The Nowhere Child – Christian White

NOVELS about missing children are ten-a-penny and have to be pretty special to stand out from the crowd.

This one certainly is, turning a tried-and-tested premise into a highly readable, original story thanks to great plotting, believable characters and an atmospheric setting.

The big twist – when it comes in the final chapters – hits us from left field but is perfectly logical.

Kim Leamy is living happily in Australia near her half-sister and stepdad when she receives a visit from a stranger.

The man has for years been searching for a little girl called Sammy Went who vanished long ago in the USA – and he believes Kim is that girl.

The claim turns Kim’s life upside down, and she has no choice but to head to the small US town to meet her alleged relatives and find out the truth.

The story switches between the present day and the days following Sammy’s disappearance, as a deeply religious community comes to terms with the trauma.

There’s deadly danger in the present-day for Kim as various townsfolk try to hide the truth of what happened to Sammy

David Knights