The Girl in the Red Coat
Shortlisted for the 2015 Costa First Novel Award
Shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award
She is the missing girl. But she doesn't know she's lost.
Carmel Wakeford becomes separated from her mother at a local children's festival, and is found by a man who claims to be her estranged grandfather. He tells her that her mother has had an accident and that she is to live with him for now. As days become weeks with her new family, 8-year-old Carmel realises that this man believes she has a special gift...
While her mother desperately tries to find her, Carmel embarks on an extraordinary journey, one that will make her question who she is - and who she might become.
Moving, convincing and completely compelling. I read through the night, desperate to know the little girl's fate. (Erin Kelly, author of THE POISON TREE)Trust us: this book is unlike anything else. (Stylist)2015's oh-so-chilling thriller breakout. (Grazia)Unpredictable and moving. (Marie Claire)Like Emma Donoghue did in ROOM, Hamer starts off with a premise we think we know - an abducted child - and takes the reader somewhere completely unexpected. This is a beautifully written and highly original story that is gripping, thought-provoking and emotionally tender. (Mumsnet 2015 Must Reads)Thrillers about abducted children are hardly a fresh idea, but Kate Hamer's debut novel may be the most original take on the subject since Ian McEwan's The Child In Time...There is a surreal, fairytale-like quality to this unique and beguiling book. (Sunday Express)Gripping. (Sunday Express Magazine)This accomplished and enthralling debut novel follows what happens after the abduction of an eight-year-old girl, Carmel. Told from both her and her mother's points of view, this had me guessing until the very last page. (Fanny Blake, Woman & Home)The Girl in the Red Coat keeps the reader hooked - and awake into the small hours. (Isabel Berwick, Financial Times)Told in two very different voice, this debut is moving, tender and tense, exploring love and loss from the view of adult Beth and her otherworldly child in a way that's devastatingly convincing. (Psychologies, Book of the Month)Compulsively readable, Kate Hamer catches at the threads of what parents fear most - the abduction of a child - and weaves a disturbing and original story. There is menace in this book, lurking in the shadows on every page, but also innocence, love and hope. Beautifully written and unpredictable, I had to stop myself racing to the end to find out what happened. (Rosamund Lupton, author of SISTER)An intense, and tense, stunning debut. Early on we encounter a maze, but the whole book is a kind of maze, and one full of striking imagery and chilling atmosphere. Kate Hamer conjures mystery with such grace, cool beauty and urgent suspense it never feels like a debut. Brilliant. (Matt Haig, author of THE HUMANS)The Girl in the Red Coat is one of those rare literary beasts: beautifully written and yet utterly compulsive. Every page crackles with tension and while you race towards its conclusion, simultaneously you long to savour every page. Its portrayal of mother/daughter relationships is insightful, honest and raw without ever being sentimental or cloying. It is sure to be one of the debuts of the year. (Hannah Beckerman, author of The Dead Wife's Handbook)It keeps the reader turning pages at a frantic clip ... What's most powerful here is not whodunnit, or even why, but how this mother and daughter bear their separation, and the stories they tell themselves to help endure it. (Celeste Ng, Guardian)Page-turning yet beautifully written. (Huffington Post)The Girl in the Red Coat is a well-written psychological thriller, slotting into the genre that has spawned recent hits such as Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl or Paula Hawkins's The Girl on the Train ... An engrossing read, to be devoured in a single lupine gulp. (Lucy Atkins Sunday Times)Shot through with menace. (Kerry Fowler, Sainsbury's Magazine)A polished page-turner of a novel. (Kate Kellaway, Observer New Faces of Fiction 2015)Pulse-racing. (Grazia)Kate Hamer's novel is both gripping and sensitive - beautifully written, it is a compulsive, aching story full of loss and redemption. (Lisa Ballantyne, author of THE GUILTY ONE)Thought provoking and emotionally tender, The Girl in the Red Coat is a remarkable debut novel. (Paula Daly, author of JUST WHAT KIND OF MOTHER ARE YOU?)Told alternatively from Beth and Carmel's points of view, Hamer is incisive when it comes to the former's distress ... but masterfully captures the voice of the latter. (Lucy Scholes, Independent)Each chapter gets increasingly addictive as you question the motives behind her abduction. (Heat)I loved THE GIRL IN THE RED COAT! Vivid and mesmerising, an amazing story, I was gripped to the end. (Rebecca Whitney, author of The Liar's Chair)Hugely moving, this is a story that will keep you guessing until the very last page. (Dead Good Books)A stunning story which straddles genres with seductive ease and makes you turn the pages addictively. (Nicola Mira Thriller Books Journal)This hotly tipped debut centres on an eight-year-old girl who goes missing at a festival, and her mother's attempts to find her. (Guardian)Those keen to be in on the ground floor of a new writing career will be delighted with the number of enthusiastically trumpeted debuts on their way, including The Girl in the Red Coat. (Alex Clark, Observer)Told from the perspectives of mother and daughter as they try to bear the sense of loss caused by separation this tale is beautifully written and impossible to put down. (Daily Express, 5 stars)Eschewing the more obvious police procedural, Hamer's novel is instead interested in its protagonists' psychological and emotional survival, in a way that at times recalls Emma Donoghue's Man Booker-shortlisted Room. Returning throughout to themes of courage, compassion and healing, Hamer has produced a thoughtful, boldly imaginative page-turner that also dares to have a heart. (The Lady)An intriguing mystery, full of surprises. (Prima)Mum and Carmel share the telling of this tale, which takes a direction you won't be expecting. Best read in a single sitting. (Vogue)I read Girl In The Red Coat in one heart pounding gallop from beginning to end. (Polly Samson)Gripping. (Essentials)'It can be hard to make any real impact with a first novel, but Kate Hamer's powerful thriller The Girl In The Red Coat will certainly cement her name in the literature world.' (Press Association)This astonishing debut novel takes a simple premise - the disappearance of a child - and spins it into an intricate personal journey. (Country Life)There are far too many novels about missing/kidnapped/murdered children around at the moment. This novel is exceptional, however, because it is also about the bonds between mothers and daughters...rich and intelligent. (Saga)This is a fantastic debut novel...The book is well written, drawing the reader into the lives of the two, strong female characters. The voice of Carmel is evocative of the child in Emma Donoghue's Room. (New Books Magazine)This powerful thriller builds the suspense from the very start, as it switches between the narratives of eight-year-old Carmel, and her mother, Beth ... Be prepared to put the rest of your life on hold. (Aberdeen Press & Journal)The Girl in the Red Coat is that rarest of things, a compulsive page turner that attains the emotional profundity and the psychological reach of poetry. It is a book that unquestionably serves notice of a remarkable new talent. (Wales Arts Review)'A brave, imaginative debut.' (Carla McKay Daily Mail)
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