Playing Dead

by Julia Heaberlin (Faber & Faber) ISBN 9780571287680 

Tommie McCloud receives a letter in the post from a stranger shortly after her father's death, that changes her life and makes her question her very identity. 

The woman who wrote it claims that Tommie is her daughter—and that she was kidnapped as a baby 31 years ago. The reader is sucked into Tommie's world through the author's ability to describe the settings perfectly. The characters are all too human in their desires and they feel real enough that you expect to bump into them in the street. 

This is a mystifying, absorbing, enjoyable suspense thriller that constantly challenges the reader to guess what the solution is. My only criticism is that the danger is brought in too soon to build up to nail-cracking suspense toward the end. The ending feels like it was tacked on to satisfy the reader's yearning for a happy ending. 

Claire Crawford

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