The Long Dark Road by P R Black

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The Long Dark Road by P R Black

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Category: Thrillers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Georgia Healey's daughter went missing two years ago and Georgia is determined to find out what happened. It's real edge of the seat stuff.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 324 Date: November 2020
Publisher: Head of Zeus
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781789543094

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Two years ago Dr Georgia's Healey's nineteen-year-old university-student daughter went missing as she walked along the lonely A928 at Ferngate Bridge. There was a furious storm going on and she'd already refused the offer of help from one man in a big vehicle. We'll see - but no one else will know - that another car stops and Stephanie is bundled into the car and driven off. There has been no sign of her - or her body - in the two years since. Georgia is back is Ferngate, determined to find out what happened and she's not going to be stopped.

Jed Mulrine, who offered help to Stephanie has been interviewed and cleared. He was actually digging a ditch at Chessington Hall to clear some flooding. There were numerous witnesses, including Sir Oliver Chessington, to vouch for him. Martin Duke is keen to have everyone know that he was Stephanie's boyfriend but the more Georgia looks at the relationship, the surer she is that it was no more than a casual relationship. Why is Duke pushing this and why does his current girlfriend, Colette Browning support him? Georgia has seen Stephanie's diary and knows that her daughter was keen on Riley Brightman, who has since achieved rockstar status, but she seemed to have been devoted to someone she nicknamed 'Cornfed'.

Adrienne Connulty, the editor of the student newspaper, the Ferngate Ferret, knew Stephanie well, but Georgia can't get past the fact that Adrienne seems to have her own agenda and knows something she's not prepared to share. Someone who is prepared to share with her is DI Neal Hurlford: he tells her in confidence exactly where the investigation is but warns her not to interfere. He'd like Georgia to go home and leave to enquiries to the police. Georgia's husband, Rod, would like Georgia to go home too. They've separated since Stephanie's departure but Rod lets his frustration with what's happening bubble to the surface all too often.

Georgia's not going to stop asking questions and she's not willing to accept that her daughter is dead. She's certainly not willing to agree to the police view that Stephanie walked out along a dangerous road in a storm with the intention of committing suicide.

It's edge-of-the-seat stuff. Half of you will be willing Georgia on - and the other half will be urging her to be careful. We know that it wasn't a suicide and that there's at least one dangerous person involved. It quickly becomes obvious that there's a lot of murky business going on: people trafficking, drug dealing and journalistic plagiarism will all rear their ugly heads. The characters are great. Stephanie impressed me most, for someone who is probably dead. She's flawed: we're going to find out things which her mother probably didn't want to know but you get a sense of a young woman with principles who's determined to live life to the full. Georgia Healey is a nightmare: you've no problems understanding DI Hurlford's frustration with her.

The plot is good. I really couldn't see how it was going to work out, but - as endings go - it's a cracker. I'd like to thank the publishers for making a copy available to the Bookbag.

For another missing student, try Temporary Perfections by Gianrico Carofiglio.

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