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The Disappearance

Author: Annabel Kantaria
Published: 21 April 2016
Reviewed: 4 August 2016
4 out of 5 stars
Copy supplied by Harlequin (UK) Limited, MIRA UK in return for an honest review


Description:

Audrey Templeton wants to spend her 70th birthday with her children on a once-in-a-lifetime cruise. Neither John or Lexi are overjoyed by a week with their widowed, increasingly forgetful mother, but reluctantly agree.


Celebrating at the ship’s famous White Night party, Audrey reveals that although their domineering father left them nothing, when she dies John and Lexi will inherit a life-changing sum. With both children facing financial difficulties, the news is a huge relief.


Then Audrey disappears. The search moves from the ship to the Mediterranean Sea beyond, but there is no trace – she has simply vanished.


As John and Lexi investigate, clues to their mother’s past emerge – a past in India, of scandal and tragedy – hidden until now. Soon they start to wonder if they ever really knew Audrey, and whether they can trust one another… 

My Thoughts & Review: 

The very opening pages of this book immediately grab the reader’s attention, the captain of a cruise ship is calling off the search for a missing passenger who is suspected to have gone overboard.  The passenger in question is Audrey Templeton, celebrating her 70th birthday with her grown up children on a cruise of the Greek Islands.

The author then takes us back to the 1970s where we encounter a much younger Audrey aboard a boat destined for India where her friend Janet lives.  The death of both of her parents in quick succession sees her needing a change in her life, and this seems the obvious one to make.  Her new life in India begins when she meets a dark and mysterious stranger in a coffee bar, there is an attraction there and the pair are married within 6 months, she also becomes mother to her new husband’s twins John and Lexi.  Unfortunately for Audrey, it’s not the Disney fairytale she would have hoped for, a horrific incident brings about their return to London.

Annabel Kantaria continues to weave back and forth between the 1970s and 2013 to tell the tale of Audrey’s life, right up to the point that John wants to put his 69 year old mother into a form of sheltered accommodation.  Without saying anything more through worry of giving too much away,  I will add that Audrey disappears just after telling the twins that they will inherit a fortune……

The plot was easy to follow, the way the story moved back and forth through Audrey‘s life was well written and gave the reader a greater insight into this character and her relationships.  Kantaria has a very enjoyable style of writing, it makes for an easy and enjoyable read, she builds suspense well and ensures that the reader is gripped and interested throughout.  Vivid descriptions of the settings really brought the story to life, as did the wonderful cast of characters.  Audrey in particular is a wonderful character, one that you begin to feel a connection to in her younger years, living in India with a controlling husband and his children that she struggles to connect with.    

Family secrets are always interesting to read about and this is definitely a book that has this in spades!  A compelling and thrilling read.

You can buy a copy of The Disappearance here.   

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