99 Red Balloons by Elisabeth Carpenter

Grace has been kidnapped from outside a sweet shop, it’s every parent’s worse nightmare. Emma is devastated, she’d only been allowing Grace to walk home the last few days and whilst she’d been following them from afar, she thought it was safe for Emma and her friends to walk the short distance home from the corner shop. If only she could turn the clock back and watch her daughter’s every move, but sadly she can’t.

Emma has always been close to her sister; Stephanie, and needs her more than ever but Steph seems to be on edge, why?

Meanwhile we’re introduced to another POV – Maggie. Maggie’s granddaughter was taken many years ago in a similar situation, is history repeating itself? Regardless of if the two events are connected, it’s digging up all her darkest memories and causing Maggie to relive the moments she lost her granddaughter and her daughter.

The most heart pumping moments are when the POV shifts to the kidnapper and the girl, how is he managing to get away with it all and why is he doing it?

You know the phrase “not everything is as it seems”, well this sums up this plot completely. Carpenter has created a story that interlocks together in a way that blows your mind. It’s like an extremely hard expert-level puzzle, where all the pieces are there but connecting them seems impossible unless you have an expert to guide you through it, i.e. the author in this case… and when it all slots together, you step back and are in awe of the sheer masterpiece that has been created.

The multiple POVs made me fly through this book because each character had their own secrets to reveal which not only provided the backbone to this story, it kept my curiosity level at an all time high.

I really enjoyed that this story focused on understanding the family dynamics in both storylines, rather than letting the police investigation take over, because of this, the reader gets to really understand the complex relationships within the two families and discover their darkest thoughts.

A compelling read that pushes the boundaries on the thriller genre, letting you relate to the characters alongside the bells and whistles of the twists.

99 Red Balloons is out now in paperback and eBook versions from Avon. It’s been out for over 2 years but if, by some reason, you haven’t read it and love domestic thrillers, I think you should definitely add this to your pile!

Until next time, Chloé x


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