Now You See Her: The compulsive thriller you need to read by Heidi Perks, tells the story of Charlotte, a mother who looks after her Alice, her friend Harriet’s four year old daughter. Alice disappears in Charlotte’s care. It’s every parent’s nightmare, a truly horrific scenario which Perks weaves as a truly compelling narrative. We first see Charlotte being interviewed, clearly under suspicion by the police then the story moves into the setting of a completely ordinary, seemingly innocuous school fete. The kids go on the inflatable, Charlotte loses her focus for just a moment then Alice is gone. You can feel the anxiety that would cause even if you don’t have children, it would be a truly awful scenario. Heidi Perks manages to convey the emotional impact of this moment very well.
Charlotte is a divorced mother of three and is financially stable and glamourous. Harriet is married to Brian who seems to be rather controlling of her lifestyle. Harriet’s life and Charlotte’s life are frequently compared and contrasted. Harriet is seen as an outsider, the poorer mum who doesn’t fit in at the school gates. Charlotte, however, is portrayed as middle class, more financially stable and from her point of view it appears that she is doing Harriet a favour by becoming involved in her life. In becoming Harriet’s friend, she attracts the obvious displeasure of her other, more popular friends.
The story is doubly tragic as Alice’s mother Harriet never leaves her daughter with anyone. Charlotte offers to look after her so that Harriet can go on a bookkeeping day course.
The background information to the disappearance is another occurrence of a little boy Mason Harbridge who was abducted by an unknown man seven months before. The culprit was never found. Once this other crime is mentioned the tension increases to epic proportions as you start to wonder what exactly has happened to little Alice?
Now You See Her is a worthy addition to te grip lit genre and I definitely recommend that you read it!