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Wednesday, August 18, 2021

She's Mine by A.A. Chaudhuri


She's Mine by A.A. Chaudhuri.

Published in ebook 18th August 2021 and paperback 26th August 2021 by Hera Books/Canelo.

From the cover of the book:

Twenty years ago, Christine Donovan took a call she should have ignored while shopping. In those few seconds while her back was turned, her toddler, Heidi, was kidnapped. She’s never been seen again.

Despite having two other children with husband Greg, Christine remains guilt-stricken that her neglect caused her child to be stolen, while haunted by a secret that consumes her.

Just as she takes measures to finally heal, a note is posted through her door, with the words she has always longed to hear: Heidi isn’t dead.

Christine might finally get the answers she craves - but what she doesn’t know is that finding her daughter will uncover dark secrets close to home.

In seeking the truth, Christine might destroy everything that she loves … so how far is she willing to go to find Heidi?

With a truly jaw-dropping end twist, She’s Mine is a dark, scandalous, and gripping read from a major new talent in psychological thriller writing.


Twenty years ago, Christine Donovan was distracted by a telephone call from her lover while out shopping - a lapse in judgement that had catastrophic consequences when her two-year-old daughter Heidi was abducted from the store. Heidi was never seen again.

It was a horrific event that destroyed the apparently picture perfect life of Christine and her husband Greg, and despite the fact that they went on to have two more children together, their marriage never really recovered. Christine is plagued with guilt about that day, slowly being eaten up inside by the truth about what she was doing when Heidi went missing, and she has been unable to forge a bond with her other children, Daniel and Ella, scared to let them close to her unless something happened to them too. There now exists a huge gulf between Christine and the rest of her family, which there seems no way to bridge, even though she has tried to find a way back through years of therapy.

Just when Christine thinks she might be making some headway with a new therapist, her life is torn to tatters once more by a note pushed through her door suggesting that Heidi might still be alive. Can it be true? How many of her secrets is she willing to reveal in order to get to the truth, and what is she willing to sacrifice to get Heidi back?

This book is crime author A.A. Chaudhuri's first foray into the psychological thriller genre. I am a big fan of Chaudhuri's Kramer and Carver crime books, which revolve heavily around the notion of what motivates someone to do the unthinkable, and She's Mine is the perfect vehicle for her explore what makes people tick in more depth. This is the kind of thriller that gets into the real nitty-gritty of human frailty and the darkness that can lie under the surface - and there is a lot to pick apart here!

This is a story rich in luscious threads of secrets, lies, guilt, desire, jealousy and revenge, and Chaudhuri works them to the max, misdirecting you throughout before revealing the shocking truth in a jaw-dropping twist and twist again ending. I really enjoyed that although this book is about a child abduction, it bursts the trope at the seams by being more about the events leading up to the fateful day and how the consequences of the event ripple through time, rather than just being a kidnapping story, which allows Chaudhuri to run riot with her characters.

I think it is worth saying that this is a book that comes across as a little wordy at the beginning, the characters are all generally unlikeable, and it serves to be a bit disconcerting when it unexpectedly burgeons into multiple points of view, but it's not long before you realise that this is exactly how the story needs to play out to make it work. Once the groundwork has been laid by Christine, each character adds their own angle to the story, moving between Then and Now and building layer upon layer, until the full picture becomes clear - the pace also ups as the chapters become shorter and more punchy, which intensifies the suspense nicely.

For a debut psychological thriller this is pretty darned accomplished and it sits well among the best this genre has to offer. If you enjoy a tale rich in character led twists, turns and trauma, then I highly recommend giving She's Mine a place among your late summer reads!

She's Mine is available to buy now from your favourite book retailer.

Thank you to A.A. Chaudhuri and Canelo/Hera Books for sending me an ebook copy of this book in return for an honest review, and to Danielle Price of the Reading Closet for inviting me to be part of this tour.

About the author:

A. A. Chaudhuri is a former City lawyer. After gaining a degree in History at University College London, she later trained as a solicitor and worked for several major London law firms before leaving law to pursue her passion for writing. She is the author of The Scribe and The Abduction, books 1 and 2 of her Kramer & Carver legal thriller series featuring the feisty Maddy Kramer, also published in audio. Her first psychological thriller with Hera Books, She's Mine, will be published in 18th August 2021. Represented by Annette Crossland of A for Authors Literary Agency, she lives in Surrey with her family, and loves films, all things Italian and a good margarita!

#1 Amazon Australia Amateur Sleuth Mysteries (Aug '19); #1 Amazon Canada Women Sleuth Mysteries; (Aug '19) top 10 Amazon UK Legal crime thrillers (Aug '19); #1 Amazon Australia Legal Thrillers (November '19)

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