BOOK: Only Ever You
AUTHOR: Rebecca Drake
PUBLISHER: Thomas Dunne Books
MY RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★ (4/5)
Jill Lassiter’s three-year-old daughter disappears from a playground only to return after 40 frantic minutes, but her mother’s relief is short-lived–there’s a tiny puncture mark on Sophia’s arm. When doctors can find no trace of drugs in her system, Jill accepts she’ll never know what happened, but at least her child is safe.
Except Sophia isn’t. Someone is watching the Lassiter home in an affluent Pennsylvania suburb, infiltrating the family’s personal and professional lives. While Jill struggles to balance building her photography business with parenting high-spirited Sophia, and David is distracted by pressure to make partner at his law firm, both of them are holding on in a marriage that’s already been rocked by loss.
Three months after the incident at the park, Sophia disappears again, but this time Jill and David become the focus of police and media scrutiny and suspicion. Facing every parent’s worst nightmare a second time, Jill discovers that someone doesn’t just want Sophia for her own, she wants to
destroy the entire family.
I received a copy of this publication in exchange for an honest review.
When Jill’s three year old daughter Sophia disappears from a neighborhood park, Jill gets the scare of a lifetime. Thankfully, Sophia returns 40 minutes later explaining that she wanted to pet the puppy she saw. When a small puncture is found on her arm, Jill immediately has doctors searching for any kind of drugs or something that may have been injected, but the results show that Sophia is perfectly fine. But Jill is still on edge. Three months later, Jill has become somewhat of an overprotective parent, so she cannot believe it when she wakes up and Sophia is gone. While Jill and her husband frantically search their home and neighborhood, they are disappointed to find no trace of the girl. The police are brought in, but the investigators turn their focus to the parents when some horrifying evidence is found that Jill and her husband cannot explain away. With the whole community turned against her, Jill must solve the mystery on her own if she wants to bring her daughter back home safely.
The best thing that Only Ever You has going for it is the fact that Rebecca Drake provides the reader with more knowledge over the series of events than the characters involved have. It’s a fantastic tool for leaving the reader in constant suspense, and so terribly heartbreaking when you know the characters are so close to solving the conflict you just want to yell at them and tell them what to do.
The characters feel very real and you can really relate and sympathize with them. Jill is, understandably, a completely broken mother after her daughter disappears from her own bedroom, and there is so much more to Jill than just being a suburban housewife with a lawyer husband. Jill has been through a lot having her first child pass away in his crib from SIDS, and her grief has inspired her to reach out to other families to help them through the loss of their children. That has a huge impact on the story when suddenly the scrutiny is on the Lassiter family and nobody in the community really stands up for them. Even the villain of the story will have you a little sympathetic when the full story comes to light (but you’ll still be seething too hard to change your opinion of them by that point).
Even the ending of this story throws you for a loop. The whole read you are trying to piece together all the facts to understand what you think is true, and just when you think you understand, that certainty is taken away from you.
Only Ever You is a fantastic psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat through page after page.