A family held captive by their father and a mother who may not be all that she seems, Dear Child is a uniquely haunting experience that constantly shifts the reader’s perceptions as it moves towards a pulsating finale.
Waterstones Thriller of the Month for January 2021
A windowless shack in the woods. Lena's life and that of her two children follows the rules set by their captor, the father: meals, bathroom visits, study time are strictly scheduled and meticulously observed. He protects his family from the dangers lurking in the outside world and makes sure that his children will always have a mother to look after them.
One day Lena manages to flee - but the nightmare continues. It seems as if her tormentor wants to get back what belongs to him. And then there is the question whether she really is the woman called 'Lena', who disappeared without a trace over thirteen years ago. The police and Lena's family are all desperately trying to piece together a puzzle that doesn't quite seem to fit.
Publisher: Quercus Publishing
Number of pages: 368
Weight: 294 g
Dimensions: 196 x 128 x 28 mm
'A chilling, original and mesmerizing work. Hausmann is a force to be reckoned with. You can't stop reading' - David Baldacci
'A peerless exercise in suspense . . . Whether treated as a study in trauma and identity or a dark, well-crafted crime narrative from multiple perspectives, it is a nail-biting fare' - Barry Forshaw, Financial Times
'Claustrophobic, terrifying and fiercely compelling, this is heartbreaking' - Daily Mail
'Dear Child is an accomplished thriller, beautifully written, intriguing and very compelling' - Peter James
'I read Dear Child in one sitting, holding my breath. Such a gripping, suspenseful and beautifully written debut. I loved it!' - Jo Spain, author of The Confession
'Hausmann makes you care about her characters even while they keep you guessing' - Sunday Express
'Told from multiple viewpoints which gives a satisfying complexity . . . An intelligent and original book' - Sunday Independent
'Equal parts mystery, thriller and family story . . . [A] tantalizingly disturbing debut . . . the overall experience is as enthralling as it is thought-provoking. Hausmann creates a dark solar system studded with twinkling stars . . . At the core of Dear Child is the constant hope that characters will be drawn back to people who mean the most to them, no matter how far apart they've been pulled. That glint of optimism is the light guiding readers as they fly through this book' - New York Times
'German bestseller Dear Child by Romy Hausmann is tipped to be one of the UK's must-reads of the summer' - S Magazine
'One of the best thrillers I've read this year. Flawlessly plotted with a pace that refuses to let the reader come up for air - not that you'd want to' - Stephanie Wrobel, author of The Recovery of Rose Gold
'Wow! Such a disturbingly good read. Romy's knack of getting under a character's skin is impressive. I loved it' - Lesley Kara, author of The Rumour
'If you read only one thriller this year, choose this one. Room meets Gone Girl in this gripping novel, which will haunt you long after the last page' - Alice Feeney, author of Sometimes I Lie
'Outstanding . . . The multiple points of view and numerous plot twists sustain the breakneck pacing, but the book's real power lies in the author's insightful and sensitive portrayal of the characters involved in the tragedy. This darkly disturbing thriller definitely marks Hausmann as a writer to watch.' - Publishers Weekly
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“What a book!”
I had the opportunity to read this book ahead of its publishing date thanks to Quercus Books and Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.
What a book! I’ve started reading it in the evening. I didn’t sleep. I only... More
“A twist to the genre”
A different angle on the abduction and abuse thriller genre.
When daughter Lena goes missing, her father Matthias does everything in his power to trace her. However, when a woman calling herself Lena turns up with a... More
I'm in two minds about this book. The first part was very good and kept my interest but the latter part didn't seem as good . The ending was ok not really surprising. I have read other books in this genre... More
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