The Lost by Mari Hannah #bookreview

The Lost (Stone and Oliver Book 1) by [Hannah, Mari]


‘He was her child. The only one she’d ever have. It would kill her to learn that he was missing.’

Alex arrives home from holiday to find that her ten-year-old son Daniel has disappeared.

It’s the first case together for Northumbria CID officers David Stone and Frankie Oliver.

Stone has returned to his roots with fifteen years’ experience in the Met, whereas Oliver is local, a third generation copper with a lot to prove, and a secret that’s holding her back.

But as the investigation unfolds, they realise the family’s betrayal goes deeper than anyone suspected. This isn’t just a missing persons case. Stone and Oliver are hunting a killer.


The Lost is a very twisty crime novel from Mari Hannah which delves into a family’s secrets when a ten-year-old child disappears.

I absolutely loved this book. It’s the first one by Mari Hannah which I have read and I was really impressed by how Mari drew everything together, especially as this was a very complex investigation that her police team were investigating. I thought it was brilliant how Mari completely threw me with the twist towards the end which was so chilling.

I think what made this novel so intriguing from the beginning was the family who were involved and at the centre of the case the police team are investigating. For me there was something that just didn’t sit right about them. I really wanted to get to the bottom of who these people were and there were so many different aspects about their personalities which kept me intrigued and searching for answers.

This book did take a very different direction to the one which I was expecting it to. We are first introduced to one of our main characters, Alex, when she is on holiday in Majorca with her sister, only to come back to the UK to discover that her son is missing. But as Mari’s two new lead detectives, David Stone and Frankie Oliver investigate; they discover that there is more to this family than meets the eye and they have to unpick the layers to get to the heart of what is really going on in the lives of the people involved.

Detectives Stone and Oliver are a welcome addition to the crime fiction world. There is a strong working and friendly relationship between them and it’ll be interesting to see how they progress from here. I suspect that there is more about Frankie to be discovered as there is a hint about something in her past which I am definitely interested to find out more about.

With a brilliant, cleverly thought out plot and addictive writing, I can’t recommend this book highly enough for crime fiction lovers. It’s a book that I found very difficult to put down. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 22nd March 2018

Print length: 416 pages

If you would like to purchase The Lost, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below. 

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

Only A Mother by Elisabeth Carpenter blog tour #bookreview @LibbyCPT @orionbooks

Only a Mother by [Carpenter, Libby]


Erica Wright hasn’t needed to scrub ‘MURDERER’ off her house in over a year. Life is almost quiet again. Then her son, Craig, is released from prison, and she knows the quiet is going to be broken.
Erica has always believed Craig was innocent – despite the lies she told for him years ago – but when he arrives home, she notices the changes in him. She doesn’t recognise her son anymore.
So, when another girl goes missing, she starts to question everything. But how can a mother turn her back on her son? And, if she won’t, then how far will she go to protect him?


Having read Elisabeth Carpenter’s first two novels, I have to say that I think her latest Only A Mother is her best yet. In all three of her books, she has managed to create well rounded and intriguing characters that pull you in from the first page. They all feel like very real people, and I have always become invested in their lives.

We meet Erica who is preparing for her son’s release from prison, seventeen years after he was convicted for killing a young girl. He was also linked to the murder of another young woman, but not enough evidence could be found to charge him. Journalist Luke is desperate to find that evidence linking him to the second girl’s death, but what if all is not as it seems? Just how far will Erica go to protect her son?

Erica was a character who I really felt sorry for as I was reading this book. I could definitely understand her need to want to protect son, even though he committed such a heinous act and her love for him came across very strongly in her character, although it did seem a lot of the time as though she still thought of him as the young, gentle boy she once knew him as. She is also very much a victim herself as the people of the town she lives in swiftly turned against her after her son’s arrest.

Elisabeth constantly surprised me with her plot which was unpredictable and very twisty. I still haven’t forgotten the twist in her first novel 99 Red Balloons, and the twist in her latest blew me away again. It is devastating, and it only made me care for her characters even more. But as to what exactly happens I shall remain tight-lipped on that subject.

Only A Mother is a novel which was done in a very clever way. It is absolutely addictive, and it will make you re-examine everything that you thought you already knew about the story and the characters. At its core it makes you think about a powerful question that will haunt any reader who is a parent themselves.

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 27th December 2018

Print length: 352 pages

If you would like to purchase Only A Mother, you can do so by clicking on the following links below.

Amazon UK  Waterstones WH Smith


Only a Mother Blog Tour