Frailty – Betsy Reavley

About the book

Published: 15th November 2016 (Bloodhound Books)

How far would you go to protect your family?frailty

Danny and Libby are about to face every parent’s worst nightmare.

When eight-year-old Hope Bird disappears without a trace, from the idyllic village where she lives, life for her family will never be the same again. Her parents know she would never have gone off alone and the police have no idea where she is. Then a child’s shoe is discovered and the case takes an unexpected turn. Soon a suspect is identified but this is only the beginning.

Will they ever find Hope?

Frailty is a haunting, gritty, psychological page-turner about the choices we make.

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My Review

I had heard so mainly fantastic things about Reavley’s The Optician’s Wife through social media and fellow bloggers that I was thrilled to receive an advance copy of Frailty. I started this book with high expectations and was not disappointed!

Hope Bird is the eldest daughter of Danny and Libby, on a very ordinary afternoon Hope went to the corner shop to get a magazine and disappeared into thin air. What ensues is an investigation into Hope’s disappearance, time passes very quickly in the book whereby it is increasingly likely that Hope is not going to return. The police are struggling with any leads and information they did have stops at a dead-end. Then a shoe is found which throws all the balls back in the air but is everything what it seems?

Frailty is a novel demonstrating the lengths that parents will go to in order to get their daughter back, to get answers. As the synopsis says, how far would you go to protect your family?

Hope is missing right from the start of the story but her voice is heard through haunting chapters from her perspective, giving enough information for it to be chilling but not enough to understand what is going on or where she is. These particular parts are written exceptionally well, with an innocence and optimism of an 8-year-old – such a brave little girl that you just wanted to give a cuddle to and tell her everything is going to be ok. Hope’s chapters are difficult reading and distressing but are absolutely essential to the narrative. We also hear from Libby and Danny, both about their pasts and present, their feelings and worries, really giving a rounded view of their lives and understanding how this situation is breaking them. I found the passages about Libby’s relationship with their 3-year-old daughter heart wrenching, Libby is trying to protect Gracie but also feels tremendous guilt that she still has her – Libby feels completely torn in two, almost like she isn’t doing enough for Hope if she’s caring for Gracie.

Reavley has written a stunning thriller which is fast-paced and full of twists and turns. I was completely invested in this narrative, submerged by the tension and gravity of the situation.

This is absolutely every parent’s worst nightmare, an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish!

About Betsy Reavley

As a child she moved around frequently with her family, spending time in London, Provence, Tuscany, Gloucestershire and Cambridgeshire.

She showed a flair for literature and writing from a young age and had a particular interest in poetry, of which she was a prolific consumer and producer.

In her early twenties she moved to Oxford, where she would eventually meet her husband. During her time in Oxford her interests turned from poetry to novels and she began to develop her own unique style of psychological thriller.

Betsy says “I believe people are at their most fascinating when they are faced by the dark side of life. This is what I like to write about.”

Betsy Reavley currently lives in London, with her husband, 2 children, dog, cat and chickens. You can follow her on Twitter @BetsyReavley

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