Gone Astray – Michelle Davies

What if someone thinks they deserve their life more than you?

When a Lesley Kinnock buys a lottery ticket on a whim, it changes her life more than she could have imagined . . .

Lesley and her husband Mack are the sudden winners of a £15 million Euro Millions jackpot. They move with their 15-year-old daughter Rosie to an exclusive gated estate in Buckinghamshire, leaving behind their ordinary lives – and friends – as they are catapulted into wealth beyond their wildest dreams.

But it soon turns into their darkest nightmare when, one beautiful spring afternoon, Lesley returns to their house to find it empty: their daughter Rosie is gone.

DC Maggie Neville is assigned to be Family Liaison Officer to Lesley and Mack, supporting them while quietly trying to investigate the family. And she has a crisis threatening her own life – a secret from the past that could shatter everything she’s worked so hard to build.

As Lesley and Maggie desperately try to find Rosie, their fates hurtle together on a collision course that threatens to end in tragedy . . .

Money can’t buy you happiness.

The truth could hurt more than a lie.

One moment really can change your life forever.

 

This is a story about a family that have lost their way after winning 15Million on the Euro Millions. The dynamics of their tight unit have drifted apart leaving them exposed as three individuals all living in the same, very large, house less communication and trust. Winning money isn’t everything and doesn’t necessarily make you happy.

The plot for Gone Astray was brilliant, a fast paced thriller based on a very real life event with genuine realistic scenarios that quickly become out of control and underhand. The characters are few but strong and individual all with a great foundation and back history, I particularly enjoyed discovering how all of the characters fit together and were interlinked.

Alongside the main plot were smaller sub stories that worked very well in conjunction to the main plot drawing characters forward, introducing them to the limelight manipulating the reader into playing the ultimate guessing game of ‘why are they involved’ and ‘how do they fit in’ the sub plot with Mack and his ex girlfriend was particularly clever.

I felt that Lesley Kinnock played her part exceptionally well, the harrowing emotional descriptions that Lesley went through were heart wrenching and the more we read about how she felt the more we felt her isolation and pain.

The ‘big win’ left Lesley feeling it was ruining her life, slowly removing her emotionally away from her husband as she watched his ego inflate and finally the cruel blow of spiriting away her only child to the hands of a cold blooded murderer all for the sake of money.

The story also highlighted some very key issues surrounding young teenage girls, sexually related situations and the break down of relationships. Very true life events that can happen to just about any of us.

My favourite character was DC Maggie Neville, as Family Liaison Officer she did an excellent job with the scenes constructed accurately but with the empathy towards the needs of the family, an FLO plays such an important part within any investigation for those left worrying and living through the crucial days after the event and personally these parts of the novel were written expertly. Through Michelle Davies we got to witness what happens when a child goes missing and how things affect the family still in search behind the scenes. The research around this subject matter was very thorough and accurate.

I read a few chapters in the dead of the night, that time when nothing stirs and the atmosphere hangs in heavy silence. It put a different spin on the content which I found disturbing to read in the small hours, again a clever piece of writing. I hope there will be more from Michelle Davies, I enjoyed her novel and would like to visit DC Maggie Neville again with a new set of characters and a new storyline. This is a book I recommend.

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