The mystery is getting clearer.
Lucy finds out who Alice’s parents are. The father is an ex-convict, and he turns out to be the key to the two girls’ disappearance. Alice’s father planned to kidnap Kate McLoughlin; her plans are threatened when her ex-wife lumbers him with their daughter as she is going to Majorca with her new partner. When the father is found dead in his house, the police reaches the conclusion that Alice helped Kate escape and she took shelter in the den that they had previously seen. Now nobody knows where Kate is. At least, Alice is not just an anonymous girl any more, and has her mother with her. What I don’t understand is how her mother left her little girl with a man she didn’t know, and then in the week she was away, how didn’t she contact her daughter to see how she was? Didn’t she worry about leaving her little girl with a virtual stranger?
It seems that there are more people behind the kidnapping, and one of those men involved is the man who Lucy saw when he checked on a young, neglected girl, whose principal thought might be Alice. The man was in the house as he was the girl’s mother’s boyfriend. Apparently, he and his brother were in cohorts with Kent (Alice’s father) and Billy (McLouglin’s driver). Do these brothers have Kate with them? Why did they kidnap the girl? After all, they haven’t asked for a ransom.