Release Date: May 1, 2015 (first published January 1st 2013)
Pages: 256 (ebook)
Genre: Thriller, Suspense
Review Date: September 26, 2016
Rating: 4 bookmarks
Synopsis: When three-year-old Olivia disappears, her parents are overwhelmed with grief. Weeks go by and Olivia’s mother refuses to leave the cottage, staring out at the turbulent sea and praying it didn’t claim her precious daughter’s life. Not far away, another mother watches proudly as her daughter starts school. Jennifer has loved Hailey for five years, but the child is suddenly moody and difficult, and there’s a nagging worry of doubt that Jennifer cannot shake off. As she struggles to maintain control there are gaps in her story that even she can’t explain. Time is running out for Maggie at the cottage, and also for Jennifer and Hailey. No one can underestimate a mother’s love for her child, and no one can predict the lengths one will go to, to protect her family.
Linda Huber is an exceptional writer. She has a way with words that will make you have a visceral reaction to what you're reading. I found myself actually upset to the point where I had to put this book down because of what was happening to little Olivia. This story is really heart-wrenching, it gives you a up close and personal look behind the scenes of what happens to not only a child that is kidnapped, but to the family that thinks this child is dead.
I won't reveal all, but I must point this out. Olivia is 3. The person that abducted her was trying to force a 3-year old to act like a 5-year old through fear and other tactics. It's hard to read. If aspects of child abuse are trigger points for you, then you might want to pass on this one.
The author, Linda Huber, has worked with neurological patients in the past. She's a trained say physiotherapist and spent 10 years working with those type of patients. Her knowledge shows in her writing. She knows what it's like dealing with a crazy person, she can get into the head of a crazy character very well. This is reflected in Jennifer's character. The attention to detail and description makes us understand and believe how this story could be a reality.
It should be said that this is written in British English, not American English. So if you're American, you will see a few words that seem like they are misspelled. They aren't misspelled, there's more than one way to spell it and you're looking at the European English spelling. Don't let that hang you up, just keep reading as you know what the words are and just enjoy the story.
This has been classified by some as a thriller or a psychological thriller. Some say mystery, or suspense. Personally I do not think this falls in the mystery category because it's clear what has happened to the reader the entire time. It's not a surprise to us the audience. I believe this title is a psychological thriller with a good dose of suspense. We understand that the kidnapper is crazy and delusional. We understand that bad things happen as a result of Olivia going missing. We the reader quickly come to know the how and the why, so there is no mystery there. It's all about how is its going to right itself. What happens next. That's what makes it a thriller.
With all of the drama and craziness going on during this story, I was very pleased with the ending. After the roller coaster of emotions it was nice to end on a positive note. I feel that the family and Olivia will be okay, and that made the journey through the book all the more worth it. This was a great book for discussion and really riled the emotions of the group, and we all had lots to say about Jennifer and her husband as well as the other characters. If you're looking for a good book club read, I recommend the Cold Cold Sea. You and your group will get a lot out of it and you won't forget it any time soon. I know I'll be looking into other titles by Linda Huber.
Did you read Cold Cold Sea? If so, please share your thoughts! I'd like to know if you enjoyed it as well or if you didn't like it.