Maggie lives a life of careful routines and measured pleasures. But everything changes when, walking through Gatwick a few days shy of her fifty-eighth birthday, a young woman approaches her and whispers a single word: ‘Help.’
Maggie responds, and in that moment saves a stranger, earning Anja her freedom and ensuring the arrest of a brutal trafficker.
But when the story gets picked up by the papers, Margaret is panicked by the publicity, as well as the strange phone calls she begins to receive.
Meanwhile Anja makes contact. She wants to thank her rescuer, but quickly insinuates herself into Maggie’s life.
As her relationship with Anja intensifies, Maggie begins to reveal, in increments, what it is she has been hiding. As a picture of her past takes shape, we are drawn into a slippery moral maze in which every choice is compromised. Maggie’s account is faithful, but she will keep you guessing about what really happened until the very end.
I was expecting something very different from this book. I was expecting more from the human trafficking plotline rather than the human interest story that I got. The majority of the book was quite slow and even the initial airport scene I felt lacked real tension.
The relationship formed between Mags and Anja is quite heartfelt but only felt one sided to me. I felt Mags was lonely and was really looking for a second chance at motherhood with Anja as she’d become estranged from her own daughter.
I didn’t really engage with any of the characters so I found it quite sluggish to get through and it has this continual overwhelming sense of sadness. To be honest if I hadn’t have been sent it by the publisher and that I don’t like giving up on books I don’t think I would have finished it. However, the last 20% or so picked up pace as quite often a book will as the revelations started to untangle.
Thanks to Sophie at Faber & Faber for sending me a copy but sorry; this one just wasn’t for me.
Connect with the author Alex Hourston