The Nowhere Child (Christian White) – book review

One of the much-hyped books this year has been psychological suspense thriller The Nowhere Child by Christian White. The book was the winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and has been raved about for its intriguing premise (a child kidnapped in the US turns up years later in Australia).

Here’s the blurb:

‘Her name is Sammy Went. This photo was taken on her second birthday. Three days later she was gone.’

On a break between teaching photography classes in Melbourne, Kim Leamy is approached by a stranger investigating the disappearance of a little girl from her Kentucky home twenty-eight years earlier. He believes Kim is that girl.

At first she brushes it off, but when Kim scratches the surface of her family history in Australia, questions arise that aren’t easily answered. To find the truth, she must travel to Sammy’s home of Manson, Kentucky, and into a dark past. As the mystery of Sammy’s disappearance unravels and the town’s secrets are revealed, this superb novel builds towards an electrifying climax.

I was quickly drawn into the book and found myself caught up in the mystery of what happened to Sammy, the missing toddler, and how she became Kimberley on the other side of the world. The story jumps back and forth between timelines and offers multiple perspectives, and for the most part, keeps the reader guessing. Thanks to the author’s screenwriting background there is a cinematic feel to the story and as I read, I couldn’t help imagining it as a film … and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s in this book’s future.

An impressive debut and a page-turner – one for fans of psychological suspense.

Monique Mulligan
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