“The Foster Child” by Jenny Blackhurst has been languishing on my #TBR for far too long! I bought it not long after its release in 2017 and I’m ashamed to say that I have just got round to reading it! However, it was well worth the wait!
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
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…
I have read and enjoyed both Jenny Blackhurst’s other novels (How I Lost You & Before You Let Me In) and with the third novel, this author has definitely proved her worth as a mistress of psychological thrillers!
There is something about a psychological thriller featuring kids that just screams “CREEPY” before you even turn the first page and the prologue to this book drags you in screaming and kicking! Right away we are introduced to Imogen who is clearly terrified at the thought of getting involved in the life of Ellie Atkinson again. Immediately, as a reader, I was asking WHY! And it is that “Why” question at the beginning of a book that is the killer hook for me, I am immediately drawn in and want to know the answers!
A disturbing but spellbinding book which raises the issues of bullying, manipulation and life in a small town. The focus is very much on Imogen who has returned to live in Gaunt with her husband. We are aware that the move had not been made out of choice and that Imogen herself has many secrets she is trying hard to keep hidden. Enter Ellie Atkinson, a young girl whose life was thrown into turmoil with the tragic death of her parents and baby brother. Both Imogen and Ellie are drawn to one another, there is a sense that they both have a lot in common but soon Imogen starts to suspect that some of the small town rumours about Ellie might just be true!
A beautifully packaged twisted tale will tug at your heartstrings while having you look behind your shoulder at the same time. It was hard to know who to trust as the cleverly plotted narrative drew you from one conclusion to another. It was impossible not to feel for both characters as the story unfolds reaching a chilling and dramatic climax which is so twisted that it out-twists a corkscrew!
Jenny Blackhurst is skilled at creating characters and plots that do more than just engage you, they compel you to immerse yourself in the disturbing and troubled lives of both Ellie and Imogen and keep you glued to the pages. It was one of those books that I found impossible to put down! After all, I’d hate to upset anyone wouldn’t I…
“The Foster Child” is available to purchase from: