An only child who works in a library and LOVES books. It could be me…. But no.
Kathryn Croft‘s protagonist, Leah Mills has a very different life to mine. She lives a loner’s life in an attempt to bury her past and a life-changing mistake she made fourteen years ago. Is she the victim of a cruel and devastating ‘twist of fate’? Or… should we not feel any sympathy for her?
It is early November and nearing the date of the ‘anniversary’. The reader is not sure what the anniversary signifies, but we discern it was a severely traumatic event that has shaped Leah’s life ever since… Whatever the event was, Leah lives her life as though she is doing penance, with guilt and self-doubt consuming her days. When she begins to receive threatening notes and emails, Leah becomes tense and fearful. Her carefully constructed life is being threatened.
Leah’s routine never varies. She works at the library, volunteers at a care home where she reads to the residents, and then comes home to a small meal and her favorite novel. Her flat in Wandsworth has little in the way of furniture, instead there are books on every surface… even stacked on the floor. She lives vicariously through the characters in the books she reads. In an attempt to expand her horizons she joins an online dating site, but as a lurker, never participating. That is until she meets one of the moderators of the site, Julian.
As their online chat evolves into more, Leah’s life and routine gradually changes. Her co-worker from the library actually visits her flat (something no one has done before), and she befriends a library patron named Ben. However… the threatening messages continue.
The novel flashes back to Leah’s life fourteen years ago. She was a typical teenage girl who seemed to have the knack of befriending the wrong people. Her little group consisted of her best-friend Imogen, Imogen’s boyfriend Corey, and Leah’s first love, Adam Bowden, a boy with deep-rooted psychological problems and sociopathic leanings…
A novel that reiterates the idea that one mistake can have life-altering consequences, “The girl with no past” is a well rendered psychological thriller. The protagonist Leah Mills was neurotic, damaged and not very endearing, but she was perfect for the situation the novel placed her in.
This novel will appeal to all who love a good psychological, character-based mystery.
A former school teacher, Kathryn Croft is now working on her fifth novel. She lives in Guildford, Surrey with her husband and two cats, Aphrodite and Isis.