I live in Bristol UK horror dark fiction and crime are my books of choice and when not reading I like to run
Detective Inspector Mark Cain is married to Melissa and they have two wonderful children Poppy and Evie. Mark is haunted by a house fire that occurred sometime in the distant past, a vision of a child overcome by smoke inhalation never leaves him. The family become acquainted with a neighbour Jade when her property is destroyed by fire (there seems to be a theme developing here!) Mark and Mel are very impressed by the kindness and warmth that radiates from Jade who in turn develops a strong bond with the two children Poppy and Evie. They are delighted not only to offer Jade a safe home to live in but also employ her services as a babysitter for the two young girls. The parents compliment themselves to what on the surface seems an excellent decision as it allows Mark the time to concentrate on finding a missing child, Daisy Evans, and Melissa freedom to indulge her passion of sculpturing.
It is at this point in the story that the fortunes of the Cain family disintegrate alarmingly. and in particular the mental health of Mel gives great reason for concern. There are questions over her ability to remain as a respected and caring mother. Thank goodness that the ever smiling, helpful Jade is able to step into the role as a surrogate mum. However is this supposedly wonderful young lady as helpful as the personality she projects? Is she linked in any way to the disappearance of Daisy? What is the reason behind her fascination with Mark? Is there any connection between her arrival and the rapid mental deterioration of Melissa Cain?
What an enjoyable fun read with a beautiful manipulative villain. The author and the reader have a bond, they know who is responsible for the misfortune within the Cain family, yet both are powerless and unable to help. They can only stand in the sidelines and watch in horror as Mark Cain stumbles from one crisis to another. Will the responsible and caring father be successful using his cunning and detective skills to win back his family, save the lost Daisy and by so doing find the perpetrator before it is too late? Significantly The Babysitter also explores themes of loss (baby Jacob, Mark and Melissa's first child, died at only 6 months old) the power of the family unit, sexual abuse and how the fallout from such abuse can affect many people. Many thanks to netgalley and the publisher bookouture for a gratis copy in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written.