My, this novel is full of surprises!
Surprisingly, Gill gives Patrick the clue to follow a lead. She tells her that the person kidnapping these children is surely someone with nothing to lose. So Patrick looks into women who have been involved in child abuse/abduction/murder, and he discovers two women that have been released in the last few months. The first woman is definitely not the kidnapper, and when looking for the second woman, he is led to the psychiatrist treating her. The man refuses to give him any information, and when he notices a strange smell that is the same in little Isabel’s body, he tries to ask the psychiatrist, but he hits him with a paperweight and leaves him unconscious. Then the police siege the doctor’s house. Apparently, after treating this woman, Sharon Fredericks, they started an affair, and they wanted a family, and since the woman couldn’t have children and due to her criminal record, they couldn’t adopt, they decided to kidnap the children.
The matter ends with the doctor and Sharon dead, and with Liam safe at last. Before dying, Sharon admitted to taking first Isabel and then Liam. The doctor had to drown the girl in the bathtub when Isabel didn’t stop screaming, so they took Liam as a substitute. Thankfully, the police rescue Liam, but Frankie is nowhere to be found, and after a thorough search it is clear that Frankie has never been there, so it is clear that Frankie has been kidnapped by someone else.
So a new search starts, and Patrick realizes he has been a fool not to follow his instinct and question Larry and Alice. Yet, when he and Carmella go to question them, they have left their homes. After a strong argument with Helen, Alice simply decided to go, feeling as everybody blamed her. She and Larry end up in the dilapidated Kennedy estate, where Jerome lives, but their escapade doesn’t last long. Martha, the woman with some kind of trauma about children and keeps dolls as if they were her children lives in the estate, and Alice and Larry get to occupy the flat next to hers. So the following day she goes to the station to report them, and Patrick and Carmella find the teenagers.
At the station Alice and Larry are interviewed. Alice sticks to her previous version, but Larry admits to having been in the house that night, having had sex with Alice, and even having a hash cake. Before confronting Alice with Larry’s confession, Patrick learns something else. Nasty Adrian Winckler boasts about finding out some big secret, but he did it in quite an irregular way. Thinking that the clue to the disappearance of Frankie is on the parents, he sneaks into Helen’s Facebook account, which he has the password for, and then he also peeks into her email, and he is lucky. A girl contacts him, thinking he is Helen, and she tells him that Alice is guilty because she is not what she purports to be, and then she sends him a video that apparently Alice and Larry made the day her sister disappeared. It is a porn video, and when he checks with the headmistress in Alice’s school, he learns through a boy that everybody knew about the video.
When Patrick is told about the porn video, he confronts Alice with Larry’s confession and the video. Alice breaks down and starts panicking when Patrick tells her that she might have to face a long prison sentence for using minors for a porn video. Alice cries that she didn’t know the teenagers that appeared on the video, and neither did Larry, and she confesses that it was her friend Georgia, who arranged everything, and she was there when Frankie disappeared. I am totally hooked and intrigued. These teenagers are really shocking. That was not the way I lived my own teenage years. I guess I was too naive, but it seems that nowadays children grow before their time. I wonder what happened that night. Were these three teenagers responsible for Frankie’s disappearance? And who is the person who has Frankie… the person who clearly knows Helen and Sean and who claims they love Frankie? Is it a woman or a man? I don’t think it’s Georgia because why would a teenager want to abduct a small child? I wonder if the person who kidnapped Frankie is the woman who Helen has made a few references to… the woman who has a crush on Sean and flirts with him openly? I have no reasons to think she is the culprit because she hasn’t even appeared in the book. The only other person could be Eileen, Sean’s mother, but why? In the emails Winckler read in Helen’s account, Helen described her mother-in-law as a racist, and the old woman kept saying that she didn’t want her grandchildren to go off the rails like Sean. I wonder if Eileen thinks that her son and Helen are not the right parents, and that might be a reason why she could have taken her grandchild. I just don’t know.