by N.V. Peacock
Cherrie Forrester seems a normal young woman. She lives in Northamptonshire with her partner Leo and eight-year-old son Robin. She works in a supermarket, has some good friends and enjoys watching back episodes of Greys Anatomy.
But Cherrie has a past, one she doesn’t want Leo or her friends to know about. Once, she was Leigh-Ann Hadley – Little Bones – the daughter of a psychopathic serial killer, now serving a life-sentence, who kidnapped little boys and used their bones to make works of “art”. And Cherrie, a small child at the time, unwittingly helped him draw his victims in. However, one man knows about Leigh-Ann and the murders, a blogger and podcaster who is determined to out her to the world.
Cherrie’s problems begin when she is persuaded by her friends to visit a psychic, Maria, who gives her dire warnings not to relax her care of Robin. Cherrie is a sceptic and does not take the warnings seriously. Then, Robin is abducted at the visiting fair and Cherrie finds herself in the middle of a police investigation, which coincides with a definite upping of the podcaster’s game. Not trusting the officers assigned to her case, Cherrie now turns to Maria for help, determined to find Robin by herself.
To reveal any more of the plot of Little Bones would be a spoiler but there are some tense moments as Cherrie thinks she identifies the abductor (and maybe does?) and sets about her revenge with little regard for the law. Readers following the clues carefully can possibly work it all out, but even then, the climax is powerful and a little scary.
Nicky Peacock has previously written several YA supernatural stories, and this, her first venture into adult psychological thrillers, is a big – and pleasant – surprise. Little Bones is a real page-turner which captures one of the fears every parent has for the safety of their child, and demonstrates how most would probably go to any lengths to save them from harm.
I hope Nicky will write some more like this.