On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the debut thriller by Philippa East, Little White Lies.
She only looked away for a second…
Anne White only looked away for a second, but that’s all it took to lose sight of her young daughter.
But seven years later, Abigail is found.
And as Anne struggles to connect with her teenage daughter, she begins to question how much Abigail remembers about the day she disappeared…
Little White Lies is a breath-taking debut by Philippa East which I managed to finish in just a couple of days. The tension is on every page, and I found it very difficult to put down. If I had, had the time, I could have quite happily finished it in one sitting.
At the beginning of the novel, Anne White receives a phone call from the police that she thought she would never receive. Her daughter, Abigail, has been found, seven years after she went missing. At last, the nightmare is over. But is it? Anne imagined that there would be an instant bond between them, but there isn’t. Why is there this disconnected feeling? What does Abigail remember about the day she went missing?
You can feel the tension permeating the atmosphere of Anne’s home after Abigail comes back. It seems as though they are walking on eggshells around each other a lot of the time. I wanted to know why there was this frosty atmosphere between them. I had heard of the term ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ before. When people have suffered from abuse, or who have been kidnapped, they have bonded with their abusers or kidnappers. If you are in their position for a great deal of time, you become wholly dependent on the abuser, especially if you have been kidnapped. You rely on them for food, water and just about everything you require to live. It is a deep psychological trauma that I can imagine must take years of therapy to work on. I wondered if this was what was happening with Abigail. She had been with her kidnapper for eight years.
The fearful thing for Anne and her family is that Abigail’s kidnapper is still at large. Until he is caught, he still poses a threat to Abigail.
Anne was a really interesting character. Although she is grateful and thrilled to have her daughter back after so long, she is also apprehensive. I wanted to know what it was Anne thought Abigail might know about the day she went missing. Anne can’t confront her daughter about what she might know. This is what raises the tension between them as they try to reconnect.
Philippa East raps up the tension in the final chapters, especially during the court scenes. You know that a dark secret is about to be revealed and I couldn’t wait to find out what that was. There are some taut scenes as the book races towards its conclusion, and I couldn’t stop reading until I had turned the final page.
Little White Lies is a well written, extremely tense debut thriller. Philippa East’s writing engaged me right from the start. I can’t wait to read what she writes next.
Publication date: 6th February 2020
Print length: 352 pages
Little White Lies is available to buy: