The Babysitter by Phoebe Morgan

The blurb …

On the hottest day of the year, Caroline Harvey is found dead in Suffolk. Her body is found draped over a cot – but the baby she was looking after is missing.  

Hundreds of miles away, Siobhan Dillon is on a luxurious family holiday in France when her husband, Callum, is arrested by French police on suspicion of murder.

As Siobhan’s perfect family is torn apart by the media in the nation’s frantic search for the missing baby, she desperately tries to piece together how Callum knew Caroline. 

What happened that night? Was Caroline as innocent as she seemed – or was she hiding a secret of her own?

My review …

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

I thoroughly enjoyed this cleverly plotted thriller which kept me guessing right up until the bitter end. It’s the kind of book that once you’ve picked it up, you can’t put it down!

The story is brilliantly weaved via alternating chapters between Siobhan, Caroline and DS Wildy (which is my favourite format for a book) together with police interview transcripts and social media posts, which highlight the modern culture of trial by social media. The chapters told from Caroline’s point of view on the day of her murder were brilliant and they completely ramped up the suspense of the story! We then follow Siobhan as she struggles to piece together what happened on the night of Caroline’s murder and DS Wildy and his team as they race to try and solve the murder and find baby Eve.

The book is largely based in Ipswich but begins in gorgeous Saint Juillet on the North West Coast of France in a luxury villa on the hottest day of the year. Siobhan and her husband Callum are on holiday with their 16-year-old daughter Emma and Siobhan’s sister Maria who owns the villa. We learn that Siobhan has been ignoring the flaws in her marriage to handsome TV executive Callum, and trying to hold the family together for the sake of her daughter, from whom she is becoming increasingly distant. Emma is a typical moody teenager and a daddy’s girl and takes it very badly when Callum is arrested at the villa. Maria is Siobhan’s rock throughout the whole dreadful period in her life and they share a wonderful sisterly bond.

I thought Caroline was a brilliant character. Lonely, obsessive, jealous and longing for a baby, poor Caroline had never got over the death of her mother and has been treated very badly by the man she loved. I felt sorry for her and terrified of her in equal measures. As a mother myself the descriptions of Caroline babysitting for baby Eve had me squirming anxiously in my seat and Eve’s subsequent disappearance was heart wrenching. In fact, baby loss, in one form or another, is sadly relevant to most of the characters in this story.

A tense and gripping story full of lies and deceit this really did have me on the edge of my seat and I would recommend it to everyone. I will definitely be reading more of Phoebe Morgan’s books. I love the cover of this book too, so colourful and eye catching!

Thank you very much to Netgalley and HQ Stories for the digital ARC of this book for my review.

About the author …

Phoebe Morgan is an author and editor.  She studied English at Leeds University after growing up in the Suffolk countryside.  She edits commercial fiction for a publishing house during the day and writes her own books in the evenings.  Phoebe lives in London and you can follow her on Twitter @phoebe_a_morgan, or find her website about publishing and writing at phoebemorganauthor.com.  She is the author of The Doll House and The Girl Next Door, and The Babysitter is her third book.  Her novels have been translated into multiple languages and are available in the US, Canada, France, Croatia, Italy, Estonia, Norway, Portugal and more!

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