Say You’re Sorry by Michael Rowbotham is one of a series of books that features a Joseph O’Loughlin, clinical psychologist, and former cop Vincent Ruiz. The story starts in a small town in England where two girls have disappeared after visiting a funfair. The girls are like chalk and cheese but are best of friends. Natasha Bain (Tash) is gorgeous and popular whilst Piper Hadley is quiet and athletic. Their disappearance sparks a media frenzy and frantic searches and they are labelled “The Bingham Girls” by the media. The interest soon dies down as the police conclude they are runaways and may even be dead. This leaves the parents distraught and wondering what really happened.
Three years later, on a snowy night there is a brutal murder of a couple in their home. Whilst the police attend the scene another body is found, a young girl who has fallen into a frozen lake. The police seek out profiler Joe O’Loughlin and ask for his help in solving the murder. It soon becomes clear that this murder is related to the disappearance of the girls years before and the body in the lake is Tash. The police investigation into the disappearances is reopened and a race against time to prevent another tragedy occurring ensues.
This is a haunting and compelling book. From the start you have the voice of Piper telling the story of their disappearance so the reader knows the girls are still alive. The details are released slowly in parallel with the police investigation and we get a vivid insight into the feelings of the missing girls. The book also deals with the trauma the parents are going though and how they refuse to give up hope the girls are alive. It shows us the different ways in which people can handle grief. Alongside we see O’Loughlin struggling to deal with his relationship with his own daughter, Charlie, whilst trying to save a young girl and struggling with Parkinson’s disease. The book will linger in your mind for some time after you read it and whilst your read it it will absorb you. I am looking forward to reading more books by this author.
Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in order to do an honest review.