How I Lost You by Jenny Blackhurst
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
They told her she killed her son. She served her time. But what if they lied?
I have no memory of what happened but I was told I killed my son. And you believe what your loved ones, your doctor and the police tell you, don't you?
My name is Emma Cartwright. Three years ago I was Susan Webster, and I murdered my twelve-week-old son Dylan. I was sent to Oakdale Psychiatric Institute for my crime, and four weeks ago I was released early on parole with a new identity, address and a chance to rebuild my tattered life.
This morning, I received an envelope addressed to Susan Webster. Inside it was a photograph of a toddler called Dylan. Now I am questioning everything I believe because if I have no memory of the event, how can I truly believe he's dead?
If there was the smallest chance your son was alive, what would you do to get him back?
I enjoyed this psychological thriller but it didn't quite pack the punch of 'Done Girl', 'Until You're Mine' and others that I have read recently. Essentially it's about a woman(Ellen Cartwright) who is told she killed her son Dylan, she has no memory of having done this but is sent to a psychiatric unit ad serves 3 years. The story is taken up upon her release from the hospital early on parole with a new identity (now Susan Webster) and her chance to build a new life. Her only real friend is an inmate in the unit called Cassie who she has confided in while she served her time. Cassie is also released around the same time and they remain very close. While Ellen (Susan) is trying to rebuild her life she is sent a photograph of a boy about her sons' age and on the reverse of the photo is written 'Dylan January 2013' - she believes that this is her son and he is alive. She can easily believe this as she never remembered killing him and always refused to believe it. The only reason she accepted that she probably had a breakdown and killed Dylan is that her husband Mark and family doctor persuade her that's what happened.
Convinced Dylan is alive and she has been tricked the book follows her pursuit of the truth as she gets ever nearer to discovering what really happened that awful night 3 years before. I don't want to give too much away as it does have some good twists and turns although some are guessable not all are which helps to hold this together until the end. It was predictable in parts but having said this is was an easy read which I managed in just one day making it easier to review. I did however think that the second half of the book was a bit rushed and the relationship of the characters became a bit muddled but I did enjoy it overall and would give it 3 stars. Not quite up there with the best in psychological thrillers but an enjoyable read none the less.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.