Both of You by Adele Parks

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Both of You by Adele Parks

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Category: Thrillers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Women go missing all the time but two men report their wives missing and they look startlingly similar. A strong read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 352 Date: May 2021
Publisher: HQ
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0008395599

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You could be forgiven for thinking that Leigh Fletcher has it all: great husband and two gorgeous stepsons whom she adores. Then, one Monday, she went to work and never came home. Mark, Oli and Seb are shattered. Well, Mark and Seb are but Oli's sixteen and at the stage where he thinks boredom is his best look. He's been a bit off with Leigh for a while but she put it down to him growing up and starting to become independent. Seb's only twelve and Leigh's absence hits him hard. Then Daan Janssen, a wealthy Dutch businessman, reports his wife, Kai missing. She too has vanished without trace.

DC Clements is only too well aware that a lot of women disappear, but these two come from very different backgrounds and the cases are unlikely to be connected. On a whim, she goes to see Daan Janssen and the two women look startlingly similar. Perhaps there is a connection after all.

It's March 2020 and the UK is about to go into lockdown for the first time: there's a sense that nothing will ever be quite the same again. It certainly won't be for Mark Fletcher and Daan Janssen. They're very different characters. It was a second marriage for Mark: Frances, his first wife, died of cancer and he married Leigh within the year: not everyone thought this was a good thing but for the past decade she's been marvellous with the boys. Mark is a bit laid back. When a problem came up he was quite likely to say we shouldn't get into it and it often fell to Leigh to sort matters out. Daan Janssen was the opposite. He and Kai lived a life where supper parties were carefully planned but apparently oh-so-casual. The couple were booked up for social engagements weeks in advance: everyone wanted a slice of the high-flying businessman and his beautiful wife. But Daan and Mark have far more in common than either of them could have imagined. Sounds complicated? It's going to get a lot worse.

The story's told by the women concerned, including Fiona Phillipson, Leigh's best friend since they were at school together. Gradually, we start to build a picture of what's happened, although it will be a long time before we find out the why of it. You'll have your suspicions about who was behind the disappearances - it's a very short list of possibles - but Adele Parks still manages to produce a jaw-dropping finale which I simply didn't see coming despite all the clues being there. It's a book you read firstly to find out who did it and then you go back and read again to find out how the author constructed the plot without giving everything away.

I'd like to thank the publishers for making a copy available to the Bookbag.

For more from Adele Parks, I can recommend Lies Lies Lies.

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