My Little Girl - Shalini Boland

Reading Challenge Category: Free ARC from NetGalley

Official Blurb:

Your daughter is missing. Did someone close to you take her?
Seven-year-old Beatrice has gone missing. Her mother Claire’s whole world has been turned upside down in just one moment and she can’t stop shaking. She’s desperate to find her precious daughter, but nothing about the day she disappeared makes sense…
The mother-in-law: Jill was meant to be looking after Beatrice. She says she didn’t take her eyes off the little girl but her version of events doesn’t add up… Claire has never got on with her, so why should she trust her now?
The husband: He should have been with their only child. Instead, he changed the plans without telling Claire. She didn’t think there were any secrets between them, but maybe she was wrong?
The first wife: Laurel has always been jealous of Claire’s family. Has her husband’s ex-wife taken her daughter?
Which one of them is lying? And who really knows where Beatrice is?

My Thoughts:

As many other reviews have said, I agree that the missing child storyline has been overplayed. However, I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to read a Shalini Boland book as she hasn’t done me wrong so far. So against my better judgement regarding the subject matter, I requested this book and got stuck in.
I was very disappointed, though and should have overlooked this one. There just wasn’t enough meat to the story. We spend approximately 75% of the book watching the parents and Jill’s reactions to Beatrice being missing. The story is slow and plods along. There are teeny tidbits to keep you interested, but I think they would have been better being a little more in your face. They were too subtle, and there just wasn’t enough excitement. Maybe if we had seen things from Oliver’s perspective, it might have changed the book’s whole dynamic.
The character’s actions are often questionable, and I wanted to bang my head against my kindle on more than one occasion. I know Jill is meant to be scatty, but her behaviour is just sleepy and made me feel really lethargic. Claire’s attitude was similar, hours of time would pass by, and she’d still be in the house doing nothing. I was just bored.
We only see things from Claire and Jill’s perspective, apart from at the beginning of each new day, where we are given an insight into the abductor’s mind. I think these one-page chapters were the best part of the whole book; at least with them, there was a little malevolence other than just the other character plodding on and not doing much.
The story’s outcome was very predictable, and I had guessed the perpetrator as soon as we were introduced to them. There are no major twists or surprises, and the lead up to discovering what had happened to Beatrice was just too easy and a little bit twee. So, overall a really disappointing read. I seem to be in the minority with my view, and I’m sorry it just didn’t grip me. I wanted more from another abduction story. Something unique and interesting but this, unfortunately, in my opinion, was just generic.

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My Little Girl
by Shalini Boland
Date Started
21st March 2021
Date Finished
22nd March 2021
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