Book Reviews

The Foster Child: 'a sleep-with-the-lights-on thriller' by Jenny Blackhurst

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List Price: £7.99


Paperback: 400 Pages.

Published: 16 November 2017 by Headline

ISBN: 1472235290

EAN: 9781472235299

When child psychologist Imogen Reid takes on the case of 11-year-old Ellie Atkinson, she refuses to listen to warnings that the girl is dangerous.

Ellie was the only survivor of a fire that killed her family. Imogen is convinced she's just a sad and angry child struggling to cope with her loss.

But Ellie's foster parents and teachers are starting to fear her. When she gets upset, bad things seem to happen. And as Imogen gets closer to Ellie, she may be putting herself in danger...


4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars  by Debra Found

All the Ingredients for a Good Pschological Thriller

Is foster child, Ellie Atkinson a witch as people have been saying? Not just the children but the adults too? Or is she just a traumatised 11 year old who is not getting the support she needs? Case worker, Imogen, is new to the job and sees herself in Ellie. The young girl who didn't get the support she needed but is it Ellie who needs this support or her stressed foster mother & the school?

This book has all the ingredients of an excellent psychological thriller. There are plenty of options for the reader to believe what they want and see things in one way or the other. It is the reader's choice. There are plenty of twists and turns - is it co-incidence that Ellie's teacher finds hundreds of spiders in her desk just after Ellie does a project on them? Or is Ellie a witch? Or is there someone else pushing to get Ellie into trouble? The twists and all very logical and work well within the story.

The characters in this book are all quite complex. Imogen has her own issues to deal with from the past as well as a situation within her own marriage. Her husband Dan is one of the least complex characters but is his desire for a baby too consuming? The school teachers and foster parents aren't actually that nice and seem to have no concept of how to support a child who has suffered a big trauma and is being bullied at school.

There were a couple of things that grated in this book such as the use of americanisms - vacation instead of holiday for example. The beginning of the book included the arrival in the town of Imogen and Dan. Much of the description led me to think this book was set in America rather than the UK; a feeling I found hard to shake throughout the book. There were also a couple of occasions when I felt the behaviour of the foster mother and school were slightly unbelievable. However these were minor irritations and didn't really effect my enjoyment of the book.

This is a good, solid psychological thriller which I enjoyed. I haven't read any other books by this author but would be happy to give them a try.

I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley.

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