"Few crimes are reported as quickly as a snatched kid."
That's what the officer tells single mother Aubrey Finch after she reports a kidnapping. So why hasn't anyone reported the little boy missing? Aubrey knows what she saw: a boy being taken against his will from the park. It doesn't matter that the mother can't be found. It doesn't matter if no one reported it. Aubrey knows he's missing.
Instead, people question her sanity. Aubrey hears the whispers. She's a former stay-at-home mom who doesn't have primary custody of her daughter, so there must be something wrong with her, right? Others may not understand her decision to walk away from her safe life at home, but years of hiding her past--even from the people she loves--were taking their toll, and Aubrey knows she can't be the mother or wife she envisions until she learns to leave her secrets behind.
When the police refuse to believe her, she realizes that rescuing the boy is up to her alone. But after all the secrets, how far is she willing to go? Even to protect a child.
At the start of this expertly crafted domestic thriller from bestseller Armstrong (Watcher in the Woods), Aubrey Finch, who has made mistakes in her life, and her three-year-old daughter, Charlotte, meet a little boy and his mother on an Oxford, Ill., playground. Days later, Aubrey witnesses the child's apparent abduction. Police scour the area and are unable to find any parents with a missing kid, but Aubrey knows what she saw, and her certainty only grows when a Jane Doe matching the mom's description turns up dead near the kidnapping site. The authorities continue to dismiss her concerns, so she resolves to save the boy herself. Though Aubrey's old IT skills prove useful, she must be careful; if her estranged, straitlaced husband, Paul, learns about her criminal past, he could take full custody of Charlotte. Aubrey and Paul's achingly poignant interactions add texture and depth, while clever twists, realistic complications, and a propulsive, present-tense narration catapult the story to a gratifying finish. This is a gripping tale of secrets, lies, and maternal anxieties.