SECOND OPINION: The Winter’s Child by Cassandra Parkin

Review published on November 8, 2017.

The first thing to say about The Winter’s Child is what a gorgeous, evocative cover. It perfectly encapsulates winter and the whole feel of the story.

This book plays on any parent’s worst nightmare. Susannah Harper’s fifteen-year-old son went missing five years ago and has never been heard from again. For five years she has lived with not knowing what happened to her precious boy. Her marriage falls apart and of course other relationships, such as that with her sister, have suffered too.

The book starts with a visit to Hull fair and a fortune teller. I found the use of psychics in the story absolutely fascinating and I thought the opening to this novel was a perfect way to draw me in.

Susannah is an unreliable narrator. As she starts to fall to pieces I didn’t know if I could believe what she was saying and doing and this made it really exciting to read. There was actually a part where it became obvious to me what was going to happen but not to Susannah. So the thrill was waiting for it to dawn on Susannah and wondering when it would happen.

It’s a roller-coaster ride of a story. Most of it is set in the present day as Susannah waits to see if the psychic’s prediction that Joel will return to her on Christmas Eve will come true, but there are also some sections from throughout Joel’s life which set the scene for what happened later on. And then there are the blog posts from the blog that Susannah set up to talk about her missing child. All these fragments of the story came together to make a superb whole.

The Winter’s Child is a book that absorbed me, moved me, thrilled me, gripped me and shocked me. It’s a superb read, full of myriad twists and turns. I thought it was brilliant.

Nicola Smith, Short Book and Scribes 5/5

The Winter’s Child by Cassandra Parkin
Legend Press 9781785079030 pbk Sep 2017

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