Book Review: The Girl You Lost by Kathryn Croft

Book Review: The Girl You Lost by Kathryn CroftThe Girl You Lost by Kathryn Croft
Published by Bookouture on February 2, 2016
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 318

Eighteen years ago your baby daughter was snatched. Today, she came back...

Eighteen years ago, Simone Porter's six-month-old daughter, Helena, was abducted. Simone and husband, Matt, have slowly rebuilt their shattered lives, but the pain at losing their child has never left them. Then a young woman, Grace, appears out of the blue and tells Simone she has information about her stolen baby. But just who is Grace - and can Simone trust her? When Grace herself disappears, Simone becomes embroiled in a desperate search for her baby and the woman who has vital clues about her whereabouts. Simone is inching closer to the truth but it'll take her into dangerous and disturbing territory. Simone lost her baby. Will she lose her life trying to find her?

My Review:

This is tough to review because

  1. early in the story I was turned off by the actions of the characters; their behavior made no sense to me. I routinely enjoy stories about zombies, magicians and Grisha and have no problem suspending my disbelief. I had a serious problem with this novel. There were a couple of times that I thought ‘okay, a reasonable person probably wouldn’t do that, but it needs to keep the story moving so, sure’.
  2. I have to be vague as to what my specific issues with the story are, otherwise we’ll be trekking into spoiler territory and I try to stay away from mentioning anything that isn’t given away in the blurb.

At no time did I feel for the characters or fear for their well-being. I couldn’t connect to them. I don’t think a chapter went by where I didn’t question Simone’s action or didn’t mutter ‘that isn’t cool‘; some chapters are told from a different POV so obviously they don’t count 🙂

I was indifferent to the last three chapters. They seem forced so that the readers could exclaim, “What an ending, I didn’t see that coming!” If the story had ended before these chapters, it would have been fine by me.

I liked the concept but not the execution. I rarely say that maybe a book needs to be longer (unless I really enjoy it and don’t want to see it end), but maybe this one could use some fleshing out. I can’t specifically say what I would have liked to see more of because again, I don’t want to give anything away. Frustrating, I know. If you have no problem with spoilers, goodreads has a couple of reviews that go into the specific issues that a minority of us have.

It wasn’t all bad

The chapters that were told from a different POV were meant to be disturbing and they were. Good writing there. The Charlotte story line was also done well.

Maybe I’m being too critical or maybe the author set the bar too high with The Girl With No Past which I enjoyed. I prefer the latter because it absolves me of any blame 🙂

Another positive – As of this date (01/08/2017) this has a rating of 3.9 stars with over 10K ratings on goodreads.

I recommend this if you’re in the mood for a quick and easy mystery – no heavy lifting required.Save



  1. I appreciate your honest, spoiler free review! Just wondering what some of your favorite reads of 2016 were? We seem to have read a lot of the same books so I’m always curious about other people’s favorites

    1. You’re welcome. I read a lot of good books last year thanks to connections I made on and recommendations I received from goodreads and city-data. There were at least 22 that deserved some mention but I won’t bore you with a list that long.

      These are the ones that stand out in no particular order:

      The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
      The Devil of Nanking by Mo Hayder
      The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K Le Guin 176 pages and packs a punch.
      Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
      Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo Non-Fiction
      Neither Wolf Nor Dog by Kent Nerburn Non-Fiction
      Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi Memoir

      4 Stars

      Finding Nouf by Zoe Ferraris
      Run by Ann Patchett

      These are the non Christian books that have stayed with me long after having read them.

  2. Love how you provide such an honest review without attacking the work 🙂 Always great to see a reader find positive even when something didn’t work as well as they may have liked. I struggle with this genre as well because fantasy and horror are my go to. So when I branch out, it can be difficult at times. Again though, great review!

    1. Thank you Danielle. Reviewing can be thorny at times because attacking authors isn’t cool so the work is all we have. I strive to be be fair and to find some positive because it’s never all bad – so no need for hatchet jobs. This one certainly didn’t deserve one as far as I’m concerned. Maintaining 3.9 stars on 10k ratings says more about the story not working for me than anything else.

  3. My suspension of disbelief also does not extend to characters making decisions that no sane person in real life would make. So frustrating! Especially when their decisions are so bad that you start to not even care for their well-being (for me, at least, I start to feel like they deserve whatever bad stuff happens). But at least there were some good chapters from a different POV! Sometimes that can salvage a story.

    1. My sentiments exactly. You tell me a man invented a machine and accidentally shrunk his kids, I’m asking, *gasp* “What happened next?” But you’re getting a, “Yeah, right” for that type of decision, every time. To bad decision-making characters I say, “I don’t care, good for you.”

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