I have so many questions! The first being: why had I no idea that this story is related to the author’s first book, Till the Dust Settles? Can I even review I Know Where You Live properly, not having read its predecessor? Well, I’m going to give it my best shot. I have to warn you though: I will get into some bits that could be spoilers, but it’s either that, or I just tell you simply that this book was bad, case closed.
I Know Where You Live by Pat Young
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Published: 1st March, 2018 (expected)
Series: Not specified
Penny believes she’s being watched. Yet no one should know where she lives.
Penny seizes the chance of a new life for her family when her husband is offered a job in Europe.
At the airport they meet charming Sophie, fluent in French and looking for work as an au pair. Penny, struggling to cope in France, offers Sophie a job and she soon becomes an important part of the family’s life. But Sophie is hiding something.
Then Penny’s toddler son, Ethan, is abducted and an international hunt for the child begins. The police beg Penny and her husband to take part in a television appeal but the couple refuse. Unknown to the police, Penny and Seth have new identities and are determined to lay low and protect them. But it may be too late for that.
Who has taken Ethan and why?
Are the couple’s true identities linked to the abduction?
And who has been watching them?
To save her son Penny may have to put her own life on the line.
The story of Penny and her family took a while to properly kick off, but once it did… went all over the place. I expected a fast paced, suspenseful thriller with lots of drama, but instead I found myself reading a confusing story about a bunch of annoying people acting in a rather unbelievable way.
So, get this. Penny is freaking out because she thinks someone is stalking her and her past is catching up with her. She jumps on the opportunity to move to France and actually live there, even though neither of them speaks a word of French, only to complain a week in that everyone is French around her, she doesn’t understand anything, can’t find the bakery, and she can’t even…
But not all is lost, because at the airport they met Sophie who is fluent in French, wants to become a nanny or au-pair, and is super suspicious for some reason. To us, readers, of course, not to oblivious Penny. Great! They now have a French speaker, who can also locate the source of the croissant, and their life is back on track, or so they think.
I’d love to say that once the kid goes missing the story gets more interesting and edge-of-the-seaty, but no matter how I look at it, I can’t overlook how unrealistic and sensationalist it is. It seems like Penny and Sophie only do anything to create tension, even if it makes no sense whatsoever.
I’m nobody’s mother, but I would imagine if my nanny told me nonchalantly that she lost my child, I would run to the police first and then rip said nanny a new butthole. But not Penny, mother extraordinaire. Even though she thinks they are being stalked because of what she did in the past, and has an idea who is behind the kidnapping, she even refuses to go to the police first, and instead walks around the town, looking for her toddler son, hours after he went missing. WTF? Like he could be in a local bar, sipping beer or something.
Once they realize just how stupid this looks, they do call the police, but refuse to do an appeal on TV, because their true identity would be revealed. Again, Penny has this idea in her head that her kid was taken by the people she pissed off ten years ago, the reason behind their new names and whatnot. So let me ask this: if she thinks they found her and her true identity is no longer a secret, what is this whole fuss about not going public?
I must say the only character who acted somewhat realistically was the kidnapper. At least we got some hints that the person is a bit of a psycho and should be medicated.
I honestly can’t tell you whether anything would have made more sense if I’ve read the author’s previous book, but I think there would still be quite a few things I would question.
Things like, how much a 2-year-old toddler can possibly add to any conversation? I’m going to go out on a limb and say zilch. Nada. Yet, there were pages filled with Ethan’s constant chatter and quips. I’m sure it was meant to be cute and adorable, but let’s be blunt: it isn’t.
It was not clear in the beginning in what year the story takes place, but later we find out that it must be around 2010-2011, yet some characters act like it’s the dark ages and they don’t know where they are, even though Google Maps was already a thing back in those years.
Also, can someone shed some light on what the hell happened to Sophie? We never really find out how her story played out.
Click here for spoiler and be mind-blown
The kidnapper/villain conveniently falls off a cliff in a rather anti-climatic fashion… Yeah.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley, but the review and the opinions are my own.