A woman with no name. A wild, abandoned island. A family desperate for answers. A debut thriller like no other.
On a small Greek island, a woman comes ashore with no memory of who she is, where she's from, or how she came to be shipwrecked there. Worse, she has no way of leaving. As she's nursed back to health by the island's only inhabitants, four friends on an annual retreat, she detects tensions between the group that suggest not all is quite as it seems. Her new acquaintances each appear to be hiding something--something that may relate to the mystery of her identity.
Meanwhile, in a pretty suburb on the outskirts of London, Eloise, the mother of a newborn and a toddler, vanishes into thin air. Her husband, Lochlan, is desperate to find her--but as the police look into the disappearance, it becomes clear that Lochlan and Eloise's marriage was not the perfect union it appeared.
As Lochlan races to discover his wife's whereabouts, Eloise enacts an investigation of her own. What both discover will place lives at risk and upend everything they thought they knew about their marriage, their past, and what lies in store for the future.
What does the disappearance of wealthy 37-year-old Elo se Shelley wife, mother of two young children, and refugee activist from her London home have to do with the dazed woman unable to remember who she is, dragging herself onto the beach of a remote Greek island? That appears to be the question around which British author Cooke's unsettling debut psychological thriller revolves. But, as days pass and the outlook darkens, especially for the amnesiac castaway, who seems to have met up with four volatile chums on the island for a writers' retreat, it starts to become clear that little is as it initially appears. Police begin to discover cracks in Elo se's marriage to workaholic corporate financier Lochlan who has an ironclad Edinburgh alibi for the window of time when she vanished as well as hints of some troubling mental health issues she has been hiding from her family. Cooke, who describes her own brushes with mental illness in a moving afterword, keeps the suspense high as the endangered castaway struggles to survive while back in London Elo se's family hunts for her with increasing desperation. Some readers, though, may feel that the author has unfairly withheld some key information.