New Book – The Girl You Lost by Kathryn Croft


Publication year: 2016

Simone is a television producer who eighteen years ago she and her husband Matt had a baby girl, Helena.

They were very young, and one day when Matt’s mother took the girl to the park, she took ill and went to the toilet, and when she came out, the baby had disappeared. They never found the baby again.

Now eighteen years later a young girl, Grace, approaches Simone, claiming that she might be her daughter Helena. Simone is reluctant to believe her. Grace tells her about finding her mother Ginny having a drink with Lucas, her uncle Danny’s friend. Drunk, Lucas reveals that Ginny isn’t Grace’s mother. There is a scene in the prologue of the book in which a woman seduces a man because she wants information, and he almost rapes. When he lets away a name, the woman hits him with the lamp. Now Grace reveals all this to Simone, and she says that Lucas is dead; she has killed him.She asks Grace to help her as she left her mobile at Lucas’s. Simone decides to leave as she thinks this is all a ruse. However, she later follows Grace, who leads her to Lucas’s apartment. Yet, there is nothing that shows that Lucas was killed here. The bed is freshly made and there is no blood or signs of violence. All of sudden, a man appears and knocks Grace down before he leaves.

Even though she is still not convinced about Grace, Simone takes her home and tells Matt about Grace, except the part about Lucas. Matt is also suspicious, and they decide that they should have a DNA test, so he takes swabs to send to the lab. Grace stays there, and the next day Simone has to go to work, and Grace tells her they should meet later in the house. However, Grace never turns up, which Matt thinks it is proof that she was trying to con them. However, Simone is not so convinced so she goes to the girl’s hall of residence and talks to one of her friends Jasmine, who tells her that she hasn’t seen Grace since the morning. Jasmine has a key of Grace’s room, and she lets Grace in. There Simone sees some keys that she thinks are for her mum’s house, so when Jasmine is not looking, she takes them and then finds a telephone bill with the address of which she takes a photograph.

Simone visits Ginny, Grace’s mother, with the excuse that she is Jasmine’s mother and has heard that Ginny is a carer and wants her to look after her mother. In this interview Simone learns that Ginny will be away that night. Later at work Grace confides all this to her colleague, Abbott. She feels she can’t tell her husband any of this because she fears this could affect his career, the only thing that has helped him with his grief over Helena. So Abbott helps her to sneak into Ginny’s house at night, and they find all her papers, but strangely enough there is nothing about Grace’s birth, which is strange. Later they also visit Lucas Hall’s restaurant, but the man hasn’t turned up in days. When they talk to his wife, she thinks he has abandoned her, but she hasn’t heard of him.

I don’t know what to think. I am not sure if Grace is really Helena. Now she has gone missing even though her mother and friend Ginny have got texts from her, telling them that she would be away for a few days. Simone doesn’t know what to think about this. She keeps calling Grace’s number but she can’t connect. Grace claimed that she had left her mobile at Lucas’s apartment, so Simone doesn’t know whether Grace lied to her or maybe the person who has her phone has texted Ginny and Jasmine for some reason. And where is Grace? Has she been abducted? Why? And is she Helena? If she is, is her mother a kidnapper?

There are also some cursive texts in which a narrator in the first person talks about meeting a man at university that changed their life. It is not clear whether the narrator is a man or a woman. The person talks about sex with women and a girlfriend, but that doesn’t mean the narrator is not a woman. I have the hunch that this narrator might be the man who Grace called Uncle Daniel and who recently died of a brain tumour. I am not sure what to think. Did Daniel and Lucas join to kidnap Helena and give her to Ginny? Why?

Very intriguing indeed. I think that Simone is making a mistake by not telling her husband Matt about what she is doing. Maybe she means well, but I’m sure it’s going to backfired. When Matt learns about it, I don’t think he will be too pleased to have been kept in the dark. And this alliance with Abbott is fishy. I don’t get any indication that there is anything romantic about them. Simone loves Matt and doesn’t think of Abbott in any other fashion than as a friend, but I’m not sure Abbott is of the same mind. I just hope that Simone keeps faithful and doesn’t stray. I like Abbott, but I wouldn’t like him and Simone to have a fling or an affair.

Although I don’t have many theories about this book, I have been struck by a, maybe, far-fetched idea. Simone claims that Matt took it hard when Helena disappeared, and his mother hasn’t overcome the feeling of guilt. I don’t have any reasons to believe otherwise. But what if Matt orchestrated this? He was the one who thought about calling his mother so that she could take Helena to the park. What if Matt hired someone to abduct the baby and find her a nice family? We know that he was struggling to finish his degree in medicine. Maybe he thought that they were too young to have a child, and he knew that Simone wouldn’t accept to give the baby away. Then just now it is quite suspicious that the samples he took were contaminated and the DNA results came inconclusive. It is a far-fetched theory, but I don’t know, maybe there is some truth in it.


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