Wednesday 2 August 2017

Gone Astray by Michelle Davies @M_Davieswrites @panmacmillan #Review

When a Lesley Kinnock buys a lottery ticket on a whim, it changes her life more than she could have imagined . . .
Lesley and her husband Mack are the sudden winners of a £15 million EuroMillions jackpot. They move with their 15-year-old daughter Rosie to an exclusive gated estate in Buckinghamshire, leaving behind their ordinary lives - and friends - as they are catapulted into wealth beyond their wildest dreams.
But it soon turns into their darkest nightmare when, one beautiful spring afternoon, Lesley returns to their house to find it empty: their daughter Rosie is gone.
DC Maggie Neville is assigned to be Family Liaison Officer to Lesley and Mack, supporting them while quietly trying to investigate the family. And she has a crisis threatening her own life - a secret from the past that could shatter everything she's worked so hard to build.
As Lesley and Maggie desperately try to find Rosie, their fates hurtle together on a collision course that threatens to end in tragedy . . .
Money can't buy you happiness.
The truth could hurt more than a lie.
One moment really can change your life forever.

Gone Astray by Michelle Davies was published by Pan Macmillan in paperback on 20 October 2016 and is the author's debut novel, and the first in the DC Maggie Neville series.

Gone Astray had been sitting on my shelf for around six months before I took it away to Corfu with me in June as one of my holiday reads. Book shops seem to be overflowing with books with dark covers, red title print and featuring missing children. It's very easy to become tired of this trend, but the blurb from Gone Astray is very inviting, and the story inside is a clever take on the subject.

The main difference between Gone Astray and so many of the other books of its type is the main character; Maggie Neville. Although she is a serving police officer, her role within this story is that of a Family Liaison Officer; very different to the tired, stereotypical police officers we often come across in fiction.

Lesley and Mack Kinnock, and their fifteen-year-old daughter Rosie won £15m on the Lottery and it has changed their lives. Their new home is in an exclusive estate in Buckinghamshire, their new neighbours are wealthy; so very different to their previous ordinary lives. Whilst Mack embraces their new life and the trappings of wealth, Lesley is uneasy. She doesn't feel comfortable and misses their old life and house.

Maggie Neville meets the Kinnocks when she is assigned as their Family Liaison Officer after the disappearance of Rosie who vanished from the garden, with no clues left, except for some small smatterings of blood.

Maggie is a complex and very well created character. I enjoyed getting to know her, and her role, and also picking up hints about her background. Her relationship with her boss DCI Umpire is both intriguing and compelling and lays the path for more in this series.

The plot can sometimes edge towards the unbelievable but the story is so well put together that I can certainly forgive the author, and this is a fine debut novel that certainly kept me entertained for a couple of days in the Greek sunshine.

Secrets, lies and unanswered questions abound in this fast-moving and very readable domestic thriller.

Michelle Davies was born in Middlesex in 1972, raised in Buckinghamshire and now lives in north London.

Her debut crime novel, Gone Astray, was published in Hardback in March 2016 and features Family Liaison Officer DC Maggie Neville as its central police character. The paperback version was published on 20th October 2016. Gone Astray was part of a two-book deal with Pan Macmillan and the follow-up, Wrong Place, also featuring DC Neville, was released on 27th February 2017.

When she's not turning her hand to crime, Michelle writes as a freelance journalist for women's magazines including Marie Claire, Essentials, YOU and Stylist. Her last staff job before going freelance was as Editor-at-Large at Grazia and she was previously Features Editor at heat. She began her career straight from school at 18, working as a trainee reporter on her home-town newspaper, the Bucks Free Press.

More information can be found at
Find her Author page on Facebook
Follow her on Twitter @M_Davieswrites

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