Safe No Longer - Gayle Curtis

In a small town a double-tragedy hits when both a small boy is murdered and a little girl is kidnapped. The residents rally around the family the offer their sympathy but soon discrepancies in their stories start the unravel. Various characters start to suspect the mother of the missing girl when her connection to a local suspected paedophile is revealed - but is there more to the story than either of them are letting on?

*SPOILERS* Straight away I will reveal that none, none, of these characters ever became likeable for me. There are multiple side plots to the main story and all the characters became involved somehow in covering up rape, child prostitution and extreme underage grooming. This isn't necessarily a negative for me though, it wasn't just that the characters were just terrible, it was they were written perfectly to reflect the criminal tones of the story and they didn't need to be likeable.

Criminal plot lines are always a favourite of mine, no matter the crime, however they are incredibly difficult to connect up and write. Unfortunately this novel didn't 100% reach it needed to be. As I mentioned above there were several subplots that although are connected to the main plot just distracted from what was happening, there was too much going on and too much to lose track of. Some of these plots didn't really seem necessary, notably, one character easily seems 'normal' throughout the first third of the novel but for some reason makes a complete change of character and commits murder. It didn't correlate to anything her previous actions suggested and it felt like a cheap move to get something interesting added into a slow moving section.

The twist ending really redeemed my outlook for this novel. It was perfectly introduced toward the end but it didn't connect the dots of the story itself. Without revealing it, there was something that happened at the very beginning of the book and nothing in-between was really relevant. Overall I was happy with the twist itself, and the story, but as separate entities, they didn't meld well together. The writing was really good but the connectivity of the story just fell flat.

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