Lost You by Haylen Beck, 3.5 Stars

The whole time I was reading Lost You by Haylen Beck, I thought the author was a woman. In part probably because the two narrators are both female. It’s a unique name for sure, but that isn’t unusual these days. And I kept thinking of an attractive young blond (probably courtesy of the character Beck on You, the adaptation of Carolyn Kepnes’ popular books.)

Of course, imagine my surprise when I found out that Haylen Beck is no other than Stuart Neville, an accomplished crime writer. And he is big and burly with shaggy hair and beard, which is very unlike the writer I had imagined!

Again–I should research this stuff before I read the book, right? Well, maybe not. I think it’s kind of nice to imagine while we read. Even if it ends up being a very different story.

From the Publisher:

Libby needs a break. Three years ago her husband split, leaving her to raise their infant son Ethan alone as she struggled to launch her writing career. Now for the first time in years, things are looking up. She’s just sold her first novel, and she and Ethan are going on a much-needed vacation. Everything seems to be going their way, so why can’t she stop looking over her shoulder or panicking every time Ethan wanders out of view? Is it because of what happened when Ethan was born? Except Libby’s never told anyone the full story of what happened, and there’s no way anyone could find her and Ethan at a faraway resort . . . right?

But three days into their vacation, Libby’s fears prove justified. In a moment of inattention, Ethan wanders into an elevator before Libby can reach him. When the elevator stops and the doors open, Ethan is gone. Hotel security scours the building and finds no trace of him, but when CCTV footage is found of an adult finding the child wandering alone and leading him away by the hand, the police are called in. The search intensifies, a lost child case turning into a possible abduction. Hours later, a child is seen with a woman stepping through an emergency exit. Libby and the police track the woman down and corner her, but she refuses to release Ethan. Asked who she is, the woman replies:

“I’m his mother.”

What follows is one of the most shocking, twist-y, and provocative works of psychological suspense ever written. A story of stolen identity, of surrogacy gone horribly wrong, and of two women whose insistence that each is the “real” mother puts them at deadly cross-purposes, Lost You is sure to be one of 2019’s most buzzed-about novels.

My Review:

A woman is standing on the edge of a building with a young child in her arms. A security guard is trying to talk her down. This is the first scene, an out take from the end of the book. I like this literary convention. It gives you enough suspense to wet your appetite, but not enough to give much away.

Then, when the story begins–following the flash forward to the end, we meet Libby, a single mom who has finally gotten herself a lucrative book deal. She is so excited to be able to take her young son on a luxurious vacation. From the beginning, the reader knows something is up. We know everything is now leading to that ledge. Everyone is a suspect.

I don’t want to give much away, but Lost You is a solid thriller with some inventive twists I didn’t see coming. At the beginning, it appeared that Libby was the protagonist, but as time goes on, I found myself to be much more on the side of the other narrator, Anna’s side. And by the end, well, you’ll just have to check this one out.

Specials thanks to Netgalley and Crown Publishing for an e-galley in exchange for my honest review. This one is out August 6, 2019. Get your copy!


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