The Girl in the Red Coat
Shortlisted for the 2015 Costa First Novel Award
Eight-year-old Carmel has always been different - sensitive, distracted, with an heartstopping tendency to go missing. Her mother Beth, newly single, worries about her daughter's strangeness, especially as she is trying to rebuild a life for the two of them on her own.
When she takes Carmel for an outing to a local festival, her worst fear is realised: Carmel disappears into the crowd. Unable to accept the possibility that her daughter might be gone for good, Beth embarks on a mission to find her. Meanwhile, Carmel begins an extraordinary and terrifying journey of her own. But do the real clues to Carmel's disappearance lie in the otherworldly qualities her mother had only begun to guess at?
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)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)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)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)
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