The reappearance of Rachel Price by Holly Jackson

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I am a fan of crime and mystery stories and I was very happy when I saw a new thriller by Holly Jackson especially as I had really enjoyed A good girl's guide to murder.

The Reappearance of Rachel Price is about 18-year-old Bel, whose mother had disappeared sixteen years before. Bel had been left alone in the back seat of her mother’s car, the only witness to the unsolved disappearance. When the Price family agree to a documentary about the disappearance, the past is dragged up and then Rachel Price reappears with a story that Bel finds hard to believe. What had happened to her? Where had she been and who abducted her?

The novel is unusual because it focuses on what it would be like for Rachel to re-emerge from captivity and how difficult it would be to make connections again with a daughter and husband not seen for sixteen years. Bel also finds it very difficult to relate to a mother who calls her Anna and who is a stranger to her. When small details don’t ring true, she begins to investigate as the film maker’s cameras continue to roll. Who is telling the truth? Should she trust her mother even though there are inconsistencies in her story? And what is the relationship between her mother and father?

A very suspenseful read, once I began this, I found it very difficult to put down. The background of a film documentary was very powerful and the family dynamics were fascinating. Jackson has plenty of red herrings strewn throughout the book but draws all the clues together in a surprising conclusion, some parts of which left me feeling slightly uneasy.

Triggers: The novel contains swear words and some violence, which may make it more suitable for older teens.

Themes: Mystery, Thriller, Missing persons, Documentary film-making, Family relations.

Pat Pledger