Carol Ann has given me a lot of great book recommendations over the years, so I was immediately intrigued when she recommended this recent German thriller to me. The premise–that the story of an abduction doesn’t really start until after the victim has escaped–was an unusual one, and I was excited to give the book a try. And I’m so glad I did! It’s an excellent book. Thanks so much for another great recommendation, Carol Ann!
I am being vague on the actual plot details of the book because, though you can find more extensive spoiler-free plot teasers about Dear Child on the internet, I really enjoyed going into it with very little information.
The plot is jam-packed with jaw-dropping plot twists. I was trying to keep track of them, but I actually lost count pretty quickly. I’m usually pretty good at guessing who-did-what in thrillers and mysteries, but this one kept me on my toes. A very small percentage of my guesses ended up being right, but the ones I was wrong about, in retrospect, I should have seen coming. That’s what I always look for in a thriller, the ability to surprise me but not have the twist (or twists!) seem like it comes out of nowhere.
The characters are complex, and if not always likable, they are always believably human. One of the manuscript’s strengths is it bounces around between the POVs of a handful of characters with very different perspectives on the crime. These characters don’t always have the most emotionally healthy response to the situations they’ve faced, but that also rings true, and the book is a thought-provoking meditation on trauma and the resilience of the human spirit as a result.
I also particularly enjoyed the German setting. I’ve read and enjoyed a lot of Scandinavian noir over the years, as well as British and French offerings, but German thrillers tend to not get as much attention. Or at least they aren’t on my radar quite like the others. The book is translated from German, and sometimes translations can be a little creaky, but the translator has done a good job of preserving the atmosphere of the story while also ensuring it is easy for American readers to follow.
If you enjoy thrilling page-turners that will make you think, you definitely need to check out Dear Child. I’m looking forward to reading more Romy Hausmann books in the future.
Recommended for those who enjoyed Emma Donoghue’s Room.
Have you read Dear Child? What’s your favorite thriller? What have you been reading lately? Tell us in the comments! As always, please follow this link to our online library catalog for more information on this item or to place it on hold.