In 2003, sixteen-year-old Rebecca Winter disappeared.
She’d been enjoying her teenage summer break: working at a fast-food restaurant, crushing on an older boy and shoplifting with her best friend. Mysteriously ominous things began to happen—blood in the bed, periods of blackouts, a feeling of being watched—though Bec remained oblivious of what was to come.
Eleven years later she is replaced.
A young woman, desperate after being arrested, claims to be the decade-missing Bec.
Soon the imposter is living Bec’s life. Sleeping in her bed. Hugging her mother and father. Learning her best friends’ names. Playing with her twin brothers.
But Bec’s welcoming family and enthusiastic friends are not quite as they seem. As the imposter dodges the detective investigating her case, she begins to delve into the life of the real Bec Winter—and soon realizes that whoever took Bec is still at large, and that she is in imminent danger.
Publisher: Mira (a Harlequin imprint)
Y’all, it takes a fantastic book like Only Daughter to bring me out of a book blogging hiatus that has lasted over a year. You’ll have to forgive me. I’ve been traveling the world (and not just the world of books like usual). Gosh, I’m such a nerd. I haven’t had much time and book blogging has unfortunately been put on the back burner.
Until this jewel.
If you looked at the pile of library books in my room and the hefty Marketing textbook that lies unopened on my bedside table, I’m sure you’d agree that I should read the books that I have to read and save the “fun” books for a time when I actually have time for them. If you are among the few to classify this kind of dark thriller as a “fun” book. Alas, like always, when this book came in the mail, I opened it up and started reading. Am I currently reading about five books simultaneously? Yes. I am. Should I be doing that? YOLO, as the Youths say these days.
Caught shoplifting and threatened with the possibility of authorities finding out about her past crimes, a young woman claims that she is Rebecca Winters, a young woman who disappeared eleven years prior after her work shift.
Full disclosure: I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway by Harlequin in exchange for my honest review! All thoughts contained in this review are my own and not affected by the fact that the lovely Harlequin people sent me a free novel in the mail. Thank you!
R: Some cussing, some mentions of sex (and a very, very brief hinting at a sex scene), mentions of murder (the whole plot centers around the disappearance of a young female), and some super creepy/sketchy characters
Honestly, the tagline hooked me from the very start. “In this chilling psychological thriller, one woman’s dark past becomes another’s deadly future.” BAM. Take me on a dark and grizzly journey, Anna Snoekstra. I’m in it for the long haul. I’m ready for both the abundance of sketchy people and the justice for the dead people.
One of my favorite aspects of this novel was the alternating narrative between the real Bec eleven years prior and the woman pretending to be Bec in current day. This threw me for a loop throughout the book as I’d think I had everything figured out and then one of the two narratives would throw in a new detail that would change my view on the whole plot. This kept me constantly guessing and definitely added to the overall suspense.
The writing was well-suited to the thriller genre and it was clear that Snoekstra was being intentionally careful with her wording and plot development. I loved being kept in the dark. I mean, okay, that’s a lie. I liked finishing the book and finally being able to take a breath of fresh air. But, hey, it kept me turning the pages and I give Snoekstra plenty of points for that.
It’s only now that I’m writing this review that I notice a confusing plot detail.
Possible spoilers in this next section, so please highlight the next section to read it.
While the real Bec experiences strange hallucinations and thoughts, these happenings are never fully explained in the novel. Some of them are accredited to the twins, but the rest are never given a cause. Did Bec dabble in the occult? Why did she wake up with blood on her clothes? What is up with all of her nightmares? These events seem like just a way for Snoekstra to lead us astray and confuse us as to the cause of Bec’s disappearance. I’m not complaining! It worked. At one point of the novel, I wondered if Snoekstra was going to incorporate ghosts into the plot. I just wish that these events had been explained more fully.
There! Spoilers done.
Seven Devils by Florence and The Machine is one of the creepiest songs I’ve ever heard… Turn the lights down low, press play on this musical masterpiece, and… freak yourself out. 😉
Overall, I’d give Only Daughter 4/5 hearts! It was a fast-paced thriller/mystery and it kept me guessing. Thanks again to Goodreads and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book to review! ALSO, there is gossip on the street that this novel is soon to be a movie… EEP! Can’t wait.