I'd been hearing a lot about this book, how great it was, so I was really looking forward to reading it.

I sort of wish I hadn't bothered.

Granted I read a lot, I always have done, so I'm not surprised by many of the twist in the plot proclamations that follow a lot of book recommendations. Much of the time I don't mind this, as long as the book is well-written I still get as much out of it as I would have done being amazed by the ending. So I didn't mind at all knowing pretty much from the start who was behind the kidnapping of baby Cora. What I did mind was the introduction of information towards the very end of the book.

For me, a good thriller leaves clues dotted through the plot, so whilst an ending might be a surprise, it is at least hinted at, or referenced to, earlier in the book. Maybe it was because Detective Rasbach was a bit-player in the story, but if he suspected a person surely we would have been alerted to it before the big reveal? He gave his theories on other characters, so why weren't we party to all suspicions? It doesn't make it a surprise, it makes it unfair - maybe unfair is the wrong word - irritating, or an uneven playing field - would that be better? It's not right to suddenly declare that a detective had put a tap on a phone or had a character under surveillance, after we know who the guilty party is. Lapena could easily have made all the characters open suspects from the start without any damage to the story, maybe that way I wouldn't have been so disappointed in the ending.

It was a good story in that the plot was interesting enough. And whilst the characters were developed a bit, I didn't really warm to any of them, not even Anne - the distraught mother, in total honesty, which is a bit odd considering what's happened. I'm not sure why this is, whether it's the forced element of her mental state, or the fact that she left Cora by herself in the house. I acknowledge that this may be down to my own prejudice towards someone who would do this anyway, personally I don't know anyone who would do this with a 6-month-old baby, but I accept that it is a possibility. So as a moral question it's an interesting discussion, I'm just saying it possibly coloured my affinity with, and sympathy towards, her.

I wonder if part of my problem with the book is down to it being written in the 3rd person; it might have been forgivable for the "surprises" if, for example, it had been all from Anne's viewpoint in her voice, that way we wouldn't have known what Rasbach had or hadn't done/thought. There were some elements of the writing I didn't enjoy, in some places it felt a bit stilted and in other a bit flaky, but I was sort of invested enough that I continued reading.

I don't know, maybe it's because I have read some wonderful books recently that this has made it harder to ignore the inadequacies of others. It is just so ( and I hate to use this word again) disappointing when you've believed the hype and a book doesn't live up to all the promises, especially when there are some exquisite books like The Secret to Not Drowning, that aren't given the same shout-outs.

However, I suppose this is how we find the hidden gems, by keep reading and reading, finding out what we enjoy and why we enjoy it. It's hard to keep focussed on that though when a) you've spent £12.99 on a book and b) you've got another 100 (ahem) waiting to be read.

I personally would just avoid this book, it really isn't worth the money, or the time to be fair. Whilst the plot may be up to it, the writing unfortunately, just isn't.