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Blink by K. L. Slater
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Blink

by K. L. Slater

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My Review
Blink is K.L. Slater’s second psychological thriller and boy is it a good one! This story hooked me right from the beginning. This is one of those books that keeps the reader guessing throughout the story. Just when you think you have it all figured out, the author throws a twist and a turn and you are back to square one again.

The book is told from several points of view including Toni, Evie’s mother, Evie, and Evie’s teacher, Harriet Watson.

The story is mainly told through the eyes of Toni, the mother of little five year old Evie who disappears after school one day. Toni is a recent widow and is struggling to keep both her life and Evie’s together after her husband suddenly and tragically dies. Instead of turning to counseling and therapy to help her through the grieving process she turns to sedatives that had belonged to her husband. She tries to keep her addiction a secret but it begins to spiral out of control. That’s when Evie disappears. I felt bad for Toni, she just needed some help but instead she made one bad decision after another which eventually led to tragedy.

Another point of view the story is told in is that of Evie, the 5 year old who disappears. Evie tries to figure out what is wrong with her mommy and why sometimes she sleeps and can’t be woken up. She also misses her daddy and struggles with starting to attend a new school. The author did a good job telling this through the eyes and thought processes of a 5 year old.

The last point of view is that of the teacher, Harriet Watson. Harriet is a strange duck and pretty cruel and manipulative with those weaker than herself. Ms. Watson is not an easy character to like.

The story takes place in Nottinghamshire. It transitions from present day to three years ago when the disappearance of Evie occurred. The author did a wonderful job holding my interest throughout the book. I felt an impending sense of dread…you knew something was coming it was just a matter of when. This was well worth reading and I would highly recommend this book to everyone who likes a good “keep-you-guessing” psychological thriller. I am now a K.L. Slater fan!! ( )
  LadyJ71 | Mar 2, 2017 |
K. L. Slater returns following her gripping debut, SAFE WITH ME with another twisty psychological suspense BLINK, with plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing.

Meet Toni, a woman in Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham. Trapped by silence within her own body. Terrified. Screaming to be let out. She is alive- she wants to escape this nightmare. A defibrillator is keeping her alive. This cannot be happening, but yet it is very real.

No one knows she can hear what they are saying. She desperately is crying out for help. She is blinking and no one seems to notice. She needs "help" for her daughter. She is haunted, desperate, and tormented. What happened to her beautiful girl?

Had everyone given up on Evie? They only talked as they had personal knowledge about their family. Evie's terrible, neglectful mother and her unhappy home. She must think back to before it even happened.

" . . . For one day very soon, you will wake up to the realization that the horror has only just begun."

Flashing back and forth from three years earlier to the present, readers slowly learn the backstory and it unravels.

Toni Cotter’s husband Andrew was killed in a freak accident in Afghanistan. As a single mom, taking care of her daughter she is stressed, with money problems and her grief of being left alone. She takes comfort in the little pills left over from her husband’s accident to help her get through.

With the bills mounting she is forced to move, look for a job, and change Evie’s school. These life changing moments created more havoc. She had to move closer to her mom for help- for a fresh start.

As they say, when you are desperate, trouble has a way of seeking you out and sticking to you. The new neighborhood is not so safe, nor the school. Especially the teacher’s assistant. She feels guilty.

She had dragged her daughter from a respectable neighborhood to live next to a convicted criminal. She did not have very many friends or a support group to turn to. Even her own mom appears critical of her actions. She needs to keep her job to help them survive.

Between the malicious wasps, and the crazy teacher’s assistant, Harriet Watson from St. Saviour's Primary School, with her own psycho-problems — bullying Evie, Toni, and Toni’s mom, Evie’s constant whining about not wanting to go back to the school, and afraid— as well Toni trying to balance work and home life, and a new job— she begins relying more and more on the little pills. She is in a sleepy haze most of the time.

Others are watching her every move.

We slowly learn why Toni is hospitalized. Her daughter has been missing for three years. Everyone has given up on her. Toni must set things right. She must protect and find her daughter.

How will she do this when they could take her off life support. No one knows she is trying to be heard, trapped in her own body. Someone is out to get her. Are the police even still looking for her?

The question. Who, and why? There may be more than one person on her trail and now she must delve deep to solve this mystery and rescue her daughter. Take back the life which was brutally ripped from her.

In the blink of an eye, one day she receives a phone call regarding her mom. She had an accident and cannot pick up Evie from school on time. Toni must leave work to tend to her mom at the hospital and is late picking up Evie. She tried calling and no one answered. Evie is gone. No trace. How could she vanish? She had let down her own daughter.

At the time, she has no idea someone is controlling everything around her. Nothing is by accident. It is carefully planned, orchestrated, and manipulated.

A ruthless psychopath wants revenge.

Slater delivers a strong second novel, keeping the tension high; however, some parts were slow and dragging a bit--and the ending felt rushed; however, overall a solid thriller with a nice twist you are not expecting. An author to follow. Highly recommend both books.

In our day of social media where everyone’s life is on display, when in the wrong hands, of a psychopath, this could mean danger for the person in question and all those close and dear to them. Some people will go to great lengths for revenge. They can destroy. Guard you lives. A cautionary tale. Be careful of routines. They may kill you.

In addition to the reading copy, also purchased the audiobook, narrated by Lucy Price-Lewis delivering an entertaining performance especially for the characters of Toni, Harriet, and Evie.

I enjoyed reading the author's inspiration behind the book. It is true how the public and press are interested in how parental error may have contributed to events, rather than in debating the actual issue of —by whom the child has been taken.

So easy for someone to take advantage of a parent, child, teen, or anyone when they are in a bad place. Their defenses are down. Gullible. They trust, to easily when they are not thinking correctly. When someone is struggling or grieving. Someone they trust with their lives, their children. How do you cope with a tragedy and the crippling guilt? In today's world when everyone expects a parent to be perfect.

For fans of Clare Mackintosh's I See You . Someone may be watching.

A special thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks ( )
  JudithDCollins | Feb 20, 2017 |
To be honest, I wasn't expecting too much from this because I've been getting a little tired of the 'child gone missing' trope. But this was great! Going back and forth between "the present" and "three years ago", and told from multiple perspectives, this is the story of a struggling widow who is trying to have a fresh start with her 5-year-old daughter. A new school, a new house, closer to Grandma, a new part-time job... until one day, she is late picking up her daughter from school.
Loved the twists and reveals, didn't see them coming. This will definitely keep you guessing and wondering whether there is actually a single character who is trustworthy. Despite the different perspectives and the back and forth in time, the story flowed really well and was never confusing.
I shouldn't have doubted K.L. Slater's skills for creating gripping psychological thrillers. After all, I loved her debut Safe With Me. I received an ARC via NetGalley. ( )
  Pet12 | Jan 26, 2017 |
When Toni moves with her daughter to be closer to her mother, it should be a fresh start; the chance to get her life back in order. She and her daughter Evie, have tried to get their life back after the death of her husband.
But it isn't all she hoped it would be. She and her mother constantly butt heads; she is having such a hard time making ends meet financially, Evie is being difficult and hates her new school, refusing to go. Realizing she needs to make a change, she finds a job only to have her boss make her life miserable. And everyone seems to have an opinion on her working; her mother, Evie's teacher and Evie isn't adjusting well. Toni is overwhelmed, feels out of control and tries to make things bearable with a little pill or two to help things along.
Then the unthinkable happens. Evie disappears and Toni's life spirals down to a newer low as she is viewed as the neglectful druggy mom who didn't deserve to have a child. How sad society is now, when someone bears a tragedy like this, instead of support and compassion, everyone is so quick to look at the parent for neglect or committing the crime themselves for they must be to blame aren't they? Unfortunately this is a very realistic look at life after an abduction.
This mesmerizing novel is told in present and also three years prior. We get several perspectives, one primarily by a stroke victim that seems to be in a vegetative state but is trapped with her memories of Evie and is fully aware of all that is going on around her.
This novel definitely keeps you guessing. Who took Evie. And why? Was it someone she knew, someone we've already met in the story? Or someone else altogether; a stranger abduction. I definitely changed my mind a time or two. This is a cast of some pretty strange people. Do you ever really know anyone and what they are capable of?There were some pretty exciting and shocking twists. It kept me engaged while I tried to figure it all out.
I liked this novel so much, I have already downloaded the author's work "safe with me" and look forward to reading it.
Thanks to net galley and the publisher for sending me a free copy in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  maggie1961 | Jan 10, 2017 |
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"Three years ago, Toni's five-year-old daughter Evie disappeared after leaving school. The police have never been able to find her. There were no witnesses, no CCTV, no trace. But Toni believes her daughter is alive. And as she begins to silently piece together her memories, the full story of the past begins to reveal itself, and a devastating truth. Toni's mind is trapped in a world of silence, her only chance to save herself is to manage the impossible. She must find a way to make herself heard. She must find her daughter." -- Back cover.… (more)

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