Imagine your doorbell rings in the middle of the night. You open the door to the police. With them is your husband’s eleven-year-old love child. A daughter you never knew he had. Her mother has been found dead in their South London flat. She has nowhere else to go. Would you take her in?
This month’s book is Mel McGrath’s latest psycho thriller, Give me the child. When I picked this book up in store and read the blurb, it gave me shivers. That’s the definition of a good elevator pitch. I immediately felt that I needed to find out who the eleven year old girl was, what had happened to her mother and why the husband had cheated in the first place? There was so much to uncover after reading just a few sentences, I was intrigued as to where the story was going and what other secrets were hiding in the pages, and I can tell you there are many. That is why I have made Give me the child book of the month. So, pick up a copy and join me in reading and reviewing this brilliant story.
Mel explores the themes of infidelity, mental well-being and gas lighting in-depth in this book. It’s not your average relationship story with a few holes here and there. It’s a psycho thriller that really gets you guessing and asking questions, and just when you think you’ve figured out the story, something else happens meaning you have to think again. For me, this is what makes a story a page turner.
Mel has crafted this story in such a way that there is a slow release of information throughout, enough for you to create a first impression of the relationships and characters being explored but as you find out more you start questioning whether your original assumptions were right.
We’re all familiar with the cliché ‘husband cheats on wife and eventually gets found out’ (or the other way around) but it’s the surrounding story in this book and the deeper mental state of the characters that makes it original and really interesting. Dr Cat Lupo runs a clinic specialising in child personality disorders and Tom, her husband, is a video games designer. They have both done things in the past that they’d rather forget but instead it resurfaces, causing chaos. And on top of all of this there is a strange eleven year old girl to deal with as well.
It is clear that Mel has spent the time researching and forming her characters for this book. I can imagine there was a lot to understand before being able to write about the clinic and Cats’ work, portraying her clients and colleagues in a realistic view (I know this because she mentions it in the back of the book and thanks her contributors)! Cat is an empathetic and believable character, acting on gut instinct as any mother would in her situation.
Enjoy reading and comment with your thoughts afterwards!