I was reading this book for my real-time book club when Kelly over at #LoveBooksGroup asked me if I’d like to take part in the blog tour for this! So I jumped at the chance and I have also added in some thoughts from readers at the book club too!
Before I share my thoughts here’s what the official blurb says:
They stared at each other, and Maggie felt the tightness in her middle expand as it shifted, burning its way up… Painful sobs rose in her throat as Colin, his face expressionless now, reached for his mobile and tapped 999.
When three-year-old Olivia disappears from the beach, a happy family holiday comes to an abrupt end. Maggie is plunged into the darkest nightmare imaginable – what happened to her little girl?
Further along the coast, another mother is having problems too. Jennifer’s daughter Hailey is starting school, and it should be such a happy time, but the child is increasingly moody and silent. Family life has never seemed so awkward, and Jennifer struggles to maintain control.
The tide ebbs and flows, and summer dies, but there is no comfort for Maggie, alone now at the cottage, or for Jennifer, still swamped by doubts.
‘A psychologically astute, edge-of-the-seat story.’ Hilary Johnson
‘Unsettling and disturbing… I couldn’t put it down.’ Rebecca Muddiman
‘Breathtaking and utterly compelling.’ Debi Alper
When 3-year-old Olivia goes missing on a family holiday her family are thrown into turmoil as they slowly realise that she isn’t coming back. Her parents, Maggie and Colin slowly begin to build a life in which there will always be a gaping hole. Meanwhile, Jennifer is struggling with the changes in their daughter, Hailey as she begins school. Can the two mothers ever come to terms with the changes in their lives and just how far will a mother go to protect her child?
The Cold Cold Sea is an emotional and powerful psychological thriller that will pull you right in from the start.
I picked up this book intending to read a couple of chapters before bed but got three-quarters of the way through it before I had to sleep, I woke early the next morning to finish it before my day began. What an intense and emotional experience reading this book is. That fear of losing your child palpable with the turn of every page and that realisation that she has gone hitting you smack in the face. It was impossible to read this and not feel Maggie’s emotions, her fear, her guilt, her hope and loss all rolled into one emotional blanket set to suffocate her. It is not difficult to imagine how you might feel should this happen to you and as such it is easy to get caught up in the emotional turmoil that Maggie feels.
With Jennifer my feelings were different, a cold woman, obviously suffering too. While I could empathise with her pain, I read with a feeling of revulsion and horror as the plot played out in front of my eyes. Only when Hailey went to school and the safety of her teacher, Kate McLure, did I feel any sense of hope for Hailey. When we discussed it at book club everyone agreed that they felt a sense of conflict reading Jennifer’s character, there was an understanding and compassion for the fact that she was unwell but also a sense of “unforgiveness” for what she had done and how she treated Hailey. Everyone’s heart went out to that poor little girl.
At our book club, we all agreed that although we knew where the book was going from the start and how it was going to play out this was still an enjoyable read. It was not a whodunnit or indeed a whydunnit but rather a chilling psychological journey through the eyes of two very different women and a child. A tense and dark read that will strike the fear of god into any parent reading. It’s not hard to guess what is going on but this does not detract from the story in any way at all. Rather it draws you in even more!
Beautifully written it was a hard-hitting read about a mother’s love and a mother’s desperation. A realistic sense of place set around Cornwall and that strange contrast between the natural beauty of the place and of the sea against the very darkness it holds within and indeed the darkness taking place in the novel. Excellent characterisation creating multi-dimensional characters whom you could see and hear in your mind’s eye as you read.
Overall this was an emotionally hard-hitting, page-turning, heartbreaking and heartwarming read.
Available to purchase:
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About the author:
Linda Huber grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, but went to work in Switzerland for a year aged twenty-two, and has lived there ever since. Her day jobs have included working as a physiotherapist in hospitals and schools for handicapped children, and teaching English in a medieval castle. Currently she teaches one day a week, and writes psychological suspense novels and feel-good novellas with (most of) the rest of her time.
Her writing career began in the nineties, when she had over fifty short stories published in women’s magazines. Several years later, she turned to psychological suspense fiction, and her seventh novel, Death Wish, was published by Bloodhound Books in August 2017.
Linda’s latest project is a series of feel-good novellas, set on the banks of Lake Constance and just minutes from her home in north-east Switzerland. She really appreciates having the views enjoyed by her characters right on her own doorstep!
Amazon Author Page: viewAuthor.at/LindaHuber