An excellent new thriller awaits readers in the form of Romy Hausmann’s Dear Child. And fortunately for you, I have an exclusive book review.
So settle down, grab a tea and prepare for a profound psychological battering.
Focussing on memory loss, tricks of the mind and damaging/traumatic events, Dear Child keeps you guessing right up to the final moments.
Memory loss is nothing new in the genre, but when done well, it can be an excellent trope. As I stated in my review of Before I Go to Sleep when the outcome is more apparent, it becomes a redundant trope, but here it is executed to a T.
Following Lena around feels like a constant nightmare. She’s jumpy, on edge, and afraid of anyone who knocks on her apartment door, or of her returning captor.
Let’s back up a moment.
Lena is hit by a car one evening and rushed to hospital alongside her daughter Hannah. As Lena is in the hospital bed unable to speak, Hannah begins to reveal details to the nurse that suggest things at home aren’t quite what they seem.
Firstly, that they live in a cabin in the middle of the woods, with no direct access or interaction with the outside world.
Secondly, her brother Jonathan will be wondering where they are once he finishes cleaning up the blood.
Oh, and coinciding with the crash is the two parents, Matthias and Karin, whose daughter went missing fourteen years prior.
They hear news of the accident and are informed that this just might be their baby girl, found after all this time. The markings and scar on her forehead match her description, and she is roughly the same age. But it can’t be, can it?
Dear Child is the debut novel of German writer Romy Hausmann. Due to great success in her homeland, the book Liebes Kind has been translated and released worldwide.
To coincide with this release, Romy also has a new book; Marta is Sleeping, due to be released in April 2020.
Her style is informal, flowing and easy to read.
There are a few German words that remain, which are to be expected and can be easily looked up on a Kindle.
The characters are well written, divisive and follow simple characteristics. For a book based around trauma, this isn’t a bad thing.
At times the book gives off similar vibes to Stephen King’s novel, Gerald’s Game. Isolation, fear of the unknown, and the sense that something harmful lingers in the shadows just out of sight.
The only downside to Dear Child is some of the interactions with Hannah, although mental instability and illness are hinted at, which would explain her choice of words and lack of empathy.
They can become a little tiresome as she continuously corrects everyone around her inside of her own head.
Dear Child is a fantastic thriller that will have you on a rollercoaster of emotions. Confusion, fear, suspense and second-guessing, this book has it all. Go and check it out if you require a new thriller.