The Other Daughter

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 5 Nov 2019

Member Reviews

Any book by Shalini Boland is a guaranteed good read and this one didn't disappoint.  I had no idea how the book was going to work out and never ever would have guessed that ending. Brilliant !
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Shalini Boland is always one of my go-to authors. I love her style, her brilliant imagination and no one quite writes domestic or psychological thrillers like she does. Except maybe Kim Slater...lol But Shalini is the queen of killer twists and this book was no different. All throughout I kept thinking "how is she going to throw us a twist in this?" and without fail, she still manages to do it and shock us all at once!

Nine years ago, Rachel's daughter Holly was abducted whilst in the children's play area of a busy shopping centre. Rachel was enjoying coffee with a friend with their two sleeping babies, whilst two and a half year old Holly played her imaginative games inside a pink playhouse. Distracted in her conversation and some adult time, Rachel doesn't notice the hooded figure leading her daughter away with a cookie and the promise petting a real live bunny rabbit. Rachel's husband blames her for Holly's abduction and as the cracks in their marriage begin to crumble, Andrew leaves her and their baby daughter and sets up home in Spain where he soon has a new family.

London held too many memories for Rachel and so she packs up and moves herself and baby Jess to Dorset, where she meets Matt. Nine years later, Rachel and Matt are living happily together with the now 10 year old Jess and 6 year old Charlie. Life is good for Rachel now.

Then she meets Kate Morris outside the school gates one afternoon, who also has two children - Amy and Keiran - the same ages as Jess and Charlie. It's their first day at the school but Rachel is quick to ease Kate's nerves as they await for their respective children. But it is Kate's eldest daughter that captures Rachel's interest. Tween-aged Bella leans nonchalantly against her mother's car, tapping at her phone and wondering what is taking her mother so long. As soon as Rachel sees her, she is sure that Bella is her missing daughter Holly. Her emotional reaction is so visceral that she has no doubt at all. She could not mistake those green eyes, that heart shaped face and those long dark locks. Added to that, she is also the same age as her missing daughter would be now. Bella IS Holly. And it is this that sets everything that follows in motion...

Rachel becomes obsessed as she endeavours to find out more about Bella and what lead Kate and her family to move from London to their sleepy corner of Dorset. She invites them to dinner on the pretext of seeing Bella again, but is dismayed when Bella goes to a friend's house instead. So Rachel begins to drunkenly quiz her new friends at the dinner table about why they moved here and why does Bella not resemble them at all. Needless to say, Kate and her husband Shaun felt incredibly uncomfortable at her probing and citing not feeling well, left early taking their two youngest children with them despite the promised sleepover. But Rachel will not be swayed. She vows to collect evidence - enough to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Bella is her missing daughter. There is just one problem...she has never told Matt about Holly...ever.

Rachel's obsession leads her to make some really REALLY stupid decisions. But she is on a mission to prove what she feels so deep within her soul...that Bella is Holly. And that Kate, or Shaun, stole her and have raised her as their own. Honestly, she borders on deranged. But then, having your child abducted when they were a toddler and never found is probably enough to make any mother a little unbalanced.

Told in two timelines - NOW and THEN - we also meet Catriona in the THEN chapters of nine years previous. It doesn't take long to discover how she fits into the story. And what a tale she tells! In fact, THE OTHER DAUGHTER opens, not with Rachel, but with Catriona...which I feel is a clever touch. Because as the reader we are drawn into Catriona's story and we feel her pain from the start that we almost identify with her and sympathise with her, that we don't even really blame her when she does the unthinkable. But as we watch her story unfold, our hearts breaks for Catriona. And all the while, in the NOW chapters, we are trying to work out what happened to Catriona and how she fits into the present day.

Then...just when you think you know where this is going...BAM! Shalini throws in one of her killer twists to turn everything on its head - and you are left wondering "what the...??" I honestly was trying to work out how this was going to play out as it really didn't seem to have anywhere else to go. But no, this is Shalini we're talking about. She does nothing normal that does not border on irrational or illogical. She takes a normal family...and throws them under, not just a bus, but a roaring train! She uproots everything you know and twists it beyond recognition. That by the end you are left breathless...

I have to say, I enjoyed the THEN chapters the most. I love finding out the who and the why of events leading up to the NOW. I found myself feeling for Catriona more than I did for Rachel, probably because Rachel did some incredibly dumb things that really seemed totally irrational. Her thought process annoyed me at times and I found myself thinking "you cannot be serious, woman?" Whereas with Catriona, she made one mistake - albeit a big one - but out of the best intentions...and spent the rest of her life making it up.

As my fourth thriller I've read by Shalini, I would have to be honest and say THE OTHER DAUGHTER is not her best but it is still one hell of a ride all the same! It will keep you guessing throughout and no matter how much you try and puzzle it together, you will never make the pieces fit. Shalini will have you twisted trying...believe me. And that's what makes her thrillers sooooo damn good! While the bounds of believability might need to be stretched just a tad with this one, it's still a compelling read that will have you up all night trying to figure it out.

You know that when you pick up a Shalini book, you are going to get one hell of a thrill ride and THE OTHER DAUGHTER was no different. And although I personally didn't think it was her best, I still enjoyed it just the same. I just felt the chapter after the "big reveal" was a little rushed with tying up loose ends. I wondered if a little more depth could have been put into them, considering how much we had invested into the whole story. The Epilogue was a fitting conclusion to the whole "debacle" though I'm not sure I even liked the narrator of that chapter as she didn't feel "real", if that makes any sense.

Either way, THE OTHER DAUGHTER is an intriguing, compelling, unputdownable tale that will have you reading long into the night until the finish.

I have no hesitation in recommending this book because as with any Shalini book, without a doubt, you will be in for thrill ride like no other!

I would like to thank #ShaliniBoland, #NetGalley and #Bookouture for an ARC of #TheOtherDaughter in exchange for an honest review.
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Oh my goodness !!! Brilliantly written psychological thriller with a totally shocking ending I didn’t see coming !!! I highly recommend !! Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the opportunity to read and review this book ! #Netgalley 
# Bookouture # TheOtherDaughter
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I received a complimentary copy of this book through Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. 
In shock and desperate, Catriona kidnaps a little girl from a busy shopping mall. The story altrrnates between Catriona and Rachel,  the mother of the missing girl, Holly. When a new family moves to town with a girl that looks exactly like Rachel's missing daughter, she becomes obsessed with finding out the truth.
I thought I knew what would happen but there wasn't enough book left then bam, plot twist! I definitely didn't see that conclusion coming! I plan to grab the other books written by this author!
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I received an ARC copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest opinion if it. This is the type of book you cannot out down. So suspenseful until the last page.
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Nine years ago her daughter was taken.

And now she’s back. Two-and-a-half-year-old Holly is playing happily in a pink plastic playhouse, while her mother Rachel sips coffee and chats with a friend nearby. It should be an ordinary day for all of them. But, in the blink of an eye, it turns into every family’s worst nightmare.

Holly is taken by a stranger and never found.

Nine years later, Rachel is living a quiet life in Dorset. She’s tried to keep things together since the traumatic day when she lost her eldest daughter. She has a new family, a loving partner and her secrets are locked away in her painful past.

Until one afternoon when Rachel meets a new school parent Kate and her teenage daughter Bella. Rachel’s world is instantly turned upside down – she’s seen Bella before. She’d recognise that face anywhere – it’s her missing child.

And she will stop at nothing to get her back…

****
Unfortunately, this book wasn't really for me. The story itself had a good premise, but I found the story a bit disjointed really. And the ending was really confusing. I think I understood it, but had to re-read it a few times.

But i know I'm in the minority with my thoughts, so read it and see what you think!
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I would firstly like to thank Netgalley and the publishers for allowing me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. 

The best book that I've read by this author so far! A gripping, heart-pounding intense read that kept me at the edge of my seat the whole way through! 
Can't wait to read more from this author!
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"The Other Daughter" includes everything that vivid psychological thriller lovers, like myself, look for in the novel and thrive from.

Catriona's life, like a domino effect, is crashing down at a rapid speed. In a state of shock, she makes a decision, that will change her life as she knows it. In the meantime, on the other side of London, Rachel is taking a two and a half years old Holly to a playhouse, not knowing that it will be the last time she will see her daughter.

Two devastated mothers, two timelines, one appalling story...

I love everything about this book. I will honestly admit that I didn't see the plot twist coming. Phenomenal writing, very catching storyline. And the characters are outstanding. Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture for a free and advanced copy of the novel.
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About as twisty and turns as a suspenseful thriller can get, this kept me guessing right until the end!
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EXCERPT: Catriona realises she still has mud caked in her fingernails. Her clothes are still a bit muddy too. She should go and have a shower before Darren gets home. But then she remembers...and with that vivid flash of memory, her body begins to tremble once more - a strange, unsettling shaking that she has no control over. And she realises that there's no way she's going to be able to go back into that bathroom.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Nine years ago her daughter was taken. And now she’s back.

Two-and-a-half-year-old Holly is playing happily in a pink plastic playhouse, while her mother Rachel sips coffee and chats with a friend nearby. It should be an ordinary day for all of them. But, in the blink of an eye, it turns into every family’s worst nightmare.

Holly is taken by a stranger and never found.

Nine years later, Rachel is living a quiet life in Dorset. She’s tried to keep things together since the traumatic day when she lost her eldest daughter. She has a new family, a loving partner and her secrets are locked away in her painful past.

Until one afternoon when Rachel meets a new school parent Kate and her teenage daughter Bella. Rachel’s world is instantly turned upside down – she’s seen Bella before. She’d recognise that face anywhere – it’s her missing child.

And she will stop at nothing to get her back…

MY THOUGHTS: The Other Daughter is one of those books that when you aren't reading it, you're still thinking about it.

I started this last night, read until I fell asleep with it in my hand, was a little late to work because I read too long over my breakfast, and came home from work early to finish it because I just had to know what happened, and no, I couldn't possibly wait another hour and a half to find out.

Now, just a word of warning...there are times when you are going to have to suspend belief, but it's worth it.
There were times when I was reading along when I would think 'wtf? Don't care - read on.' This doesn't often happen. Usually little 'holes' annoy me no end. But Shalini Boland has written a cracker of a novel that swept me along, keeping me feeling excited and anticipating her next move. And never, in my wildest dreams, did I anticipate that ending!

#TheOtherDaughter #NetGalley


💖💖💖💖💖

THE AUTHOR: Hello :) I write suspense thrillers and dark adventures, and I live in Dorset, England with my husband, two children and our dog.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bookouture via NetGalley for providing a digital ARC of The Other Daughter by Shalini Boland for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and my webpage
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I really got hooked into this story. I enjoyed the past and present chapters and was completely blindsided by the ending.
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I don't know how to write a description of The Other Daughter without giving away any spoilers really. I guess that is why I am not a "Book jacket writer". Let's just  say I have been longing for a good book with a psychological twist and this is it. I am still trying to keep it all straight in my head. 

Thank you Netgalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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3.75 Stars.

Talk about a Twisty Turny, WILD Ride!

Rachel remembers the day nine years ago when her daughter Holly was kidnapped and yet she has never spoken of it - not to anyone since moving away from that dreadful place and building a new life with her boyfriend Matt and raising her other daughter Jess, and having another child with her boyfriend.  Life must go on.

When a new family moves to town, Rachel’s world is turned upside down when she meets their eldest daughter “Bella” who is Holly’s spitting image.  Only Rachel is sure Bella is not just a lookalike but Holly and Rachel will do whatever it takes to get her daughter back.  The problem is that she’s afraid to tell her boyfriend or anyone else what she’s up to. 

Be prepared for the craziest ride ever!  While I rolled my eyes quite a bit at Rachel’s antics, when the ending rolled around, I was wholly unprepared and admittedly I must give Shalini Boland props.  You got me!  Bravo! 

This was a buddy read with Kaceey.

Thank you to NetGalley, Bookouture and Shalini Boland for the arc.

Published on Goodreads and NetGalley on 11.24.19.
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Kate Morris and her 3 children have just moved to Wareham from London and is getting the children sorted into new schools.  Her older daughter, Bella, age 11, goes to a different school.

Kate meets Rachel Farnborough whose 2 children are in the same classes as Kate’s 2 younger children.  They comment on how their children seem to be making friends.  But when Rachel sees Bella, she is shocked because she looks exactly like her daughter, Holly, who was abducted 9 years ago when she was just age 2.  She was taken from a shopping center and she and her abductor were never found.

The loss of Holly destroyed her marriage and after a divorce, she moved to Wareham with her second daughter.  There she met Matt and has a son with him, but they have never married.  Matt does not know about Holly.

Who took Holly and why?  Will Rachel ever solve this and find her daughter again?

This book started out OK but seemed to turn into a bit of a jumble for me.  It became quite complicated and I have to say that I did not enjoy the book.  Having written that, I’m sure that a lot of other readers will.

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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Nine years ago her daughter was taken. And now she’s back.
Two-and-a-half-year-old Holly is playing happily in a pink plastic playhouse, while her mother Rachel sips coffee and chats with a friend nearby. It should be an ordinary day for all of them. But, in the blink of an eye, it turns into every family’s worst nightmare.
Holly is taken by a stranger and never found.
Nine years later, Rachel is doing her best, living a quiet life in Dorset. She’s tried to forget the traumatic day when she lost her daughter, hide her broken heart and put everything into her new family and loving partner, who know none of the secrets in her painful past.
Until one afternoon when Rachel meets a new school parent and her beautiful teenage daughter. Rachel’s world is instantly turned upside down. She’d recognise that face anywhere – it’s her missing child.
Rachel is overwhelmed with joy – and fear. Has the woman who abducted Holly followed her? How will her partner react when he learns about the trauma she has hidden for so many years? And given how much time has passed, what if no one believes her?
But Rachel knows it’s Holly. And she will stop at nothing to get her back…

Wow what a ride this was while reading this novel!
Wonderful well written plot and story line that had me gripped from the start.
So many unexpected twists and turns that kept me up til I finished.
Very unexpected ending you won't see coming.
Well fleshed out characters that are very believeable.
Can't wait to read the authors' next one now!
Recommend reading.

A gracious thank you to the Author, Netgalley and Bookouture for my ARC. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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The Other Daughter is a psychological/suspense thriller with an excellent premise: a woman whose daughter Holly went missing years ago sees a family with a daughter who looks like hers, at the age she should be, move into town. Rachel, the mother, is a sympathetic character. Her plight is easy to understand. So are the measures she takes in order to get close to this family, and most importantly, their oldest daughter Bella. At least, they are at first....

The mystery of whether Bella is actually Holly is central to this novel. However, Rachel begins to take increasingly extreme and dangerous steps in order to solve it. Is she in the right? Or is she harming an innocent family? These fascinating questions will keep readers going for about three-quarters of the novel.

That said, the ending has a twist that seems simultaneously out-of-nowhere, yet almost predictable for this genre. My disappointment in the ending is the reason I'm deducting a star. This is good train/plane/waiting room reading, anyway. 

Thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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I wasn't expecting that!

You need your imagination with this one.

A child abduction story that is fast paced with lots of unexpected twists and turns along the way.

Hang onto your hats and enjoy the ride.
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Well Shalini has done it yet again, she has provided us with another outstanding brilliant and gripping read. 

I thought the story was brilliantly well written and the characters are all so very well portrayed and believable. I loved getting to know all of the characters and trying to suss them all out. It was a truly gripping and entertaining read from start to finish. 

I've said it before but I'm going to say it again, Shalini has such a way with words that she just draws you in right from the beginning, keeps you enthralled throughout and leaves you with bated breath right to the very end. Which is exactly what she did with this latest book of hers. 

So if you are looking for a book that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat in eager anticipation as to what will happen next, with a shocker of a twist come the end and be completely captivated throughout, then you really need to read this book.
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You can always expect Shalini Boland to deliver a tense story that will keep you hooked throughout and The Other Daughter does exactly that.

Every parent’s worst nightmare comes true for Rachel when her two-and-a-half- year old daughter, Holly, is abducted from a shopping mall. Now, nine years later, Rachel has moved away, picked up the pieces of her life and has a new partner and a new family. But then Kate and her family move into town and when Rachel meets Kate for the first time, Rachel’s life comes tumbling down around her. Because she is absolutely convinced that Kate’s daughter Bella is her very own missing daughter, Holly.

And off we go to find out if Bella really is Holly. Rachel is quite obviously the character to root for. She is going to stop at nothing, which is completely understandable. Yet I couldn’t help but think some of her actions were a tad on the dubious side. But it all does make you wonder what you would do in a situation like that.

Is Rachel imagining things? Is her conviction that Bella is her daughter driving her somewhat paranoid? What is Kate hiding? So many questions and the answers take quite a long time in coming. This story is one big puzzle, often switching between “then” and “now”, and I had a really hard time trying to put the pieces together. In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have bothered because I couldn’t have predicted the outcome at all and it absolutely boggled my mind.

The Other Daughter is a twisty, gripping and addictive story that I devoured in one afternoon. Granted, there were moments where I felt I needed to suspend belief somewhat and I wasn’t entirely sure if things actually made sense in the end but I enjoyed it anyway. This is yet another suspenseful read from Shalini Boland and once you pick it up, you will not want to put it down.
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The Other Daughter is a psychological thriller that will keep you wanting to keep reading to see what is going to happen next. Very clever writing with a fabulous ending. 
Thanks to netgalley and bookouture for allowing me to read this book in exchange for a review.
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