on January 1st 1970
A powerful suspense thriller inspired by the author's work with neurological patients
When three-year-old Olivia disappears, her parents are overwhelmed with grief. Weeks go by and Olivia’s mother refuses to leave the cottage, staring out at the turbulent sea and praying it didn’t claim her precious daughter’s life. Not far away, another mother watches proudly as her daughter starts school. Jennifer has loved Hailey for five years, but the child is suddenly moody and difficult, and there’s a nagging worry of doubt that Jennifer cannot shake off. As she struggles to maintain control there are gaps in her story that even she can’t explain. Time is running out for Maggie at the cottage, and also for Jennifer and Hailey. No one can underestimate a mother’s love for her child, and no one can predict the lengths one will go to, to protect her family.
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Cold Cold Sea by Linda Huber. Though reliably disturbing, stories about missing children never fail to attract my attention. When I had the opportunity to join the blog tour for this one, I couldn’t say anything but YES!
The Cold Cold Sea is told in the third person but straightaway events and twists brought the phrase “unreliable narrator” to mind. I suppose it would be more accurately described as RSGP (Reader’s Second Guessing Phenomena—and yes, I did just make that up) because throughout the book I was constantly second guessing what it was that I actually knew. Am I on the right track? Is what you see what you get? Or will there come another twist to blow my theory to bits? Of course there’s always going to be some of that twisty business in a mystery or suspense novel but this one felt more like the cat and mouse game was between author and reader vs. the characters themselves. I found the tension it created to be unique and refreshing.
The idyllic opening setting was perfectly and chillingly incongruous to the events of the day. Though some suspension of disbelief was required, I was quickly invested in the story and found it to be a page-turner.
As for the characters, all I can say is buckle up. There are some folks here with serious issues. There was one character in particular who made me want to shout WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? I wish I could elaborate but I don’t want to risk spoilers. You need to be as baffled as I was at decisions this character made.
This is the first book I’ve read written by Linda Huber. I would certainly look forward to reading her future titles. If you enjoyed What Was Mine or gravitate toward psychological suspense involving missing children, I highly recommend this book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Linda Huber grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, but went to work in Switzerland for a year aged
twenty-two, and has lived there ever since. Her day jobs have included working as a
physiotherapist in hospitals and schools for handicapped children, and teaching English in a
medieval castle. Currently she teaches one day a week, and writes psychological suspense
novels and feel-good novellas with (most of) the rest of her time.
Her writing career began in the nineties, when she had over fifty short stories published in
women’s magazines. Several years later, she turned to psychological suspense fiction, and her
seventh novel, Death Wish, was published by Bloodhound Books in August 2017.
Linda’s latest project is a series of feel-good novellas, set on the banks of Lake Constance and
just minutes from her home in north-east Switzerland. She really appreciates having the views
enjoyed by her characters right on her own doorstep!
Many thanks to Love Books Group Tours and Linda Huber for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Linda Huber says
Thank you for a lovely post – so glad you liked The Cold Cold Sea!
Ann Marie says
Thanks, Linda. My pleasure!
Jonetta (Ejaygirl) says
I LOVE books that keep me second guessing!!! Let’s see if we can get RSGP going as a mystery reader term😏 Excellent review.
Jonetta (Ejaygirl) recently posted…Saturdays at the Café
Ann Marie says
Thanks, Jonetta! Same here. Truth be told, I love it when a book gives me RSGP. The more my head spins, the better.
Jennifer Tar Heel Reader says
This does sound good, Ann Marie! I am taking note because I recently read Not Her Daughter and found this type of storyline compelling. I also have What Was Mine here to read. Wonderful review!
Ann Marie says
Thanks, Jennifer! I haven’t read Not Her Daughter but I hope to.
Susie | Novel Visits says
I’m intrigued. The description reminds me of The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. Did you read that one? Is is a similar plot line?
Ann Marie says
I started that one years ago and never finished. I didn’t DNF it. I think I just put it down and life got in the way… From what I recall, that one had a much more literary feel. This definitely reads more like a classic mystery/thriller/suspense. There may be some similarities but I think they’re quite different.
Brenda Ireland says
Great post, Ann Marie! Sounds like one I should look at more closer!