Book review: Stolen by Susan Lewis

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Lucy Winters’ parents have always been there for her ... but they harbour a secret that could turn her world upside down.

Never one to shy away from tackling the fall-out from life’s dramas, Susan Lewis, who is fast becoming one of the smartest and wisest authors of women’s literature, takes us through the highs and lows of a family’s emotional rollercoaster in her latest heart-wrenching story.

A tangled web of tragedy, deceit and betrayal unravels in spectacular fashion in a novel that cleverly exposes the complex and sometimes bewildering nature of human relationships.

Brimming with insight and empathy, Lewis’s moving story reveals the devastating repercussions from one moment of madness...

Lucy is 37 and on the verge of a new chapter in her life ... she’s moving out of the East End of London to take over her elderly parents’ thriving auction business in the Gloucestershire village of Cromstone Edge.

She’s been married to Joe since she was 18 and has two children but 15-year-old daughter Hanna is mixing with the wrong kind of people.

The move to the countryside will take Hanna away from trouble, and Lucy away from her kind but feckless husband who has no intention of leaving behind his large and loving family.

Lucy has always had the feeling that she doesn’t fit in and nothing, apart from her two children, ever seems to feel right.

Perhaps being the only child of parents who were also only children has given her this inexplicable sense of isolation and a conviction that she is out of kilter with the world.

Meanwhile, at the old manor house in Cromstone Edge, Sarah Bancroft is also feeling haunted ... by the tragedy and betrayal that has shattered her life.

Her three-year-old son Jack died in a car accident that also killed her adored father and now her husband has left her for a woman who has given him another son.

Sarah and Lucy are destined to meet but neither of them is prepared for the shocking truths set to be unearthed.

Lucy will question everything she has ever known as it becomes frighteningly possible that the parents who should have protected her could be the ones who have betrayed her in the worst possible way.

Can she ever forgive them, and can her mother and father ever forgive themselves?

A psychologically astute page-turner from a master storyteller...

(Arrow, paperback, £6.99)