Dear Child by Romy Hausmann
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“I can fetch the stars from the sky. And one day I know my children won’t just see all of this through my eyes and my stories. That is hope and it’s in my power to ensure it never dies.”
Dear Child is one of the most chilling thrillers I’ve read in a while. The reality of this happening was forefront in my mind the entire time I was reading; it’s been on the news, after all and Lord knows, there’s enough nutjobs in the world to do something like this! The actuality of stories I know combined with the nightmarish fiction from Ms. Hausmann had me on edge throughout the whole book and I loved every second!
When Lena goes missing, her father Matthias never stops looking for her. He counts the days she’s been gone; he follows up non-stop with the police, the newspapers, anything to keep her story relevant and unforgotten. Fourteen years later, he gets a phone call, Lena’s been found and is in the hospital. What follows is a compelling and truly horrifying tale of psychological terror.
Dear Child is strong in both character and plot; the captor, known only as papa, is as chilling as they come, abusive and controlling, and clearly, insane. ‘Lena’ is a victim but she is stronger than she thinks and manages to escape but does she really? Will she escape one tormenter only to torment herself? Is her captor really gone? The children, 13-year-old Hannah especially, have personalities born of such abuse and terror and there’s points in the book when I truly don’t know who to trust anymore. The details are skillfully put together and beautifully well written, everything connects and flows seamlessly between narrators. The plot has some fantastic red-herrings and twists that took me by surprise and the ending? Oh. My.!
This is all I’m going to say besides READ THIS if you enjoy psychological thrillers and suspense! My thanks to Flatiron Books, Romy Hausmann, and NetGalley for providing a DRC of Dear Child in exchange for my review.
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