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?
How I Lost You by debut crime novelist Jenny Blackhurst has been available on Kindle since October 2014, and I think it would be fair to say that it has attracted a few pretty scathing reviews amid all the praise that’s been heaped on it. It was released in paperback by Headline on 23rd April, and, having read about it so much on all the book-related sites I visit, it really felt like time I should give it a try.
I read it over two unseasonably hot days in the garden – days when I had so many other things I should have been doing. But this was a quite excellent read that I found totally impossible to set aside – those more scathing reviews were most definitely wrong.
As with all psychological thrillers, it’s really difficult to review this one without giving away major plot twists and turns – but you’ll see the start point of the story in the blurb I’ve quoted above. It’s a quite exhausting read, fast paced, gripping, full of twists and turns. Susan/Emma is sympathetically drawn, and you really find yourself rooting for her – even if you don’t like her that much. And given her background, she’s extraordinarily trusting of everyone she comes across, including journalist Nick. Her strong friendship with Cassie is wonderful though – her friend and protector in prison, her friend and protector still. Most of the book’s gentle humour comes through Cassie too – as does the most accurate and realistic view of what’s going on.
Jenny Blackhurst grew up in Shropshire where she still lives with her husband and children.
Growing up she spent hours reading and talking about crime novels – writing her own seemed like natural progression.
Inspired by the emotions she felt around her own son’s birth, How I Lost You is Jenny’s debut crime novel.
(P.S. Jenny spends almost as much of her time on Twitter as I do, and I’m quite certain she would be delighted if you follow her!)