Cover Image: Safe


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Member Reviews

A family devastated by the loss of their daughter and their lives on permanent hold as they don’t know what happened to her. How do they cope , how do they move on and can they even move on. Then one day a young girl turns up in the town where Jenny went missing and climbs she is in fact Jenny. The family welcome her back with open arms or do they. Her brother is not sure but he’s had his issues since she disappeared so is not the most reliable of people. The police follow procedure and investigate Jenny’s story about her intervening years when she was missing. Jenny knows so many things about the family that she has to be her or does she.

You know the feeling of Deja Vu well i got this throughout the book. It could be I’ve read or watched something very similar I don’t know. I just had the feeling i knew what was coming all the way through. The plot of the book is probably every parents nightmare where you lose a child and don’t know where they are. I know i lost my son for a short while when he was two and i was frantic the whole time so twelve years is hard to fathom. The story unfolds as we get to know more of Jenny and her reasons for being “home” . As we venture further into the book we start to learn more about the family dynamics that led to that fateful day when Jenny went missing. When the truth behind the family is revealed it ties up all the bits and pieces laid out to us along the way. Like a trail of breadcrumbs we follow the plot to its unexpected poignant ending. Now that I didn’t see coming even after i had worked out the rest. A suspense building read that builds the layers of the plot page after page. The voice of Jenny throughout adds a heart tugging factor, and makes her a very tragic figure looking for the love and affection she has craved throughout her life. You want her to get that life even if you don’t particularly like her as a character. An enjoyable read that i seemed to fly through.
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Jenny Kristal, then aged six, is walking to her friends house, but she never made it and vanished from the street. Twelve years later she returns home, but where has she been, and why? And for what reason is her brother not particularly pleased about her reappearance? Why doesn’t he believe that this woman is the sister he lost years ago? Jenny starts receiving emails informing her that her family home is not safe, and it's not long before Jenny begins to wonder if her rediscovered family are hiding dark secrets.

I was intrigued from the moment I first met the young woman who claimed to be the kidnapped girl. How had she managed to escape from her kidnappers? The author had such a gripping writing style, cleverly creating a real sense of continual apprehension and danger as I fretted over Jenny's level of safety. This gave the book its highly original take on a well-trodden theme, as once a missing child is found, you reasonably assume that the nightmare is over.

S.K. Barnett created a tremendous feeling of claustrophobia as Jenny becomes reacquainted with the family who lost her. There were ominous undertones as she tried to settle into her new life. I was keen to know what was really happening and if everything was as it appeared. As the family dynamics are gradually uncovered the reader is able to see the cracks that slowly spread, but then suddenly everything shatters.

I thought I had the ending sussed out, but S.K. Barnett lobbed in a final twist that I didn’t see coming. The concept of Safe was very original, and I thought it was incredibly well-told. This exciting, dark, shocking, and unputdownable drama-thriller is guaranteed to shock you in every conceivable way.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Random House UK, Cornerstone/ Century via NetGalley and this review is my unbiased opinion.
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This book is crazy on a multitude of levels. It's dark, dark, like the one that gave you the chill in the spine. I must say that it's one of the psychological thrillers that really hit the spot. It's truly twisted and makes me intrigued. Can you imagine a secret within a secret within a secret, that's what this book is and even further. It's more than what I can think of. I am so devastated. There's a lot of things jumps up into the story, which at times make me lost focus, as the language a little bit tangle so I need to reread certain lines but once the problem solves I'm back to fully follow the story. Even though there's a bunch of trigger warnings, I don't regret reading this book as it is such a page-turner.
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You often see reports on the news of kidnap victims found and reunited with their families years later. I always wonder how it works out, how they get used to being a family again and if it means a happy ending for all concerned. I sincerely hope that none of those families experience anything like the family in this book did.

Mainly told by the viewpoint of Jenny, but also Ben, her brother and Jake, her father you could see how Jenny’s reappearance affected them all. I thought  I knew which way the storyline would go but it didn’t take me long to discover that there was a lot to this novel, that would hint at something a lot more sinister. And nothing that occurred at the beginning of the book would prepare me for what was revealed the further I read. 

Jenny was a character who I liked more as I got to know her. Independent, inquisitive, determined and loyal. I appreciated her friendship with Tabs, whose family life couldn’t have been more different. This friendship added some relief to the rest of the storyline which was at times a little unsettling.

I don’t know if I have read other books by this author with him writing under a pseudonym, but I would like to in the future.
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Safe is a thriller we all want to read but noone wants it to happen to them. A six year old child missing from home, never to be seen again until the day, 12 years later she walks into a police station.Jenny was taken from her family and they have searched everywhere, done everything to find her. Her  elder brother thinks she is dead and he has sort of come to terms with that.Jenny returns and it starts a chain of events noone could predict.
This story is a powerful and heart wrenching one. The author deals with child abuse very caustiously, and it still brought the feelings of anger, sadness and even tears as I know all too well this happens too often in our world.The twists and turns in Jenny and her family's lifes came thick and fast. Her parents are jubilant she is home but her brother is a different story.As events happen and time goes on it is apparent something isn't right but what is it? We are made to wait until the last pages to discover the secrets everyone are keeping.
A hard read at times, tense,disturbing and harrowing but also hynoptic in a way as you just need to keep reading to find out whats going to happen.Thanks to Random Things Tours, Netgalley and Arrow Publishing for allowing me a copy of the book to take part in this blog tour.
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Wow. Well this was a thriller that i didn't see coming.  It kept giving and giving. As a reader, it was a binge worthy, one sitting kind of read - i can tell you that much.

Jenny Kristal was only 6 years old when she was snatched on the way to a play date, after many years of searching, she turned to a cold case. Somehow though, Jenny has escaped her captors - mother and father and made it home. Her parents elated to welcome her home, her brother - not so much.

How - after all this time, did she get away, and why is she now back? What does she want? As a reader you literally have so many questions, about everything. Not one person is as they seem, and it is completely full of unreliable characters and i down right loved it.

It's a book you need to go into with very little information because, that enhances the plot massively, lets just stick with - not all is as it seems.

I really enjoyed the writing style, i felt it was fast paced, thrilling and engaging. I felt like there plenty of time to allow us to discover a bit of back history of Jenny. It was just so full of twists and turns that as a reader, you were taken in one direction and then sent flying back in another only moments later. 

The characters were all unique and like i mentioned, not always trust worthy so it made for a really interesting read because you never quite knew what you was going to get. I didn't instantly warm to them, i was wary and i feel like the author has done a fantastic job in creating that feeling. 

One you need to pick up, make sure you set some time aside before you read it because you won't be putting it down.
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There are books that are impossible to put down, be advised that this is one of those!
A parent worst nightmare is that their children are being hurt, so when Jenny Kristal is returned home after being kidnapped for 12 years, her parents doesn’t ask questions and embrace her without fear. But, when her younger brother doesn’t trust her, he starts mixing memories making Jenny doubt of her own. But, is she who she tells or she is not the real Jenny?
This story reminded me a little the tv series “The Missing”, where a supposed kidnapped girl returns home, then the parents start questioning if she is their real daughter. I could understand the situation of the parents, the need to trust that this is their little girl, trying to understand all the changes/moods of their daughter after so many years and after surviving hell… But then, there’s the sixth sense, the feeling that maybe something is not totally right with the “girl” that says that is your daughter? What do you have to do? Maybe is your real daughter but has changed totally or maybe is someone else trying to replace her…
As you can imagine this is one of those books that you don’t know who to trust or which twists you’ll find during the story, there are so many doubts and surprises on the plot that it’s quite impossible to stop reading!
Safe is a book to distrust and expect twists on every page, because you never know if you are Safe. Ready?
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I found this rather heavy going, particularly the first half. It was quite boring and I really had no inclination to finish it.  The characters were very unappealing and the dialogue was very uninteresting.. It was also quite confusing because it was sometimes difficult to know who was speaking. I did not find it at all well written. It did pick up, but not until I had struggle through the first half,. The last 20% or so became more of a page turner and was exciting, though I am not sure about how I feel about the very end.
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I was intrigued by the concept behind Safe, the sudden reappearance after twelve years of a girl who was last seen as a six year old, presumed kidnapped, and this story didn't disappoint as we're taken on a dark and twisty road to get to the truth.

From the outset it's clear that things aren't quite as they seem but obviously the family welcome her back with open arms, well almost all of them. The family dynamics were strained and it was clear that Jake and Laurie, the parents, and Ben have been deeply affected by the loss of their child/sister which is completely understandable so it's going to take some time to get used to having her back.

No sooner had I started reading I had so many questions running around my brain as I was drawn into the sinister tale that was unfolding. What happened to her, where has she been all these years and how did she find her way home now? The more the police ask her questions, the more her story doesn't seem to add up and it seemed that she was constantly on edge. But then again it's not really surprising considering everything she has endured throughout her childhood and teenage years. You'd think that now that she was home she would feel safe but the opposite is true here, she still needed her wits about her to stay one step ahead of potential danger.    

Safe was a claustrophobic read that had me on edge on many occasions as I struggled to digest what it was I was reading. I thought I had it all figured out as to what was going on but I was only partially correct and when everything came to a head I was completely floored about what had actually happened. It's hard to say anything more about why without giving anything away.

My only regret was that I hadn't read this quite so late at night as some of the disturbing scenes that played out stayed with me for many hours and caused me a sleepless night.
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The blurb for Safe doesn’t give away much. It can’t and it shouldn’t. The twists and turns of this book are so amazingly jaw-dropping that they shouldn’t be included in a blurb. You need to experience them for yourself. I didn’t see any of the twists coming and each one was better than the rest. To say I was kept on my toes throughout this entire book is an understatement.

Safe was one of the first books in a long time where I didn’t connect with any of the characters. I mean, it’s hard when you become suspicious of every character within the first few pages of meeting them. Now, that’s not to say that I immediately disliked them either. It was more so that they were vehicles to tell a great story. Usually, that wouldn’t happen to me and the absence of a connection for me would result in a lower rating of a book. However, the plot and story of Safe are so strong there is no way I could rate it anything less than five stars.

My pulse was pounding and my blood pressure was at scary levels as I puzzled through Safe. I had so many questions and, as each one was answered, a new turn was introduced, paving the way for a whole load more who, what, why and when. But I loved it. Every single page. If you are a big thriller fan you will love it too. I say this with my entire heart: get yourself a copy of Safe right now.
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Great book full of twists and turns. There are many books with similar story lines now but Safe really stood out for me and I burned through it in no time. An exciting story told at a fast pace with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. I imagine the story is every parents worse nightmare so people will relate to the horror of it and imagine themselves in the same position. Thank you NetGalley and Random House Cornerstone for the advanced copy.
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I wanted to read this novel .very much but the formatting of the download made it very difficult to follow the narrative so I had to give up and my review is not possible
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I was immediately intrigued by the premise and felt that Safe had the potential to stand out in a very busy crowd. I was not disappointed in the slightest. Barnett built the tension brilliantly and I had so many questions as I was reading. The writing is so compelling that I couldn't help but read "one more chapter" every time!

I love an unreliable narrator and Safe definitely has one of those! I went round in circles trying to work out whether JoBeth was telling the truth. I loved the way her character was constructed and although she wasn't always likeable, she certainly got under my skin. The occasional chapter is told from the viewpoint of another member of the family, and these characters were also very well drawn, holding my interest all the way through.

There are lots of twists and turns in Safe and I quickly learnt to expect the unexpected! I had a few theories of how the book would end but the actual ending wasn't one of them. I was hooked until the final page
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All I can say is WOW. 
Just wow. 

Six year old Jenny walked down the street to visit her friend and disappeared. Twelve years later and she’s back and happy to be reunited with her family once again. 

But does that happiness last? Where has she been for 12 years? How did she get away? Are her family as happy to see her as they really sound? 

What I loved about this book was how difficult this book was to put down! So many questions. So many twists. I really liked how S.K.Barnett took usual thriller storylines and put an exciting spin on them. I love when a thriller isn’t the same as all of the others.
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Safe is a fantastic dark, twisted and clever novel that has to be one of the most original thrillers I have read. It’s going to be a difficult book to review as I don’t want to give anything away.

As a parent one of my worse fears is losing one of my children so my heart immediately went out Laurie and Jack as I felt I understood some of what they were feeling. However the author quickly dashed my hopes of a happy reunion when it became obvious that something wasn’t quite right which intrigued me as to what had happened. I must admit to changing my theories continually as the author cleverly kept me guessing until the end.

The pace in the book slowly increases as the reader learns more about the family and the strange situation they find themselves in until it becomes almost unbearable. The plot is actually quite complex and very clever with lots of twists that kept catching me off guard. I found myself getting increasingly impressed that the author had managed to write such an original story from a familiar subject and found myself both wanting to read more but also to stop and savour the story as I was so enjoying it.

Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Arrow publishing for my copy of this book.
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Once I started this book, I just could not put it down and finished it in one day.  A 6 year old girl disappears and 12 years later suddenly reappears.  That sounds like a straightforward story but there are so many twists in this tale that it keeps you guessing throughout. I had great empathy with the main character, Jenny Kristal, and the ending was totally unexpected.  It is the best thing I have read for ages.
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I found this a difficult read at the start as it kept bouncing around people but it took a while to discover who was doing the talking each time the voice changed. However once I was about halfway through I found that this was just an annoying little thing as all I wanted to do was to keep on reading. The ending was certainly not what I had expected and the plot was well developed throughout. If I had not struggled at the start nor had the annoying unknown people changes this would have warranted a 5 as once the story began to unravel it would have been well worth that. I loved the characters and the way that they were developed in the story.
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Jenny Kristal was six years old when she disappeared on her way to her friend's house. Twelve years later, she is found walking the streets close to her home.
When Jenny's parents meet her, they are thrilled and overwhelmed to have their daughter back; her brother has reservations. What is it he knows about his sister's disappearance that his parents don't? 
A thrilling read, the characters are convincing; the story is compelling, engaging, surprising, and disturbing. 
Thank you to NetGalley, Random House UK, Cornerstone and author S K Barnett for a pre-publication copy to review.
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I could not cope with this story, I have read a couple recently of very similar plot, so it seems it is a new vein of fiction.  However I found the the uncorrected proof was tooo hard to read with the numbers running down the side.  Also the plot seemed to get more and more confusing, so I gave up, sorry.
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Safe by S.K. Barnett plays on every parents worst nightmare, a missing child. Twelve years ago six year old Jenny Kristal goes missing whilst going to a friends house, but now she is back. Her parents Laurie and Jack are overwhelmed but less so is her brother Ben. As questions are asked, where has she been, who has she been with and why doesn’t Ben trust her?, Jenny is vague so what is she hiding. You may think you know how this book goes, but believe me you don’t. Safe is a fast paced, twisty rollercoaster of a psychological thriller that will take your breath away.

S.K. Barnett is a pseudonym for a best selling author who has a previous book turned into a film, and it shows in the writing and plotting of this book. The main narrator is Jenny, or Jobeth as she was called by Mother and Father who took her as a child. There are also chapters nararated by her parents and brother. The first person narrative makes their story more personal, getting the story first hand and feeling thier emotions. As I was reading this book it felt like the four main characters, Jenny, Laurie, Jake and Ben are all playing apart, trying to be the perfect family, like dolls in a doll house before the cracks begin to appear, and when they do the whole family dismantle.

As a thriller you know this book is not going to be straight forward, that there will twists, turns, shocks and surprises and Safe has this in abundance. The last third of this book hurtles along like a runaway train, gaining speed as it travels towards it’s catastrophic conclusion. The tension and a sense of fear keep building, and my eyes were glued to this book as I just had to find out what was going to happen next . There are difficult issues raised in this book including sexual abuse, physical and mental abuse and rape, and I will be honest that some scenes did horrify me. I would love to know who the author is, whose writing hypnotised me and whose plot had me totally gripped and took me on one breathtaking journey.

Safe has all the components that make up the perfect psychological thriller; an unreliable narrator, it plays on every parents worst nightmare. a plot that grips and won’t let go, and is complex and clever. In the book Ben, the brother and son, has a favourite phrase that completely sums up this book ‘perception is not reality’, nothing is what it seems. Safe is a book you need to read and experience for yourself, and I highly recommend you do so get clicking. Dark and twisted, complex and clever, you will realise that Safe is not something anyone will be.
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