Whistle in the Dark begins with Jen and her 15 year old daughter, Lana, in an ambulance. Lana has been found after being missing for four days, and she either doesn’t know, or won’t tell anyone where she was.
Lana was already a troubled young woman before she went on holiday with her mum to the country. At the artist’s retreat they’ll meet a mixed bag of characters, each of whom would be a perfect candidate for some kind of abduction, runaway, or malicious act. Jen begins to suspect most of their fellow artists of being involved in Lana’s disappearance.
Jen and her husband Hugh are relieved to have Lana home again, but anxious to know what happened. Hugh seems to take everything in his stride and gives Lana the space she needs to recover, whilst Jen goes through every emotion imaginable wondering what might have happened to her young daughter.
As with Emma Healey’s debut, Elizabeth is Missing, this book isn’t about solving the mystery. It’s about the journey and exploring changing relationships within the family whilst trying to uncover the truth. She carefully approaches the subject of teenage depression and explores Jen’s mental health in the aftermath of her daughter’s disappearance. I found they both had believable experiences, and it was almost a relief to read of Jen’s own struggles. Many books focus on teenage depression itself, but don’t necessarily acknowledge or explore the struggles of the parents while trying to help them through it. As a result, it felt like one of the most honest tales of teenage depression I have read in a long time.
Whistle In The Dark is published on the 3rd of May. I received an advanced copy from Netgalley.
Read my review for Elizabeth is Missing here – Book Review – Elizebeth is Missing by Emma Healey
A similar book you may enjoy is Try Not To Breathe by Holly Seddon – Book Review – Try Not To Breathe
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