Really excellent writing.
“Grief is the price we pay for love.”
Three-year-old Lottie Martini vanished from a wedding reception at upmarket Sandy Beach Hotel on a private barrier island off the coast of St. Pete Beach while her mother, 29-year-old Alexa, was chatting with guests just yards away. Lottie had just performed her duties as a flower girl at the wedding of a family friend when she was snatched.
This is a wild ride. Fasten your seatbelts. You know that feeling when you get off a ride at an amusement park and you’re dizzy and struggle to walk aright…yet you are on stable land and on two feet?! That’s exactly how I feel now that I’ve turned over the final page in this nail-biting thriller.
Things that make this a great thriller:
- Tess Stimson has thrown in more red herrings than Pike Place Market has available! Just when I thought I had figured out who’d taken Lottie, Stimson pulled my feet out from under me.
- she gave me a glimpse into the mind of the abductor. It was just enough to creep me out but not enough for me to understand ‘who’ or ‘why’ or ‘how.’
- The newspaper articles and interviews, reporting the abduction, instantly created an atmosphere of suspense and intrigue.
- The isolated setting at the ocean added weight and atmosphere to the story.
- A cute ‘n sassy blond three-year-old vulnerable character
- A bereft and vulnerable mother who experiences growth and will fight all odds
- Mind-numbing anticipation
- Multiple points of view helped me get inside the story
- The beginning of each chapter notes the years, months, and days that Lottie had been missing and this suspense build-up takes the story to the next level
Things I struggled with:
-Suspending my belief to accept an unrealistic plot twist
What should have been a perfect day, turned into the perfect nightmare. Tess Stimson makes sure you’ll never see the final twist coming in this fantastic psychological thriller!
Publishes August 5, 2021
I was gifted this advance copy by Tess Stimson, Avon Books UK, and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review. “Grief is the price we pay for love.”
#stolen by @tessstimson
Ooo how I do love a book that can surprise you! I was utterly convinced I had this one worked out and well turns out I didn’t!
This book is really well written, every little clue (and some red herrings) are worked out and planted neatly throughout the story which really gets your mind working; who did it? What’s going to happen now? Who can you trust?
I found the authors splitting of the narrative between main narrator/character Alex and the kidnapper really worked - it broke up the book and added fire to the mystery and suspicion that was rife throughout.
The author did a really great job with the characters too. She made you love them, then hate them, feel sorry for them and then back around again. By doing this, she cast everyone under the net of suspicion at some point and this meant that not only your trust but your emotions were thrown into working out what was actually going on. A really clever way of writing. I couldn’t put this one down, loved it!
This is my third book by this author and I must say I’m eagerly wanting more! 🙏
With thanks to author #tessstimson, #avonbooks and #netgalley for allowing us to read this one early!
Released: August 5th
Thanks to Tess Stimson, Avon books UK and netgalley for the advanced digital copy in exchange for my fair and honest opinions. Book release date 5th Aug.
Alex has a very difficult 3 year old daughter called Lottie. So going to florida for her best friend's, Mark's wedding it's not something she's looking forward to. Things go from bad to worse when Lottie goes missing during the wedding reception and no one seems to have witnessed anything, the police think she might have wondered off into the sea but Alex knows Lottie has a fear of water and there's no way she would never go with a stranger. This begs the question, did she know the person whose taken her daughter?
This book is so well written. We know what Alex is doing when her daughter goes missing and it's not the most sympathetic thing. However we also know that even if her daughter annoys her she loves her more than life.
I found it fascinating because I honestly had no idea who has taken her or worse if she's alive.
The book really highlights racial injustice when it comes to publicity around middle class white missing children. They even make reference to real life missing Maddie. There are a lot of parallels and yet its done with respect. I found that this book really highlights this as well.
We follow Alex and we follow the journalist (I have forgotten her name).
The way the book is written is fantastic I must say. We follow the kidnapper, the mother and the journalist as well as a few others throughout the story. Well let me just say my mind was blown at more than one point. The book also spans over almost 3 years. I was wandering how well this could be done it turns out extremely well!!!
Alex is an interesting character because she's not a sympathetic one. Many people would say you should of kept an eye on your daughter others can argue there was a whole group of them and she asked her friends to look after her. I think it highlights as well the struggle of motherhood it's not all sunshine and roses but that doesn't mean a mother doesn't love their child. She is still grieving the loss of her husband. The police don't trust her so she is left to do her own investigation. She knows her daughters alive she just wants to find out where. She is never going to give up the search.
All in all this is a very hard book to write an indepth review about because its very easy to write spoilers every accidently. What i will say is if you like a good thriller and a great mystery this is the book you! It's so well written and pretty much all go from the start. I loved this book and in my top 5 thrillers of this year. 5 stars 🌟
Thriller that already have a place on “fav in 2020” shelf.
This story is so twisted and unpredictable that this book keeps me up all night long.
As a mother I felt heartbroken. The feeling when you cannot find your child is a parent’s worth nightmare. And when it turned out to be kidnapped? That completely different. The panic, fear; it is impossible describe what is going to in mother mind in such a situation.
Especially, when the investigation went public and Alex is judged. Was she a good mother? How is it possible to leave 3 years old for her own on the weeding? All her past are in the flesh.
Stolen is a masterpiece. Well-written where every chapter is a encourage to read more, to immerse in this story and lost yourself in these pages. There are no black and whites, but many various perspective and view. The same with the characters - they complex and it’s easy to misjudge them.
And the final? Omg, That was a surprise! I would never ever expected that! Well done!
Twist I didn't see coming. Perfectly shows the anguish a mother faces when her child goes missing and everything she will do to try and get her back.
Things was a great read from beginning till the end. Only got better as the story went on.
Thanks to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for an early release of this book.
WOW!! What a read, it will keep you on the edge of your seat. This book is full of emotions, twists and turns and will keep you guessing until the end. Once you start reading this book you won't be able to put it down. Thank you Avon Books UK via NetGalley for the complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book. I don’t think I have the right words for this book. It was absolutely amazing, it had me on edge from the start to the end. Every time I thought right I know who took lottie I couldn’t have been more wrong. The storyline and characters where brilliant, except for Sian and mark I didn’t like them at all. I had a feeling about him. Coming closer to the end I had a feeling about Luca. This book kept me up into the wee hours because I needed to know who had her and also if she would be found. This book was heartbreaking and twisty. The end got me the twist was unreal. Very well written and though out. If only every missing child could be found like that.
What is every mother's nightmare will be? When your own child disappears in the middle of the crowd and you have no idea how your child disappeared and then fingers start pointing at you for being an irresponsible mother. That's what happened to Alex Martini.
The story starts with Alex Martini coming to attend her friend's Marc's wedding in Florida with her three year old, Lottie. Then when Alex went on a brief rendezvous with a stranger on the beach, Lottie goes missing. Things become like a circus when the media gets involved, all blaming Alex for being an irresponsible mother, with the whole world getting involved as well. Flash forward two years later, Alex is still dealing with Lottie's disappearance, not giving up on the search to find her.
The plot at first intrigued and fascinated me and from the beginning to the end I was so hooked into the book. Alex Martini maybe an irresponsible mother but then though I am not a mother, I could feel her emotions and feelings at her daughter's disappearance, as she has no idea what really happened to her beloved daughter and where in the world her daughter is and at the same time, dealing with personal issues at home. The story feels realistic as if this had happened in real life and I really like how the author managed to draw the reader into the story. So many viable suspects that you have no idea who could have kidnapped Lottie. Twists and turns in each chapter that will make you confused and the story is fast paced as well, which is a plus sign for a good psychological thriller. The ending was so unexpected that I actually see the ending coming, but nonetheless the whole story left me breathless, yearning me to want more and I didn' t put the book down as I want to know, what really happened to Lottie.
Overall, this is a fast paced thriller packed with actions, twists and turns that will keep you hooked from the beginning to the end! Worth five stars!
Many thanks to Netgalley and Avon for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion.
Alex's daughter is a flower girl at Marc & Sians wedding in Florida, after the wedding ceremony the guests move along the beach to the reception, except Lottie never gets there. In a split second Alex's life is turned upside down. The media soon start defaming Alex's character and it soon becomes apparent she doesn't know who to trust. With unlikely help from Quinn, a recovering alcoholic journalist Alex attempts to discover Lottie's disappearance.
This book is told through Alex and Quinn, it draws you in to read in one day as many chapters end on a cliffhanger
Despite having my suspicion on who the kidnapper was, I still enjoyed the storyline.
Many thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins UK for the advanced copy, my opinions are my own
What a great read! I liked that it seemed to be similar to real life incidents. Gripping and didn't expect what happened!
I know it is a cliché to say that you couldn’t put a book down, but that is the case with this book. Widow Alex, a much in demand solicitor with demanding clients is attending a wedding in Florida and is accompanied by her 3 year old daughter; a very strong, independent character, who is one of the five bridesmaids. The ceremony is conducted on the beach in front of the beautiful hotel. Lots of people: wedding party, tourists gawping at the bride and security on the gate separating beach from hotel. Alex goes to the beach with a tennis player who is a guest at the wedding to have sex. Four hours later they discover Lottie is missing. So begins Alex’s nightmare.
Clearly there are similarities to the Madelaine McCann abduction and this adds a further dimension to the plot which is well structured. Overall I thought the characters were well balanced, the tempo just right and the style of the writing very interesting.
All in all I thought this a really interesting story and was enthralled. My only negative thought is that towards the end I was speed-reading as I wanted to finish the book but also it felt a bit too contrived, not totally believable and all I bit rushed. That said, I have no hesitation in recommending it as a thoroughly good read.
Thank you to the author, publishers and NetGalley for providing an ARC via my Kindle in return for an honest review.
What a thrilling read that had me on the edge of my seat. When a little girl goes missing from a beach wedding the search begins and so does the questions, like where was the mother when the girl was taken?
The story is written from two points of views the mothers and a journalist who you can say has an obsession with the case. If you like kidnapping thrillers you need to get your hands on this book. The twist will have you jaw dropping.
Thanks Net Galley for the advance copy!
Copy kindly received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book was a really interesting read, and you could picture some of the events happening in real life. I was surprised by something things that happened in it.
Wowser! I didn't see all of that coming. It's been a while since I last read a book by Tess Stimson and thus had forgotten just how impressive her storytelling is.
I was completely hooked in with the prologue and spent a bit of the book wondering just how it fitted in, as we learn of Lottie's disappearance.
I liked how it was likened to the Madeleine McCann real life disappearance, and there are all sorts of matters touched on, that had me thinking.
It really is every parent's worst nightmare, taking your eyes off your child for a few moments and them not being there afterwards. It is shocking to see that a child can disappear from a wedding when there are so many people around.
At first it was hard to really like Alex, her initial very honest thoughts of of motherhood, but it soon becomes apparent how much she really does care about Lottie, and how the not knowing where Lottie is, or if she is still alive or not being the hardest thing to cope with. Her tireless efforts to keep the story in the press and the search afoot were incredibly heartening to see.
At points during the book I pretty much suspected everyone at being involved and what is clear is Alex's anguish is real. As is the pain of anyone else in a similar situation.
I really quite enjoyed the chapters from Quinn's point of view, she is troubled with her demons, but also quite determined.
I was reading the last quarter on the tube and it was a miracle I got off at the right stop as I was so engrossed in the story.
Truly wonderful and gripping that I was utterly hooked on.
Thank you to Avon and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
Stolen by Tess Stimson
This is a book about every parents nightmare, your young child going missing.
Alex is attending her best friends wedding and her beautiful daughter Lottie who is just four is also at the wedding as a flowergirl .
Whilst Lottie is still missing an international search is taking place , and Alex's life is being investigated to see if the abductor could be close to home and someone know to Alex.
I loved the way the book kept you on the edge of your seat, suspecting one character and then the next.
Tess Stimson does not disappoint with the book. Very good.
OMG there are so many twists and turns in this book. It started off idyllically with a wedding paradise. and then turned gritty, emotional, and mysterious, Alex was not a very likeable character but her determination , to find her daughter changed my perspective about her a little. The supporting characters were very sympathetic either and each one would seem to have a motive, The story moved along a good pace, it did not drag at all and the conclusion was mind blowing. Trust n one!
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for this ARC.
This is my first read by this author and if her other books are like this I’ll definitely be looking to read them. I really, really enjoyed this book. It grabbed my attention right away and just didn’t let go. This book is about every parents worst nightmare - the disappearance of their child. Lottie disappears when at a wedding with her mum Alex, and suspicion immediately falls on Alex. Wow, this book is a cracker of a read. I didn’t initially like Alex although her character did grow more on me the further I read. She is a strong character who leaves no stone unturned trying to find her daughter. It had twist after twist after twist and was such a well written and thrilling read. I loved the authors writing style and that parts of the story were told through the different characters, and at one point it seemed every character was hiding something and I thought I knew who had taken Lottie and was wrong. The final reveal wowed me, I was not expecting that and I found I had so much empathy for Alex and I thought the ending was good and it tied up all loose ends. I’ll be looking at this authors other books and hope they are as good as this one was.
I love Tess Stimson’s writing and this novel was another corker. More twists and turns than you can shake a stick at. A skilfully woven tale that keeps delivering right till the end.
Oh my goodness - so glad my children are teenagers now. This could have been so easily happened to any of working mothers.
There was so many twists and turns and I thought I had worked it out but then I hadn't and the ending was absolutely brilliant
I was given an advance copy by netgalley and the publishers but the review is entirely my own.
A real page-turner from start to finish, I rarely use the 'couldn't put it down' cliché, but in this case it's true. Stimson's characters are rich, deep and generally unlikeable, but this is why it works - you're rooting for the main character, but she's flawed enough for you to never quite be on her side. There's a HUGE twist at the end that I didn't see coming. All in all, a great summer read.
This is my first book by this author. What a suspenseful read! I was kept guessing until the very end! Loved the characters, the storyline, everything was sooo intriguing! I can't wait to read more books by her!! What an ending! You must read this book!
Wow! What a roller-coaster of a read, I didn't see a lot of it coming, especially the end!
This is the first book I've read by Tess Stimson, but after reading this all her past books have gone on my TBR list, what a really great read, a real page-turner, I couldn't put it down.
Alex is a single mother to Lottie and the story centres around the wedding of her best friend in Florida, where everyone has gathered to celebrate the happy event and Lottie is one of the bridesmaids. Alex is a hard character to like initially and you're never quite sure if she actually likes her 'spiky' daughter or not, they certainly clash a lot even though Lottie is only 3 years old. Lottie was definitely her father's daughter and Alex was the career woman, but he died in a bridge collapse tragedy the year before.
Then whilst Alex is off enjoying herself with a guy at the wedding, and thinks her daughter is with all the other bridesmaids, Lottie goes missing and a worldwide hunt to find her ensues. Of course the press pull everyone's life apart, as usual, and Alex goes from victim to neglectful mother when Lottie still isn't found and the case drags on for 2 years.
There are so many twists and turns in this story you really don't know who to trust and who is telling the truth. Every time I thought I'd figured out what had happened another twist happened and I was wrong again, and this happened right until the very dramatic end of the story.
Fabulous read that I would highly recommend, just leave enough time to read in one sitting if you can!
I think I have just read the book of the year. This one certainly is a page turner.. Fantastic plot and superb characters just add to the quality of the book. If your someone who likes “didn’t see that coming moments “ then this is for you.
Alex is a single mum to tempestuous little Lottie. She hasn’t taken easily to motherhood. Her ex husband Luca died in a freak accident leaving her sole carer. Trouble starts on board a plane to Florida for the beach wedding of Alex’s best friend Marc. Lottie does nothing but play up. All the other passengers she is a fraught mother.
A couple of days later at the wedding Lottie goes missing. Made all the worse because at the time Alex was having a steamy sex session on the beach.
Alex is portrayed as a bad mother especially by a war zone reporter Quinn who is sent to cover the disappearance. Everyone at the pre wedding meal the night before (who become known as the Twelve Apostles) come under suspicion. But ultimately Alex is cast as the bad mother. Days turn to weeks, then months then years.
Is everything as it seems? Does Alex know more than she’s letting on and are any of the wedding party involved. Or was it just a case of someone was in the right place at the right time to take Lottie.
In the book there are lots of references to real life abductions. This only adds to the plot as this could really happen.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to see an arc of this book.
This book had me hooked from the first page as Alex struggled to cope with her difficult and demanding 3 year old daughter. It starts off as a child kidnapping but then t