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Dear Child

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Gone Girl meets Room in this page-turning thriller from one of Germany's hottest new talents In a windowless shack in the woods, Lena's life and that of her two children follows the rules set by their captor, the father: Meals, bathroom visits, study time are strictly scheduled and meticulously observed. He protects his family from the dangers lurking in the outside world a Gone Girl meets Room in this page-turning thriller from one of Germany's hottest new talents In a windowless shack in the woods, Lena's life and that of her two children follows the rules set by their captor, the father: Meals, bathroom visits, study time are strictly scheduled and meticulously observed. He protects his family from the dangers lurking in the outside world and makes sure that his children will always have a mother to look after them. One day Lena manages to flee--but the nightmare continues. It seems as if her tormentor wants to get back what belongs to him. And then there is the question whether she really is the woman called "Lena," who disappeared without a trace 14 years ago. The police and Lena's family are all desperately trying to piece together a puzzle which doesn't quite seem to fit.


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Gone Girl meets Room in this page-turning thriller from one of Germany's hottest new talents In a windowless shack in the woods, Lena's life and that of her two children follows the rules set by their captor, the father: Meals, bathroom visits, study time are strictly scheduled and meticulously observed. He protects his family from the dangers lurking in the outside world a Gone Girl meets Room in this page-turning thriller from one of Germany's hottest new talents In a windowless shack in the woods, Lena's life and that of her two children follows the rules set by their captor, the father: Meals, bathroom visits, study time are strictly scheduled and meticulously observed. He protects his family from the dangers lurking in the outside world and makes sure that his children will always have a mother to look after them. One day Lena manages to flee--but the nightmare continues. It seems as if her tormentor wants to get back what belongs to him. And then there is the question whether she really is the woman called "Lena," who disappeared without a trace 14 years ago. The police and Lena's family are all desperately trying to piece together a puzzle which doesn't quite seem to fit.

30 review for Dear Child

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    After ten minutes long silence I started another ten minutes long ovation for this book! It’s brilliant, intense, dark, gripping, character-driven, shocking and also terrifying, nightmarish, high tension, scary, thought-provoking story with lots of twists, jaw dropping moments, extremely heart wrenching chapters and devilishly smart, stunning conclusion. It is mostly quite fascinating mash up of Room and Wendy Walker’s “Don’t Look for me”. The characters were well-developed, emotionally layered, After ten minutes long silence I started another ten minutes long ovation for this book! It’s brilliant, intense, dark, gripping, character-driven, shocking and also terrifying, nightmarish, high tension, scary, thought-provoking story with lots of twists, jaw dropping moments, extremely heart wrenching chapters and devilishly smart, stunning conclusion. It is mostly quite fascinating mash up of Room and Wendy Walker’s “Don’t Look for me”. The characters were well-developed, emotionally layered, flawed, keeping secrets for their own reasons. But as soon as you read the first chapter, you realize you’re trapped in this book: you cannot put down even though you gotta read so many disturbing, horrifying and stomach churning details, abuse and violence the characters are going to endure, but you resume your reading because you’re already in trance and you want to know what’s going to happen next, what kind of secrets all those narrators keep and what’s the truth behind the abduction of 23 years old Lena Beck. Let’s take a look at the story-line: Lena Beck has been missing for 14 years ago and after a hit and run accident a woman with her little daughter Hannah is taken to the hospital might be connected with her case. Her daughter Hannah weirdly mentions about their residential situations: living in a windowless shack with her mother, father and her little brother. Her father is so strict about the rules and not to spend their times at the outside world (he’s a great protector against the lurking dangers of the woods.) Hannah’s quirky traits and sociopathic tendencies and calling her mother: “Lena” raises the alarm bells. Could they have been trapped in that shackle for years? Could that man think their father also be their captor and were the children products of a violent rape? As soon as Lena’s parents hear the news, they come to the hospital to identify the injured woman. As you may imagine their hope floats when they find out the woman is called “Lena” by her daughter Hannah is not their missing girl. Later the officers find out the patient at the hospital is Jasmin Grass who has also missing for four months. So if she’s not Lena why the daughter of real Lena calls her mother? Lena’s father Mattias who is also the third narrator of the story among with Hannah and Jasmin, still wants to get answers, looking for the support of the media even though he doesn’t approve the things they write about her daughter and he thinks Jasmin keeps big secrets and she knows what happened to her girl! Especially the last third of the book: I scared to breathe, move, only my fingers function to touch my ipad to flip the pages, eyes glued to the screen, mouth agape, feeling like somebody kept punching me with those smart, twisted, shocking revelations and of course the pure honest, raw, stunning epilogue of Lena was outstanding. Overall: Blazing, well-written, phenomenal five stars! I hope I’ll find more translated works of the author sooner. blog instagram facebook twitter

  2. 5 out of 5

    Meredith ( on Semi-Hiatus until February)

    Sick and Twisted 3.75 stars Dear Child is a psychological thriller about a woman who is held in captivity in a cabin in the woods until she escapes. 13 years after disappearing after attending a college party, Lena is found. Having killed her captor, she is now safe. Her two children, Hannah and Jonathan, are rescued as well. However, Lena’s story doesn’t add up, and it is clear that she is hiding something. Her children are also keeping deadly secrets. Even though they have physically escaped, the Sick and Twisted 3.75 stars Dear Child is a psychological thriller about a woman who is held in captivity in a cabin in the woods until she escapes. 13 years after disappearing after attending a college party, Lena is found. Having killed her captor, she is now safe. Her two children, Hannah and Jonathan, are rescued as well. However, Lena’s story doesn’t add up, and it is clear that she is hiding something. Her children are also keeping deadly secrets. Even though they have physically escaped, they are mentally scarred. The narrative is split between Mathias, Lena’s father; Hannah, Lena’s 13-year-old daughter; and Lena. Hannah’s chapters take center stage in the beginning. It took me a bit to adjust to her voice, which is brimming with fact after fact after fact. I found her irksome and wanted her to shut up, but I eventually got used to her. The transitions between characters were jarring, but I think part of this was due to translation. Mathias constantly spouts off about this or that while constantly blaming others, which annoyed me. Hannah’s chapters felt like a caricature of a twisted little child. Lena’s chapters were the most interesting to read. Dear Child is a dark and disturbing read. The pacing is fast, and each chapter reveals just a little bit more about what happened behind the walls of the creepy cabin. It’s not too graphic, but one can easily imagine the torture these characters suffered. I would describe this book as a combination of Room and Baby Doll. I didn’t love it, but I think part of it had to do with my dislike for the characters and other parts due to translation issues. I was completely thrown by the revelation of the bad guy--that got me good and bumped this up a notch. The ending is a bit chaotic and messy and left me with some questions. However, I always find plots like these intriguing and this one kept me turning the pages. I received a free copy of Dear Child by Romy Haussman from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    EXCERPT: He had returned and was standing over me, smiling, like before. I calculated that I'd been his prisoner for just over half a day now, although my senses and my intellect were at odds over this. in the darkness time stood still. And yet I still felt just about okay, so couldn't have been here much longer, I was tired, and had a headache, which I interpreted as a sign of dehydration, but my brain was still functioning. Even if all it could offer me was: after two or three days without wat EXCERPT: He had returned and was standing over me, smiling, like before. I calculated that I'd been his prisoner for just over half a day now, although my senses and my intellect were at odds over this. in the darkness time stood still. And yet I still felt just about okay, so couldn't have been here much longer, I was tired, and had a headache, which I interpreted as a sign of dehydration, but my brain was still functioning. Even if all it could offer me was: after two or three days without water, you'll be dead. 'Have you calmed down?' I resisted the impulse to scream and just gave him a silent nod. 'Very good,' he said, then turned around and went to the door. I waited for the click of the light switch. It didn't happen. The light stayed on. He even left the door slightly ajar when he went out. Forgetting to breathe, I stared at the door, open. I tugged fitfully at my shackles, without taking my eyes off the door, the open door, just five or six strides away from me, beyond reach.I blinked away a few stupid tears. I wouldn't get very far in any case. He must be coming back soon; why else would he leave the light on and the door open? All I could do was wait. ABOUT THIS BOOK: A windowless shack in the woods. Lena's life and that of her two children follows the rules set by their captor, the father: Meals, bathroom visits, study time are strictly scheduled and meticulously observed. He protects his family from the dangers lurking in the outside world and makes sure that his children will always have a mother to look after them. One day Lena manages to flee - but the nightmare continues. It seems as if her tormentor wants to get back what belongs to him. And then there is the question whether she really is the woman called 'Lena', who disappeared without a trace 14 years ago. The police and Lena's family are all desperately trying to piece together a puzzle which doesn't quite seem to fit. MY THOUGHTS: The synopsis of Dear Child by Romy Hausmann gives you absolutely no idea of the depth of horror and terror this woman, Lena, is facing. None whatsovever. The story is told from three points of view - 'Lena', Hannah (the daughter), and Matthias (Lena's father). Sounds simple? It's not. Everyone has secrets, things that they won't reveal. And everyone lies. I didn't love this book at the beginning. I felt slightly confused, (a deliberate ploy by the author I now think) and was wondering what all the fuss was about. I soon found out. I was a little over half way before I put this book down for the first time. And then only because I had to go to work. I read the second half after I got home last night, unable to go to sleep until I had finished in the early hours of this morning, and then unable to go to sleep anyway. I never guessed Lena's captor, although I suspected a number of people. Some of them more than once. Decidedly creepy. Jump at any noise in the night, real or imagined, creepy. I believe this is Hausmann's first book. She has written a psychological thriller that is both chilling and absorbing. And one that will have you glancing back over your shoulder, shivers running up your spine. 😱😱😱😱😱 #DearChild #NetGalley 'Love. It's all love. No matter how sick, distorted and misunderstood, it's still love. Love that spurs us on. That turns us into monsters, each in our own way.' THE AUTHOR: How did I, a girl from rural Swabia with glasses and a big bum, end up in this business in the first place? The reason? Because nobody believed I could make it. But it was what I wanted. I wanted to be in a profession where I could meet people, listen to stories and retell them, and I wanted to make a success of my career. I work at my old kitchen table. It's not unusual to see a raccoon on the terrace in the evenings, gorging on wine grapes. I do yoga, chop wood and grow vegetables in my greenhouse. And, of course, I talk about writing. DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Quercus Books via NetGalley for providing a digital ARC of Dear Child by Romy Hausmann for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to mu Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on Sandysbookaday.wordpress.com This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dem

    What a gripping plot! A real page turner that is disturbingly dark, twisted and unputdownable. Finally a phycological thriller that made for compelling reading. Dear child is a novel by German author Romy Haussmann . A family held captive by their father who rules his household with scheduled bathroom times, locked doors, and protects his family from the outside world until they manage to escape his obsessive world . But the night mare just begins for Lena and her family as the police try to p What a gripping plot! A real page turner that is disturbingly dark, twisted and unputdownable. Finally a phycological thriller that made for compelling reading. Dear child is a novel by German author Romy Haussmann . A family held captive by their father who rules his household with scheduled bathroom times, locked doors, and protects his family from the outside world until they manage to escape his obsessive world . But the night mare just begins for Lena and her family as the police try to piece together a puzzle that leads to more questions than answers. An accomplished thriller, fast paced dark and disturbing. A quick read that I just couldn’t put down. Exactly how I like my thrillers. I love books like this, exciting and twisty and this one had me guessing right to the end. There are a couple of elements of the story that were a wee bit contrived but its a phycological thriller and for me one of the better ones I have read in a long time. I listened to this novel on audible and the narration was excellent. A quick and entertaining read and perfect for summer reading. TBH I would have walked past this one in a book shop and never thought to pick it purely on it’s cover. I get the cover now that I have read it. I would have missed out on a really good book if this hadn’t been recommended by a friend . 😊 I think readers who enjoyed books like The Wife The Silent Patient may well enjoy this one.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kaceey

    “5013 days… that’s how long I spent looking for my daughter” What a deep, dark, read. Lena has been missing for 13 years. So long in fact, that she’s had two children while being held captive by a madman. When the opportunity presents itself, it’s time for ‘Lena’ to run! Unfortunately, she runs directly into the path of a passing car and ends up in the hospital. The first words she manages to utter… “Lena...my name is Lena ” But is it really her? And why won’t the children tell the authorit “5013 days… that’s how long I spent looking for my daughter” What a deep, dark, read. Lena has been missing for 13 years. So long in fact, that she’s had two children while being held captive by a madman. When the opportunity presents itself, it’s time for ‘Lena’ to run! Unfortunately, she runs directly into the path of a passing car and ends up in the hospital. The first words she manages to utter… “Lena...my name is Lena ” But is it really her? And why won’t the children tell the authorities what was going on in their so called home? Told through the eyes of Lena’s father, 'Lena', and the eldest child. I listened to the audio version and all the narrators did a superb job bringing their characters to life. Allowing you to feel the pain, the fear and even the indifference from the child. Not sure how I missed this book originally, but grateful to the many fantastic reviews that led me to pick this one up. Thank-you friends! Posted to: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend... Highly recommend the 🎧 version.

  6. 5 out of 5

    ScrappyMags

    What the WHAAAAA!!!!!!??????? Shortest Summary Ever: Lena has been held hostage along with her 2 children. One night the unthinkable happens - she’s free, only to wind up in hospital, hit by a car. What happened, who is she, and is the nightmare truly over? Thoughts: I’m never going anywhere again. Nope. Nope. Nope. Never. Agoraphobia is my jam. Yup. (Fetal position). Good God what did I just read? Something that scared every bajeezer out of me! Every. Last, One. (Crossing myself ten times, clutch What the WHAAAAA!!!!!!??????? Shortest Summary Ever: Lena has been held hostage along with her 2 children. One night the unthinkable happens - she’s free, only to wind up in hospital, hit by a car. What happened, who is she, and is the nightmare truly over? Thoughts: I’m never going anywhere again. Nope. Nope. Nope. Never. Agoraphobia is my jam. Yup. (Fetal position). Good God what did I just read? Something that scared every bajeezer out of me! Every. Last, One. (Crossing myself ten times, clutching a rosary... and I’m not Catholic). Ok - this is going to make me a weirdo (and I’m ok with that) but this book is all about a whack-job kidnapper psycho and DANG it freaked me out. Like snuggling-my-dog freaked out. Like make-this-into-a-movie freaked out. AND I LOVED IT. Lol! ThankGod this is fiction (please please please stay fiction). I’m one of those reviewers who likes the sick and twisted ever since I reveled in Montresor taking his good ol’ buddy Fortunato for a little walk to sample some wine (deliciously devious, insert mu-hu-wah- hahaha laugh.) But when there’s no revenge and it’s plain, pure evil? Scarier than anything. All my reviews available at scrappymags.com around time of publication. Genre: Mystery/Horror Recommend to: 9 out of 10 heebie jeebies so read it if you love to get those goosebumps! Not recommended to: If you’re not into psychos and the women they stalk. Thank you to the author, NetGalley and Flatiron Books for my advanced copy in exchange for my always-honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    Dear Child is a taut Psychological Thriller that will leave you scratching your head until the very end. Hausmann immediately drops the Reader into a complicated human puzzle. It can take some time to get your bearings, but once the narrative begins to unfold, it's completely intriguing. The story is told from three main perspectives: a kidnapped woman, known as Lena, who has just escaped her captor; her daughter, Hannah; and Lena's father, Matthias, who has been searching for his daughter for thi Dear Child is a taut Psychological Thriller that will leave you scratching your head until the very end. Hausmann immediately drops the Reader into a complicated human puzzle. It can take some time to get your bearings, but once the narrative begins to unfold, it's completely intriguing. The story is told from three main perspectives: a kidnapped woman, known as Lena, who has just escaped her captor; her daughter, Hannah; and Lena's father, Matthias, who has been searching for his daughter for thirteen years. From Lena and Hannah's perspectives, the scope of the hell they, along with Hannah's brother, Jonathan, have lived through begins to take shape. A cabin in the woods, the 'father' who controlled their every move and their total isolation. After her dramatic escape, Lena is hit by a car and transported to the hospital, with Hannah in tow. It is there that the true depth of the mystery is exposed. Is this woman really Lena? And if she's not, then who the heck is she? This story is dark, twisted, sick, and intricate. Progressing through this story is like peeling back the layers of an onion; something stinks and at times you want to cry. I thought this was so cleverly plotted. I had so many theories, my head was spinning. It did not end how I expected and I really enjoyed the journey. There were moments in the beginning where I was almost too confused, but once the puzzle started to come together, wow. It was chef's kiss. The Epilogue was the delicious icing on the cake. It gave me that evil grin I love to have at the end of a story. The most disturbing part of this was that it could really happen. There is nothing far-fetched about it. A cabin in the woods isn't suspicious in and of itself. You can really do anything you want behind those doors. I highly recommend this for people who love tense and twisted stories. I believe this is the first Thriller this author has written and obviously it shows incredible promise. Thank you so much to the publisher, Flatiron Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I am definitely anxious to pick up more from Hausmann!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    This certainly had some twists and curves I didn’t see coming. An abduction that happens 14 years ago to then 23 year old, Lena. Then another woman is found after missing for 4 months who calls herself Lena and looks a bit like her, but is not her. 2 children born in captivity. An escape. A father who faithfully believes he will find his daughter in the 14 years she’s been gone. It made me think of my own 22 year old daughter who is leaving again to further her education this coming fall. A reminde This certainly had some twists and curves I didn’t see coming. An abduction that happens 14 years ago to then 23 year old, Lena. Then another woman is found after missing for 4 months who calls herself Lena and looks a bit like her, but is not her. 2 children born in captivity. An escape. A father who faithfully believes he will find his daughter in the 14 years she’s been gone. It made me think of my own 22 year old daughter who is leaving again to further her education this coming fall. A reminder I need to invest in some brass knuckles for her so she can protect herself from any nuts out there. An entertaining English debut. 4 solid ⭐️

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ceecee

    4-5 stars rounded up. This is a shocking and gripping story of abduction and captivity which goes beyond this to look at the effect of the trauma on the victims and their families. A young woman is injured when she is hit by a car, she is taken to hospital accompanied by a strange child Hannah, who says that she is the victims daughter and that the woman’s name is Lena. Is this Lena Beck who has been missing for thirteen years? Her mother Karin and father Matthias full of hope, rush to the hospi 4-5 stars rounded up. This is a shocking and gripping story of abduction and captivity which goes beyond this to look at the effect of the trauma on the victims and their families. A young woman is injured when she is hit by a car, she is taken to hospital accompanied by a strange child Hannah, who says that she is the victims daughter and that the woman’s name is Lena. Is this Lena Beck who has been missing for thirteen years? Her mother Karin and father Matthias full of hope, rush to the hospital near the Czech border to identify the injured woman. Unfortunately their hopes are dashed as the woman is not Lena and proves to be Jasmin Grass who has been missing for four months and the story she tells police chills you to the bone. Her evidence leads them to an isolated cabin deep in the heart of some woods where another child, deeply traumatised Jonathan is found along with a dead body. Why does Hannah claim Lena is her mother? Why does she say that Jasmin’s name is Lena? The truth is a long time coming and is more twisty than you can imagine. The story is told in alternate storylines by Hannah, Lena/Jasmin and Matthias alternating with extracts from newspapers in particular Bayerisches Tagblatt. One of the most praiseworthy aspects is how Romy Hausman explores the psychology behind a trauma like abduction. Each of the victims reacts differently. Jasmin suffers nightmares, shuts herself off, can’t eat and so on. Jonathan becomes almost mute the damage is so deep. Hannah is composed, almost robotic and lacks empathy and emotion. Matthias is a puzzle and you have sympathy but I can’t say he’s likeable. He uses the media to keep Lena’s story in the headlines which is understandable but then becomes apoplectic when he doesn’t like what they print. The role of the media in a story like this is examined too especially the lengths that journalists will go to to get a story and an angle. This book is very well written with a good, gripping plot. It’s dark, scary, makes you ask many questions and has a lot of surprising and dramatic twists and turns. The end is good and feels right. Overall, a very good novel which intrigues throughout and is translated well. Recommended for fans of this genre.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Katie B

    This book is one of the better psychological thrillers I have read in the last few years. It's dark and disturbing and I couldn't help but be engrossed in the story. No doubt some comparisons can be made to the book Room by Emma Donoghue. You have a captivity plot and one of the narrators of the story is a child. However, don't skip this book just because you have read Room. Despite a few similarities Dear Child goes off in its own direction and I certainly didn't feel like I read the same book This book is one of the better psychological thrillers I have read in the last few years. It's dark and disturbing and I couldn't help but be engrossed in the story. No doubt some comparisons can be made to the book Room by Emma Donoghue. You have a captivity plot and one of the narrators of the story is a child. However, don't skip this book just because you have read Room. Despite a few similarities Dear Child goes off in its own direction and I certainly didn't feel like I read the same book twice. This story works well in my opinion because there are 3 narrators and they each bring something unique to the table. While the story moves forward in the present day, you slowly get pieces of the puzzle in regards to the captivity. (And yes, I am being vague on purpose. I had forgotten the publisher synopsis when I started this one and I was surprised a few times near the beginning of the book. If you don't mind going in blind, do it for this book as it makes for a better reading experience.) The only slight criticism I have is there is a specific part of the ending I found confusing. I actually had to go back a little bit and reread and thankfully it did make sense the 2nd time around. I like what the author came up with but I think it could have been executed better. Definitely recommend if you are in the mood for a creepy, page turning type read. I received a free ARC of Dear Child by Romy Hausmann from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review. #readinginsidersclub

  11. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    When a woman called Lena is in a hit and run accident and is taken to hospital with her daughter Hannah, a tale of abduction and captivity in a cabin in the woods emerges. The police think the woman may be Lena Beck who was kidnapped fourteen years before and summon Lena's parents to the hospital to identify her. This may sound like a familiar theme - a controlling monster of a man, a woman abducted and hidden in a remote location, children born and kept locked indoors - but nothing is as it see When a woman called Lena is in a hit and run accident and is taken to hospital with her daughter Hannah, a tale of abduction and captivity in a cabin in the woods emerges. The police think the woman may be Lena Beck who was kidnapped fourteen years before and summon Lena's parents to the hospital to identify her. This may sound like a familiar theme - a controlling monster of a man, a woman abducted and hidden in a remote location, children born and kept locked indoors - but nothing is as it seems making for a dark and chilling tale. The events are told from three points of view. That of the woman called Lena, Hannah and Lena's father Matthias, who has never given up looking for her, as the police try to unravel the story and identify the abductor. All three have secrets and no one is telling the truth, least of all Hannah who is a very strange, eerie little girl. A very atmospheric and compelling thriller! 4.5★ With thanks to Quercus Books and Netgalley for a digital copy to read

  12. 5 out of 5

    Pat (not getting friend updates currently)

    Dear Child - Romy Hausmann Well that was twisty and just all kinds of... wrong! This is a hard one to review without giving anything away but I will try. A woman escapes captivity only to hit by a car on the first road she come to. The driver is shocked but calls an ambulance immediately. As they head to the hospital the paramedics ask her name and a child’s voice says “Lena, her name is Lena”. But it’s not! And how did Hannah end up in the ambulance with her? In the hospital the woman, whose real Dear Child - Romy Hausmann Well that was twisty and just all kinds of... wrong! This is a hard one to review without giving anything away but I will try. A woman escapes captivity only to hit by a car on the first road she come to. The driver is shocked but calls an ambulance immediately. As they head to the hospital the paramedics ask her name and a child’s voice says “Lena, her name is Lena”. But it’s not! And how did Hannah end up in the ambulance with her? In the hospital the woman, whose real name is Jasmin Grass, doesn’t say much while she tries to work out what is going on and how to answer the questions posed by the police. It seems that Lena is another young woman who disappeared 13 years ago never to be seen again. Lena’s parents, Matthias and Karin Beck, rush to the hospital as their police officer friend tells them a woman, who could be Lena, has been brought in. Even through the injuries Matthias sees immediately that she is not Lena, but he also sees the child Hannah who is the spitting image of Lena. The story is told from the POV of Jasmin, Matthias and Hannah. Hannah (13 years old) is a strange, almost robotic child - highly intelligent but emotionally quite blank. Jasmin describes the cabin she was held in, with the children, how she bashed her captor’s head with a heavy snow globe and fled. And Hannah tells authorities that Jonathan, her younger brother (11 years old) is still at the cabin - cleaning up the blood. Yikes, is that weird or what? Matthias is not very likeable, yes he is a grieving father but a lot of his behaviours are wrong and unhelpful. As the story progresses nothing is quite what is seems. Each of the major characters is processing their trauma differently, and this is an issue the author handled very well. It is a good reminder that trauma responses can and do vary. Nevertheless, there was always something a bit odd about Hannah. Jasmin was left as a bundle of nerves not being able to trust anyone. Then the anonymous notes started... It got quite nerve shredding as the thing that Jasmin feared most seemed about to happen. But how could it be? Of course everyone is hiding something and when the truth does finally come out the answer is both surprising and shocking! It doesn’t happen often but I was quite uncomfortable at times while reading this. Thanks to Netgalley, Quercus Books and Romy Hausmann for providing a copy for me to review. My opinions are my own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Frank Phillips

    4.25, rounded down!! What a great debut novel this was. To start with, this story takes place in southern Germany (Bavaria), which is where I was born and raised until I was 12 years old, so that immediately had me intrigued. Also, anything to do with creepy children intrigues me, so that was another plus. Let's just say that one of our young protagonists, Hannah, definitely met my creepiness expectations! The story was very dark and frighteningly realistic or at least plausible, to me. It gave 4.25, rounded down!! What a great debut novel this was. To start with, this story takes place in southern Germany (Bavaria), which is where I was born and raised until I was 12 years old, so that immediately had me intrigued. Also, anything to do with creepy children intrigues me, so that was another plus. Let's just say that one of our young protagonists, Hannah, definitely met my creepiness expectations! The story was very dark and frighteningly realistic or at least plausible, to me. It gave me the creeps throughout, and a few of the more vivid flashback scenes really got to me! I was able to imagine myself in our protagonist's place, and cringed multiple times! Overall this is a story about a 23-year-old college student who disappears inexplicably one night walking home after a party. What happened to her? I totally got the 'Room,' vibe while reading this, and even more so I felt this book read similar to the BBC series The Missing, with a few distinct differences. There was a fantastic twist in the storyline in the first part, that afterwards had me hooked! I wasn't sure where the story was going at that point and if there was an unreliable narrator situation or a few other possible scenarios crossed my mind, but I definitely did not anticipate the ending that we got and felt it really came completely out of left field, and I appreciated that. Without giving much away, this book gives us something it's similar predecessors didn't, in that it attempted to provide the WHY this happened, going so deep as to even make the reader reflect what they might be capable of were they to experience the events and circumstances our antagonist did.. what are we really capable of when put through the ringer beyond a certain point? I thought this book explored that pretty well! If I had to point out any issues with this novel it might just be the similarities it had to the before mentioned series, and I did listen to this partially on audiobook, which had British, rather than German, accented voices for our characters, so I struggled with that, but overall this novel has me really thrilled to see what else this author will release. I'm definitely a new fan!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    “Love. It’s love. No matter how sick, distorted and misunderstood, it’s still love. Love that spurs us on. That turns us into monsters, each in our own way.” If I had to pick a quote from this book to summarize it, I’d say that’s the one. Romy Hausmann’s debut novel is a powerful look into the psychology of both love and trauma, and how it expresses itself uniquely through different people, sometimes in horrifying ways, and sometimes in healing ways. The story is told in three narratives by ‘Lena “Love. It’s love. No matter how sick, distorted and misunderstood, it’s still love. Love that spurs us on. That turns us into monsters, each in our own way.” If I had to pick a quote from this book to summarize it, I’d say that’s the one. Romy Hausmann’s debut novel is a powerful look into the psychology of both love and trauma, and how it expresses itself uniquely through different people, sometimes in horrifying ways, and sometimes in healing ways. The story is told in three narratives by ‘Lena’, the victim of an abduction who is forced into a surrogate wife/mother role to the abductor and his two children, the abductor’s daughter, Hannah, and finally Matthias, Lena’s father. While that seems fairly straightforward, an accident happens that reveals that there’s more to ‘Lena’s’ story than was first imagined, and the book follows the implications of these new discoveries on her life, the lives of Matthias and his wife Karen, who’ve been searching for Lena for 13 years, and on Hannah and her brother Jonathan’s lives, among others. This is one of those books with start to finish tension. There’s an intentional confusion to the story which never lets you get comfortable that everything will be OK, because every new reveal knocks you back down a little. You’re never sure who to trust, which adds a nice creepy, suspenseful feel to the story, and I truly didn’t see the revelation of the abductor’s identity coming. The characters are universally flawed in this story, so there’s not really a “feel good” character to latch onto, but I think that made everything more realistic. Trauma is messy, and so are these characters. There is a big undercurrent of power dynamics in this story. An abductor exerting his will over his victim, a grieving father fashioning a future path for he and his wife, regardless of her opinions on it, children who’ve never questioned their obedience to their father, and conversely, the power of victims to survive their circumstances. Everyone is holding onto whatever control they have over their situations, whether fair to the people around them or not. Love takes on a distorted form that each character justifies in their own way. There were a few characters I had a difficult time with (I’m looking at you Matthias), but by the end, when all was revealed, I could at least understand all of them enough to feel sympathetic. It’s not a fast-paced book, but it kept me completely invested. If you like a psychological thriller heavy on the psychology, this is a great one. I’ll definitely be watching for more from this author. ★★★★ ½ (rounded up to 5)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Student Lena Beck went missing 14 years ago in Munich after going to a party. When a young woman is bought into hospital after a hit and run accident, the child Hannah she is with calls her mommy and says she is called Lena, they live in a cabin in the woods with her brother Jonathon and their dad. Lena’s dad has never given up looking for his daughter and pesters the police for more information, he is hopeful that Lena is still alive. The suspense builds as he rushes to the hospital only to find Student Lena Beck went missing 14 years ago in Munich after going to a party. When a young woman is bought into hospital after a hit and run accident, the child Hannah she is with calls her mommy and says she is called Lena, they live in a cabin in the woods with her brother Jonathon and their dad. Lena’s dad has never given up looking for his daughter and pesters the police for more information, he is hopeful that Lena is still alive. The suspense builds as he rushes to the hospital only to find out the injured woman is not Lena. I’m not normally a fan of kidnapped themed books, but this one drew me in straightaway and kept me captive until the end. Told from 3 people’s points of view it keeps you guessing with lots of reveals and red herrings along the way. A thrilling book with a surprising ending. I will look out for this authors next book with great anticipation!! Thank you to Netgalley for my copy in exchange for a review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gloria Arthur

    ⭐️5 Stars⭐️ Five well deserved stars for this shockingly super-creepy thriller! Wow! A compelling and page-turning story of abduction, cruelty and mystery. Imagine living in a cabin in the woods, windowless and isolated, everything you do is meticulously scheduled including bathroom visits. I’m not going to give too much away..... Lena Beck, 23 a petite, blonde student disappeared without a trace after attending a party until 5 a.m. thirteen years earlier. A woman is brought into hospital, critical ⭐️5 Stars⭐️ Five well deserved stars for this shockingly super-creepy thriller! Wow! A compelling and page-turning story of abduction, cruelty and mystery. Imagine living in a cabin in the woods, windowless and isolated, everything you do is meticulously scheduled including bathroom visits. I’m not going to give too much away..... Lena Beck, 23 a petite, blonde student disappeared without a trace after attending a party until 5 a.m. thirteen years earlier. A woman is brought into hospital, critically injured in a hit and run. The young child that’s with her claims to be living in a cabin in the woods with her mother. Is the injured woman Lena Beck and have they both escaped from their captor? What a tangled web of darkness and intrigue this story tells. It’s expertly written, creative and contains a suspenseful plot that I found utterly haunting. If you love a thriller with a mystery that’s not predicable you’ll love this one! I wish to thank Quercus Books & NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book which will be published in May 2020

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nazanin

    4 Solid Stars Told in multiple POV, 1st person, it’s a standalone novel. I think this was a good debut novel. Dear Child is a dark thriller, a creepy read and you should proceed with caution (view spoiler)[abduction, rape, violence, torturing... (hide spoiler)] It’s fast-paced with short chapters, unpredictable (about finding the bad guy) with a satisfying ending. My only complaint is its similarity with Room (I’ve watched the movie and haven’t read the book itself but I could see their similarit 4 Solid Stars Told in multiple POV, 1st person, it’s a standalone novel. I think this was a good debut novel. Dear Child is a dark thriller, a creepy read and you should proceed with caution (view spoiler)[abduction, rape, violence, torturing... (hide spoiler)] It’s fast-paced with short chapters, unpredictable (about finding the bad guy) with a satisfying ending. My only complaint is its similarity with Room (I’ve watched the movie and haven’t read the book itself but I could see their similarity) but still I liked it! Overall, I had a good time reading it and hope you enjoy it as well! Ps I’d like to thank my dear friend, Mary Beth, for recommending this book. I appreciated it!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Hoover

    BAM! The sound of a watermelon smashing as it's dropped on the floor . . . or a head shattering as it's beaten against a wall . . . or my mind exploding after reading this dark, chilling, one-of-a-kind psychological suspense thriller. You'll get the analogy after you read Dear Child. Friends, what we have here is as rare as hen's teeth - a brilliantly written thriller that imprisons readers in an isolated, windowless shack deep in the woods in the middle of nowhere with a woman, 2 children, and BAM! The sound of a watermelon smashing as it's dropped on the floor . . . or a head shattering as it's beaten against a wall . . . or my mind exploding after reading this dark, chilling, one-of-a-kind psychological suspense thriller. You'll get the analogy after you read Dear Child. Friends, what we have here is as rare as hen's teeth - a brilliantly written thriller that imprisons readers in an isolated, windowless shack deep in the woods in the middle of nowhere with a woman, 2 children, and their "protector". If you think you've read something like this before, think again. I promise you if you survive and find your way through all the smoke and mirrors to the astounding end, you'll realize how unique and special this story is. I knew nothing about Dear Child when I accepted an arc other than what the synopsis told me. I was intrigued, but in no way prepared for the harrowing journey to come. Avoid spoiler reviews and this twisted tale of mind-games will spike your blood pressure and raise the hair on the back of your neck. Before I realized what was happening, I found myself incarcerated by the dark, gripping multi-layered plot, malicious undertones and unreliable, flawed characters. Shackled to my seat, I couldn't stop reading or break the chains binding me until the blindsiding end. I read a LOT of psychological thrillers and often figure things out well before the end. Not this time. I devoured Dear Child trying to figure out WHO to believe, WHO is deceiving who, WHO is the real villain, WHO is the monster - for that matter ... WHO is the victim? Dear Child unfolds through three points of view - a woman captive, a child, and a father. Vague? Yes. As I said, go into this one blind. The water gets murky quickly in this horrifying, jaw-dropping tale. The story is told in present time with heartbreaking glimpses into the past raising several tough questions. I found the voice of the child Hannah especially disturbing yet compelling - an almost monotone delivery of knowledge, facts and insight way beyond her years in a near programmed-like state, and amazingly, this set the gripping tone that drives the gut-wrenching story forward at a brisk pace. I haven't read a book before that challenged me as a reader as thoroughly as this one did. I'll say it touches on the fragile psyche of victims held in captivity for long periods of time. It speaks to the many different perspectives on what is "normal" and the manner in which our perceptions are authenticated. It emphasizes the long, hard road to recovery for people trapped in their own mind by horrifying life experiences and the heavy burden laid on them by a world that can't understand. I applaud German Author Romy Hausmann for her first book to be translated in English as she has set the bar high. I dare say I don't expect to read another thriller like it for long time to come if ever. Dear Child is a raw, gritty, psychotic suspense thriller that blew me away on its way to earning every single one of my 5 stars along with a spot on my All-Time Favorites List. Fans of mystery, suspense, and psychological thrillers, you must read this book and help spread the word. There's a new sheriff/suspense author in town! Dear Child is a brilliantly delivered, one-of-a-kind stunner! *Many thanks to Flatiron Books & Macmillans Publ. for an arc of this book! #readinginsidersclub **Review posted at: Cross My Heart Reviews

  19. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    “You haven’t got us, not really. It’s your prison, not ours.” After finishing this book earlier today and sitting with it for a while to gather my thoughts, I still feel a bit conflicted about it. Initially, as it was off to a very rocky start with me, I berated myself for choosing a story that centred around characters kidnapped and held in captivity, a theme that has never really been my cup of tea. I’m one of the few people who weren’t totally enamoured by ROOM, or SILENT CHILD, or LOOK BEHIND “You haven’t got us, not really. It’s your prison, not ours.” After finishing this book earlier today and sitting with it for a while to gather my thoughts, I still feel a bit conflicted about it. Initially, as it was off to a very rocky start with me, I berated myself for choosing a story that centred around characters kidnapped and held in captivity, a theme that has never really been my cup of tea. I’m one of the few people who weren’t totally enamoured by ROOM, or SILENT CHILD, or LOOK BEHIND YOU. So what initially attracted me to this one? The premise is intriguing: a young woman is critically injured in a hit-and-run accident. She has a young child with her who calls her “Mummy” and claims that they are living in a cabin in the woods. Initially it appears that she is Lena, a woman who disappeared without a trace 14 years ago. Soon, however, facts don’t add up. Lena’s father is adamant that the unconscious woman in hospital is not his daughter. So who is she, and what happened to Lena? All my doubts dispersed around the 50% mark, when I suddenly found myself totally invested in the story. I think that the game changer was the tightening web of intrigue and secrets that kept me turning the pages. As well as the character study of our three main protagonists, who have all been victims of the crime in their own way. I felt especially fascinated by the child character Hannah, whose view of the world is so crazily distorted by her early childhood experiences. I am trying really hard not to give any spoilers here! As the psychological aspect came more into play, I was well and truly hooked. Hausmann writes well, and the omissions in the separate POVs that give each character a slightly unreliable edge (I was suspicious of everyone!), really ratcheted up the tension in the second half of the book, as it marched towards its unexpected finale. I wouldn’t say I loved the cliff-hangers at the end of every chapter, because they kept me turning the pages way too long into the night, but they were cleverly done and obviously achieved their desired effect! With her debut DEAR CHILD, Hausmann has served up an intelligent, multi-layered and intricately plotted novel that only gave up its secrets after peeling back all the layers. I dare you to guess the outcome – I certainly didn’t. It contains some truly chilling themes and scenes, some of which were concealed in the implied and unsaid, and in Hannah’s perception of reality. It was frightening to me to think that this horrible situation has happened to real people, in real life! All in all, if you loved Emma Donoghue’s famous novel ROOM and are fascinated by the psychological aspects of captivity, then this book should be on your radar. For me, it was the final chapter that really wormed its way into my heart and made sure that I will remember this book for some time to come. Once you read it you will see what I mean. 3.75 stars Thank you to Netgalley and Quercus Books for the free electronic copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review. *blog* *facebook* *instagram*

  20. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Walsh

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 3.5 stars. This was a dark, twisty, tantalizing story and also a psychological thriller. For most of the book, I found it suspenseful and compelling and close to a 5 star read for me. I love unexpected twists and revelations, but thought it was overdone with at least one twist too many. I felt the storyline was becoming convoluted near the end. The tension and surprises kept coming, but it seemed the writer was trying too hard to keep up the momentum. I believe this is a debut thriller, and tha 3.5 stars. This was a dark, twisty, tantalizing story and also a psychological thriller. For most of the book, I found it suspenseful and compelling and close to a 5 star read for me. I love unexpected twists and revelations, but thought it was overdone with at least one twist too many. I felt the storyline was becoming convoluted near the end. The tension and surprises kept coming, but it seemed the writer was trying too hard to keep up the momentum. I believe this is a debut thriller, and that the author has a very promising future. The characters were well developed, but not entirely likeable. The story is told through 3 perspectives. 1. Matteas, whose beloved daughter,Lena, went missing fourteen years earlier. He hates scandalous articles about her in the newspaper, and urges the papers' support in viewing her as a good, honourable girl. 2. A woman who is in hospital with severe injuries after being hit by a car. She gives her name as Lena. 3. Hannah, who accompanied Lena to the hospital by ambulance and claims the woman is her mother. Hannah is thirteen-years-old but looks much younger due to poor nutrition. Her conversation includes irrelevant encyclopedic knowledge and she gives some clues about the confined life she and Lena were living in a shack in the woods. She also mentions a brother whom she considers stupid as he didn't learn to read until the age of four. She often refers to herself as her father's favourite child. Matteas and his wife are overwhelmed by hope and anticipation when informed that Lena is in hospital some distance away. She had sustained multiple injuries when hit by a car but is expected to survive. Their hopes were dashed when Matteas viewed the woman thought to be his missing daughter and insisted the injured woman was not Lena. The distraught parents notice Hannah in the hallway. Her appearance is eerily similar to Lena. Later, DNA tests confirm that she is Lena's biological child and their grandchild. Why she calls the injured stranger her mother is a puzzle. We learn some details from Jasmin, a woman who was abducted and kept captive for four months,some of the pieces of the puzzle. Her story tells some of the horrific and humiliating conditions confined in a cabin in the woods. She lived with a cruel and controlling man and Hannah and her brother. He kept them isolated from the outside world. He had rigid rules, making them follow strict timetables for bedtime, meals and when to go to the toilet. When she escaped with Hannah, the brother was left behind. The children did not regard their sheltered home life unusual but are both receiving psychiatric care in the hospital due to some horror they witnessed. Matteas is obsessed with Hannah and wants her to replace Lena in his home. Hannah fills in some of the blanks about life with her father. Jasmin is suffering from PTSD and is often confused . Who is the kidnapper? What happened to Lena? Is Jasmin still in danger? How will the two children adjust to the world? Will Matteas manage to bring Hannah home to his reluctant wife? What happened to a baby sister Hannah mentions? All these puzzles are answered by the end.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lyn❤Loves❤Listening #AUDIOBOOKADDICT

    Audio... 3.5 Stars The Male narrator almost ruined the audio for me with all his mouth sounds 😣 Thankfully there were two strong female narrators that helped me get through the audio. Story....4 Stars

  22. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    This is a creepy and warped little book, translated from the German, about a woman and children who escaped from their captor. (It’s a good and smooth translation!) At first the story’s setup sounds like one we have all read before, with a woman raised in captivity and subjected to sexual abuse, but it turns out there are twists upon twists here. This first twist has to do with mistaken identity - when it turns out the woman identifying herself as “Lena” may not actually be the long-missing kidn This is a creepy and warped little book, translated from the German, about a woman and children who escaped from their captor. (It’s a good and smooth translation!) At first the story’s setup sounds like one we have all read before, with a woman raised in captivity and subjected to sexual abuse, but it turns out there are twists upon twists here. This first twist has to do with mistaken identity - when it turns out the woman identifying herself as “Lena” may not actually be the long-missing kidnap victim. But who is she? Why would she identify herself as Lena? And why does she have the same scar Lena had? As with many multiple narrator books, I had a little trouble telling the three narrators apart at first. But once I caught onto each character’s voice I was invested, especially in “Lena” who was not Lena. And also I wanted to find out 1) why “not Lena” thought she was Lena, and 2) what actually happened to the real Lena. The book delivers on both fronts by the end. I like that it is more complex and interesting that the usual kidnap/captor story, but it also delivers on the thrills while making your brain work a little harder to figure out what’s going on. A good and interesting thriller that bends the genre a bit in unexpected ways. Thanks to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for the twisty and enjoyable ARC. It was fun to read this German psychological suspense novel and I’d love to read more from this author.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    Lena had been missing for 4000 days when her parents got the call to say that a woman matching her description had turned up at the hospital with a child. Lena had escaped from her abductor only to get knocked down in a hit and run accident. Matthias has never given up hope that is daughter is alive. But when he sees the woman he knows it's not his daughter. But why does her daughter, Hannah look like Lena did at that age? Hannah and her brother Joseph have been kept in a windowless cabin. This s Lena had been missing for 4000 days when her parents got the call to say that a woman matching her description had turned up at the hospital with a child. Lena had escaped from her abductor only to get knocked down in a hit and run accident. Matthias has never given up hope that is daughter is alive. But when he sees the woman he knows it's not his daughter. But why does her daughter, Hannah look like Lena did at that age? Hannah and her brother Joseph have been kept in a windowless cabin. This story I'd told from multiple points of view. It's quite a complex story. I was drawn into the story from the beginning as the story recedes along throwing out twists along the way. It did dip for a little while in the middle, then we are back racing along to a great ending. The characters are well rounded. The book is well written, emotional and full of suspense. A great debut novel. I do recommend this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    3.75 Stars. Student, Lena Beck, 23, missing in Munich. It's been 4,993 days and nights. 13 years of waiting for the phone to ring....and it does. Now there's a bit of hope, but what the parents find at the hospital is not what they expected.I thought I had this puzzler figured out more than once, but no cigar! As the book summary reveals, an isolated life behind locked doors of a shack in the woods is the setting, and although we've heard similar stories before, DEAR CHILD keeps the storyline 3.75 Stars. Student, Lena Beck, 23, missing in Munich. It's been 4,993 days and nights. 13 years of waiting for the phone to ring....and it does. Now there's a bit of hope, but what the parents find at the hospital is not what they expected.I thought I had this puzzler figured out more than once, but no cigar! As the book summary reveals, an isolated life behind locked doors of a shack in the woods is the setting, and although we've heard similar stories before, DEAR CHILD keeps the storyline fresh with a twisty plot and the voice of a little girl named Hannah.Solid read with an epilogue that sealed the deal for me. (view spoiler)[(Who else thought Fraulein Tinky was real?) (hide spoiler)]

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

    A creepy and compelling tale Lena Beck disappeared fourteen years ago--a carefree student who simply vanished without a trace. Since then, her father, Matthias, and her mother have waited for any news about their daughter's whereabouts. Then, they receive a call: a woman has been found after an accident. She's in the hospital and a young girl, Hannah, presumably her daughter, is with her. From Hannah, we learn that Lena and Hannah were living in a cabin, basically unknown and cutoff from the outs A creepy and compelling tale Lena Beck disappeared fourteen years ago--a carefree student who simply vanished without a trace. Since then, her father, Matthias, and her mother have waited for any news about their daughter's whereabouts. Then, they receive a call: a woman has been found after an accident. She's in the hospital and a young girl, Hannah, presumably her daughter, is with her. From Hannah, we learn that Lena and Hannah were living in a cabin, basically unknown and cutoff from the outside world. "He creates day and night. Like God." This book was quite the ride! I couldn't put this one down. It was eerily reminiscent of Wendy Walker's Don't Look For Me, which I just read, and of course, Room, as everyone has mentioned. It's utterly captivating; I read it over the course of about 24 hours. The story is told from the perspective of Hannah, who has her own unique voice (that's putting it mildly); the woman known as Lena; and Matthias. Together, they tell us a creepy and often heartbreaking tale, going back in time to the cabin, as well as present day in the hospital. I won't go too in-depth, because it's best to go in to this one blind. I will say that it's easy to get caught up in the characters, particularly Lena, and Hannah, in a sort of spellbinding way. I was mesmerized by their stories and totally enjoyed that I didn't guess the outcome. I thought this was going to be a 4.5-star read, but the ending wound up being a little crazy. It came on suddenly and just seemed a bit jarring. Still, if you're looking for an eerie and compelling read--told by some original and haunting voices--you'll enjoy DEAR CHILD. 4 stars. I received a free ARC of Dear Child by Romy Hausmann from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review. Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ PaperBackSwap ~ Smashbomb

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ Normally I hate when a blurb says “this book is ABC meets XYZ.” Hate. It. But since this book actually was Room meets Gone Girl . . . . Fourteen years ago the Beck’s daughter went missing and they never gave up hope of finding her alive one day. But when a young woman matching Lena’s description (down to a scar on her forehead) turns up in the hospital it is not she who Herr Beck recognizes. It’s the thirteen year old girl with he Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ Normally I hate when a blurb says “this book is ABC meets XYZ.” Hate. It. But since this book actually was Room meets Gone Girl . . . . Fourteen years ago the Beck’s daughter went missing and they never gave up hope of finding her alive one day. But when a young woman matching Lena’s description (down to a scar on her forehead) turns up in the hospital it is not she who Herr Beck recognizes. It’s the thirteen year old girl with her who claims that is her mother. This is a book to pick up if you are looking for something where the pages practically turn themselves, but want to have an experience like this while reading it . . . . While not as emotionally compelling as Room or as totally O.T.T. batshit like Gone Girl, the comparisons are fair and this made for a pretty good mashup that didn’t let me put it down until I was finished. ARC received from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Dear Child by Romy Hausmann is an addictive thriller that I read in 2 sittings. Lena Beck from Munich went to out on a Tuesday night to a student party until 5am. Whilst she was out, she phoned a friend but, after that Lena was never seen again. The police searched everywhere but, she was never found. Thirteen years later her father got a phone call to say that a woman has been found with Lena’s description but when he gets there it’s not her. But the little girl Hannah who is with her is the spl Dear Child by Romy Hausmann is an addictive thriller that I read in 2 sittings. Lena Beck from Munich went to out on a Tuesday night to a student party until 5am. Whilst she was out, she phoned a friend but, after that Lena was never seen again. The police searched everywhere but, she was never found. Thirteen years later her father got a phone call to say that a woman has been found with Lena’s description but when he gets there it’s not her. But the little girl Hannah who is with her is the splitting image of his daughter Lena. Her father never gave up looking for his daughter and hopes that she is still alive. As the story unfolds, they find that who this woman is and how she escaped going back in time to decipher what happened to Lena. Is she alive or dead? Dear child is not your normal kidnapped, abductor scenario. It is quite a creepy eerie thriller. Especially the character Hannah, she seems to be very bright but, does not have much feeling for anything. This is cleverly written with lots of turns that kept me at the edge of my seat and a surprising twist at the end that I didn’t see coming. Thank you NetGalley and Quercus for a copy of this book for an honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Emma Garland

    Lena leads a small life. Held captive with her two children, she hasn’t set foot outside the cabin since her abduction. With the windows boarded up, she doesn’t know if it’s day or night, her routine dictated by her captor. Rules are everything here. Strict toilet and meal times must be followed and basic manners applied. They rely on him for survival and worry one day that he may not return. But when Lena manages to break free nothing is quite as it seems. When the police begin to help her, thi Lena leads a small life. Held captive with her two children, she hasn’t set foot outside the cabin since her abduction. With the windows boarded up, she doesn’t know if it’s day or night, her routine dictated by her captor. Rules are everything here. Strict toilet and meal times must be followed and basic manners applied. They rely on him for survival and worry one day that he may not return. But when Lena manages to break free nothing is quite as it seems. When the police begin to help her, things don’t quite match up. Is her name even Lena? Brrrrrrr this was chilling! There’s always something about abduction stories that gives me the creeps and having children involved intensified that. The depravity of locking someone away from light and air against their will and raising children in that environment is horrendous. A little predictable in places but full on surprising in others. 4 stars from me. ✨

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bex (Beckie Bookworm)

    So firstly this is a translation and a good one. It reads fluently and I couldn’t tell it was a translation at all. A young woman arrives in the emergency room with her daughter Hannah. Hannah is a strange girl and as she opens up alarm bells are triggered. Then there’s the woman herself things here are definitely not what they seem on the surface. What starts as a straightforward girl returned to her family story soon morphs into something entirely different and there are twists and turns aplenty in So firstly this is a translation and a good one. It reads fluently and I couldn’t tell it was a translation at all. A young woman arrives in the emergency room with her daughter Hannah. Hannah is a strange girl and as she opens up alarm bells are triggered. Then there’s the woman herself things here are definitely not what they seem on the surface. What starts as a straightforward girl returned to her family story soon morphs into something entirely different and there are twists and turns aplenty in this gripping psychological mystery. So this story unfolds in present time and we also learn through a series of flashbacks about past occurrences. This is actually told from 3 POV’s the escaped woman herself, the daughter Hannah and the father of Lena everything heavily connected in an intricate web. It was a gripping page-turner that easily kept my attention with its fascinating storyline. I enjoyed this one a lot. I voluntarily reviewed a copy of Dear Child. Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm https://www.facebook.com/beckiebookworm/ www.beckiebookworm.com

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ludwig Reads

    “It’s not so bad, Mama. It was just a silly accident.” Dear Child by Romy Haussman: The thriller you need to drop EVERYTHING for when it comes out in 2020. This book snagged quite an unexpected reaction from me, and I think that was because the author was audacious enough to break all the rules, create her own and infuse her story with a creative, dark energy. One of the most compelling scares readers encounter in this novel, is the exploration of the psychology of a clever young girl named Hann “It’s not so bad, Mama. It was just a silly accident.” Dear Child by Romy Haussman: The thriller you need to drop EVERYTHING for when it comes out in 2020. This book snagged quite an unexpected reaction from me, and I think that was because the author was audacious enough to break all the rules, create her own and infuse her story with a creative, dark energy. One of the most compelling scares readers encounter in this novel, is the exploration of the psychology of a clever young girl named Hannah, given the traumatic happenings taking place around her on a daily basis, in addition to the intricate, yet brilliantly-conveyed subject of maternal nurture. Hausmann also discusses, through impeccable storytelling, the reason behind our perpetrator’s savagery. This character is capable of both unimaginable and realistic abusive behavior. I think that’s what’s most unsettling, how the story is so thinly connected to reality while still breaking the record for the number of twists and turns that even avid thriller readers might not ever guess. On the other hand, this is probably one of the most shocking stories about survival I’ve ever read. It’s well-plotted and the attention to detail is extremely precise that I doubt our protagonists Lena, Jasmin and Hannah’s story will ever leave my mind.

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