Five years ago, Molly Clarke killed her youngest daughter. She was coming home and her nine-year-old daughter dashed into the street just as she turned the corner. Desolate with grief and guilt, she hates herself for what she has done. Sadly, it seems that her husband, son, and eldest daughter hate her too…
Molly adores all of her children and loves her husband. Now, she is putting one step in front of another to just get through these days, months, years of grieving and self-incrimination.
While driving home alone from one of her son’s ‘away’ games, Molly runs out of gas. It is nighttime and a category 4 hurricane is imminent. The gas station is boarded up, as are many of the businesses which are closed. Drenched and walking on the road, a truck stops for her. In it are a man and a young girl named Alice. She gets in… A tragic mistake…
Held hostage, Molly fears for her life – yet somehow it lessens her burden of grief. She feels that this is the price she must pay for killing her child. She fears that her family won’t look for her. They will be glad to have her out of their sight.
Nicole Clarke, Molly’s teenage daughter also harbors guilt over the death of her baby sister. She knows she has said some unforgivable things to her mother. The most unforgivable of all on the morning of the day she disappeared. Now, Nicole returns to the small, creepy town to look once again for her mother. It has been two weeks since she was last seen. Nicole vows to not go home without her mother.
Wendy Walker has taken the usual abduction trope and turned it on its head. Instead of the parents searching feverishly for their teenage daughter, it is the daughter searching for her mother.
Despite the dire and oftentimes heart-breaking situation that Molly finds herself in, for some reason I couldn’t completely like her. It had nothing to do with the death of her young daughter which was definitely NOT her fault. Yet… I can’t quite pinpoint why she didn’t appeal to me. Nicole, I liked more, yet she too was so damaged, so broken, that it was hard to put yourself in her shoes. This story was told from the point of view of both these women.
The child, Alice, grew up in isolation. She was the epitome of someone you should feel sorry for, yet, she too made me uneasy. Her upbringing has made her psychopathic.
The setting was expertly described and was creepy as all get out. The insular, economically depressed town. The house where Molly was held hostage…
The denouement was suspenseful and satisfying. It would make an excellent thriller movie.
With themes of parental grief, parental love, obsession, anguish, fear and survival, I recommended “Don’t Look For Me” to all psychological thriller fans.
ISBN: 9781250198709 – ASIN: B08472L3TM – 352 pages
Wendy Walker is the author of the psychological suspense novels All Is Not Forgotten, Emma In the Night, The Night Before and Don’t Look For Me. Her novels have been translated into 23 foreign languages and topped bestseller lists both nationally and abroad. They have been selected by the Reese Witherspoon Book Club, The Today Show and The Book of the Month Club, and have been optioned for both television and film.
Wendy holds degrees from Brown University and Georgetown Law School, and has worked in finance and several areas of the law. As a former family law attorney with training in child advocacy, Wendy draws from her knowledge of trauma and psychology to write compelling and complex characters and stories. She lives with her family in Connecticut.
Follow Wendy Walker on Twitter @Wendy_Walker