Have You Seen Her

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

Even though I did enjoy the book, I found it hard to believe at places. The story is narrated from Anna's side who felt responsible for losing a little girl Laurel. Laurel's parents Fran and Dominic seemed to be having their own secrets. A good story line.
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I unfortunately found this book far fetched and unlikely to the extreme. The secrets that were kept from us held no tension and characters were added simply to fill out the plot n
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Twisty turny drama, just the type of book I love. 
Lisa Hall has got suspense down to a T! I look forward to the next offering .
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"Have You Seen Her" by Lisa Hall was an intense thriller that centred around a missing young girl.

It's Bonfire night and Anna only takes her eyes off Laurel for a second. She thought Laurel was following her mum through the crowds. But in a heartbeat, Laurel is gone. Laurel’s parents are frantic as is Anna, their nanny. But as the hours pass and Laurel isn’t found, suspicion grows. Someone knows what happened to Laurel and they’re not telling.

This was a brilliant thriller, the storyline was well-executed and it kept me guessing until the very end. The story was told from the perspective of Anna who I found to be incredibly relatable and she genuinely seemed like she wanted to do the right thing. Following the investigation was fascinating as the events unfolded. I  had no idea in which direction the book was going until the surprising ending. 

I highly recommend you check out "Have You Seen Her" by Lisa Hall. I will be reading more from this great author in the future
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Lisa Hall is the queen of the suburbia thriller! Injecting terrifying crimes/mystery’s into the lives of those whom appear to have it all.
In Have You Seen Her, we follow the case of a missing 5yr old girl named Laurel. But who is to blame Laurel’s mother of her nanny? And where was her father when she went missing?
‘Someone has taken our baby’
The novel opens with the potential abduction of Laurel at a school bonfire night event. Her parents Fran and Dominic are wracked with guilt and anxiety surrounding the whereabouts of their little girl. Anna has been Laurel’s nanny since she was just 1yrs old and she becomes determined to solve the mystery and bring Laurel home. But Anna has secrets of her own, secrets she’d rather hide from everyone…
‘It can’t happen again’
A series of characters interweave their theories into Anna’s mind and it isn’t long until she is forced to take a long hard look at the people she has been working for. Fran is self-obsessed and erratic after the disappearance, often fearing being blamed more than the possibility her daughter is dead! Dominic… well Dominic would rather be somewhere else! The parents are the type, I love to hate! Nevertheless, this doesn’t spoil the novel. It is one of those titles where it actually enhances the story and makes it feel more believable. Especially given the way the public/media has gone after some missing children’s parents.
‘Find Laurel Jessop’
The mystery continues with various scenarios and events thrown in, which makes for intense reading. The lake is dredged, a man is arrested and the blame game begins…
Who do you trust when you are surrounded by toxic people? 5*
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This is fraught psychological thriller about the disappearance of a young child, and how the weight of it lays heavily on each one of the characters.

I have to be slightly critical of Anna here, because who lets a really young child wander off in the midst of a large crowd and just assume that they are following their mother, and that the mother is aware of that fact.

Hall captures the frenzy of the press and the onlookers really well. Opinions sway between feeling sorry for the parents and pointing the finger of blame right at them. The author makes the comparison to the McCann case and the way the parents have been treated like the perpetrators from the very beginning instead of the parents of a missing child. The problem with presuming guilt and uncorroborated suspicions is that the attention is drawn away from the victim.

The other thing the author describes well is the often taut and fractious relationship between mother and nanny or au-pair. The child often develops a strong relationship to the care-giver, and depending on how little time the parents spend with the child, that relationship can supersede the parental one. It can cause jealousy between care-giver and parent, especially the mother.

Being a nanny or an au-pair can be a thankless job. It's often nothing more than the underpaid position of someone who is expected to take care of the children, cook, clean, shop and anything else the employers can think of, and then try to navigate the guilt, anger and pomposity of said employers at the same time.

It's a complex woven web of motives. Everyone is a suspect and appears to have something to hide. The author keeps the readers looking in certain directions, whilst the real culprit is walking around in plain sight.

It's a riveting psychological thriller, where there are no clear shades of black or white, because somehow everyone is guilty of something. Hall manages to keep the reader completely in the dark for the most part, which makes the read even better.
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This was a fantastic read. I totally fell for it and loved the natural justice of the ending. I wondered about the point of the nanny’s previous bad experience though as I didn’t think it added much to the story.
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With thanks to Netgalley and HQ for this ARC in exchange for an open and honest review.

Anna was the nanny for four year Laurel Jessop.  Her parents were `celebrity` couple Fran an actress and heart surgeon Dominic.

Anna and Fran took Laurel to a bonfire fire at their local primary school.  Dominic had to work late but promised Laurel he would join them at the party.  When Fran went to the toilet Laurel said she would go too, leaving Anna to watch the fireworks. 

  Later Fran returned alone thinking Laurel was with Anna.  In a panic Anna rang the hospital but they said Dominic had left hours earlier.  When Anna finally got through to Dominic on his mobile he told her not to tell Fran he had not been working.

Anna was hiding a secret of her own and was living under an alias.  As the police started to investigate Laurel`s disappearance,  Anna was scared her secret would be discovered, and peop!e would jump to the wrong conclusion as they had years earlier.

This story was atmospheric and I felt like I was waiting for Laurel along with Anna.  The plot was tightly woven, I was sure I knew who had taken Laurel but then my mind would change as the story progressed.

I liked Anna who loved Laurel and was genuinely worried about her.  I initially didn't like Fran who spent little time with Laurel and often went to parties at night.  I did feel sorry for Fran when her actress facade faded, and felt her dismay when she found that people had been keeping secrets from her.

The epilogue was jaw dropping clever, I did not see that coming.

After enjoying Have You Seen Her and The Party, Lisa Hall is now on my go to author list.  I highly recommend this book and I can't wait for her next one.
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A dark and compelling read that's difficult to put down if only to not prolong the suspense any longer as you work your way through the twists and turns of an all too believable story line. An uncomfortable read if you have time to consider how the initial disappearance could so easily happen to you as parent and even more unsettling as it is gradually revealed how very few of the characters are really all they seem to be.
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Everyone has secrets, in this fast-paced psychological thriller. Easy to read, it has a compelling plot, with many twists, and whilst there are clues, many of these just lead the reader astray, rather than focusing on the true antagonist.

A child abduction, has a profound effect on the parents, the child’s nanny and the community as a whole. This story is authentically written, with believable police procedures, and community involvement.

Against this setting, the story reveals two parents, who are riddled with guilt and secrets. A nanny, who is not what she seems to be, and three strangers whose behaviour is suspect.

Suspense is built up slowly and intertwined with an omnipresent sense of menace. There are no graphic descriptions in this, but the inference is there, and the reader fears for the child’s safety.

Anna is a well-written unreliable protagonist, she is hiding and keeping secrets, but she appears devoted to the child, so can her point of view be trusted? Fran and Dominic, the parents are career-driven and self-absorbed.

The final chapters have many revelations, and the ending is both, a moral dilemma and a triumph.
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Thank you to Netgalley and HQ publishers for this arc in exchange for an honest review.

Lisa Hall is my favourite author and I had been looking forward to starting this book. I can confirm it lived up to all my expectations and more. From the first page, the story is easy to read and get straight in to, I was hooked, right until the end, and then ……….. there's the very end.

As the story progressed I thought I had sussed out who had taken Laurel, but every time I thought I knew, there was twist after twist after twist. In the end I admitted defeat as I couldn't second guess any longer.

What a cleverly crafted dramatic ending to this book! I'm not sure what I think about the outcome, but I do know it is a thought I will be mulling over long after today.
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Hmmmmm,....What can I say!.. It started off well and then seemed to drift off into the realm of out-landish and unbelievable. I wasn't invested  in any of the characters - in fact I downright despised most of them! - finding them unbelievable and stereotyped. Without giving anything away, the police too.....what a bunch of incompetents! What finally did me in was the ending - rushed, farcical and insulting to the reader. Sorry - not the book for me and I DID give it every opportunity to redeem itself.
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Thank you to Netgalley and HQ publishers for the review copy.  This is an unbiased review of the author's work and style. If you want plot lines and spoilers please see the publishers blurb and other reviewers' reports. 

Lisa Hall has packed her novel full of characters and twist and turns. But, and it is a big but, she hasn't followed through with the tension and proper research.
Events arise, expand then seem to drift away to make room for another event. I can't help feeling that fewer events, more in depth research would have given her room to include more tension, which could have made the book much better. 
There are also amongst the myriad of twists a lack of technical research and detail. The authorities are are treated with respect but not with imagination,  and not allowed all the facilities they would have at their disposal given the serious nature of the crime. 
I also had the feeling the author had then ending before the beginning and has therefore forced the story along a rather amateurish  path.
So, I would say a good try but could do better.
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A great story from a fantastic author. I read it in one day as I just had to come to grips with all the red herrings and find answers to all the questions that the book formulated in my brain so well. Anna is nanny to Laurel who is  abducted very early on and Anna wants to get to the bottom of who was responsible for this terrible action. It seems everyone has secrets that they are trying to keep and all gradually gets revealed. The author clearly shows the mental anguish that many women suffer at the hands of men. From the start it is obvious that someone, somewhere must be blamed for this abduction but with so many candidates the twists leave the reader desperate to find out the true person or people.it took me about 80% of the way through before I realised the who and the why but I loved the way that  Lisa brought the reader to this solution and even more the fantastic unexpected twist at the end.
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At first this story seems to follow a usual pattern, a little girl goes missing and we are led to suspect everyone, lots of red herrings and a really unusual ending kept me gripped until I finished the book.  Towards the end I began to guess 'whodunnit' but didn't really understand the motive behind the kidnapping until the very end.  I really enjoyed this book but felt the ending was unrealistic and simplified. Would definitely recommend.
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Have You Seen Her? By Lisa Hall is the most marvellous contemporary psychological thriller that had me hooked from the start. A very cleverly constructed plotline ensured I was drawn into the action and consumed by events until the jaw dropping conclusion.
Written in the first person enabled me to ‘walk’ through the novel. Suspicion lurked around every corner. I was gripped, as were the characters, by “the dark hand of fear.”
The novel is about consuming passions – passions that will dictate actions. The reader is never quite sure who to believe as passions drive people to do ever more desperate things.
The novel shows how a community pulls together when one of their own goes missing – from searches to posters to casserole dishes – everyone does their bit.
Parenting is at the heart of the novel. Some hire a nanny and seem to parent at a distance. There are questions over who the children know and love best.
Have You Seen Her? would make a fantastic BBC drama. I hope someone out there takes note.
Lisa Hall is clearly a very talented writer with a vivid imagination. I want more, more, more. Utterly brilliant. I was gripped and guessing throughout.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
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Laurel should be safe at the bonfire, she is there with her mum after all so why shouldnt she be safe?

One minute she is there and the next she is not. 

I really enjoyed this book.  It was full of twists and turns and was a very addictive book. 

Sometimes in books like this the ending can seem somewhat disappointing, but I felt extremely satisfied by this novel. 

I look forward to reading more by the same author.
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This book started really well and grabbed my interest from the beginning when young Laurel goes missing at a community bonfire. 
Laurel’s Mother  Fran enjoys her career a bit too much, there’s friction between the parents and Anna  the Nanny is generally left to tend to the needs of their Daughter . But Anna has a past that up to now she’s kept well hidden. 
All the characters were under suspicion of the abduction at one point or another and I didn’t manage to work out who did it, which is always a plus point in a book. 
This wasn’t a thrilling or gripping book for me but it was one that kept me interested and I did enjoy it.
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"Have You Seen Her" is my first Lisa Hall book, although I do already own "The Party" (her third novel) which I intend to read very soon, after having been enticed by the author's compelling and ingenious writing. 
Blurb - "Anna only takes her eyes off Laurel for a second. She thought Laurel was following her mum through the crowds. But in a heartbeat, Laurel is gone. Laurel’s parents are frantic. As is Anna, their nanny. But as the hours pass, and Laurel isn’t found, suspicion grows. Someone knows what happened to Laurel. And they’re not telling."
Any parent will confess that it's a nightmare keeping an eye on your children when in crowds or public places and anyone who's ever experienced losing sight of their child, for just one minute, will appreciate how the characters feel when Laurel goes missing and at just how distressing it is. This story really got to the heart of me, being a parent myself and although a simple storyline - child goes missing, nanny has a secret, everyone is blamed - this totally got under my skin.
Very addictive and one I didn't want to finish, I read this book almost in one sitting. I personally think it needs to be read that way to keep the pace, as it does labour in a couple of places but on the whole is a decently fast moving thriller. With curve balls, red herrings and a very satisfying ending that had me smiling at the inventiveness of it, this was a hugely enjoyable read.
I liked the ease of reading this book, it was uncomplicated, enjoyable with flawed, devisive characters, that although were not endearing were engaging and well developed. 
Would I recommend? Definetly. Although set in autumn/winter this is a perfect summer, lazy weekend read that I loved from start to finish. 
Lisa Hall is the bestselling author of "Between You and Me" and is a rising star in the crime community.
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I have a couple of books by the author that I’ve never got round to reading. Have You Seen Her blew me away so I need to read more of Hall’s books. Laurel goes missing at a Bonfire Night event. This opening section is fantastically written, packed with tension, suspense and drama and I had to keep reading. A missing child is nothing new in thriller fiction but this is so well written and engaging I felt I was reading something different and fresh. This book has lots of misdirection and I was constantly led in one direction before being pulled in another. I love books that do that to me and keep me guessing.
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