Thursday 29 September 2016

Reviewed: Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra

TITLE: Only Daughter
AUTHOR: Anna Snoekstra

PUBLICATION DATE: September 22, 2016

Amazon - Goodreads

In 2003, sixteen-year-old Rebecca Winter disappeared.

She’d been enjoying her teenage summer break: working at a fast food restaurant, crushing on an older boy and shoplifting with her best friend. Mysteriously ominous things began to happen―blood in the bed, periods of blackouts, a feeling of being watched―though Bec remained oblivious of what was to come.

Eleven years later she is replaced.

A young woman, desperate after being arrested, claims to be the decade-missing Bec.

Soon the imposter is living Bec’s life. Sleeping in her bed. Hugging her mother and father. Learning her best friends' names. Playing with her twin brothers.

But Bec’s welcoming family and enthusiastic friends are not quite as they seem. As the imposter dodges the detective investigating her case, she begins to delve into the life of the real Bec Winter―and soon realizes that whoever took Bec is still at large, and that she is in imminent danger.

Only Daughter is a creepy, chilling novel that had me gripped from page one. I loved the concept to this story and for that reason I couldn’t wait to read it. I was hooked and read this book so quickly, but the story wasn’t over for me then as the events over the course of this book still linger on my mind now. Though there are moments that feel far-fetched or a bit contrived, I won’t hesitate to recommend this book for its disturbing entertainment factor and the many surprises along the way.

The book begins with a desperate young woman in trouble with the police. She has a bit of a trick up her sleeve to escape punishment, however, by confessing to be her lookalike and missing person, Rebecca Winter. Only she doesn’t realise that being Rebecca Winter would bring way more trouble than she was in before.

I was really hooked on this story. Every time I put the book down, I was genuinely excited to pick it up and start reading again. I did this all day until I’d finished. As we see this woman slot into Bec’s old life, with her parents and brothers, things get weirder and nothing seems to add up. Whilst I spent the first two third of this book trying to figure out what had happened to Bec, I spent the final third of the book wincing and squirming as the tension and suspense soared to make this one of the most unsettling books I’ve read.

The narrative switches between imposter Rebecca’s life and the life of the real Rebecca, in the days leading up to her becoming a missing person. Through both characters’ perspectives, there was a sense of danger which only increased in intensity the further through the book I was. For someone who is also nine times out of ten disappointed by the way a thriller ends, the ending to Only Daughter was brilliantly executed and also had me cursing that the book was over!

Character-wise I went through this book changing my mind all the time over whether I liked or disliked almost every single character. The way the book is written had me questioning everyone and there wasn’t a character I didn’t have my suspicions over at some point during the course of the book. That and the fact I didn’t guess almost anything correctly at all was one of the reasons I couldn’t put Only Daughter down. It’s so rare to find a truly unpredictable thriller – but this one definitely hit the spot.

With that being said, there were times I wasn’t sure how I felt about this book. Especially when reading the real Bec’s story, parts of it didn’t feel particularly relevant and I much preferred reading the imposter’s tale. But when I finished the book, I realised that things made more sense to me now. I would love to re-read Only Daughter now I know the truth and spot all the clues and hints the author included, because there was absolutely no chance I was going to work out the mystery when reading it first time around.

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