Judith D Collins
Only Ever You
By: Rebecca Drake
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 3/22/2016
My Rating: 4 Stars
Three-year-old Sophia Lassiter disappears at the playground only to return after 40 frantic minutes-- but her mother Jill's relief is short lived. Jill is convinced the tiny dots on her daughter's arm are puncture marks. When doctors find no trace of drugs in her system, Jill accepts she won't ever know what happened during her daughter's absence and is simply grateful to have her home safely.
Except Sophia isn't safe. Three months later, she disappears again. This time from her bed at home, in the night. Working with the police and the community, Jill and her husband David are desperate to bring their little girl home. They remain hopeful---until information turns up suggesting their daughter was murdered, causing the police to turn their suspicions on the parents. Facing ugly family secrets and heart-rending evidence, Jill is still convinced her daughter is alive. But when the dragnet begins to close around them, Jill realizes the worst: if the police believe she has killed her daughter, that means they aren't out there looking for the real perpetrator. They aren't hunting for Sophie or the person who still has her.
A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. ONLY EVER YOU by Rebecca Drake is a compelling domestic suspense psychological thriller--an emotional saga of a mother’s strong love for her daughter. A search for answers and a lovable dog, named Cosmo. The book opens three months prior, July 2013, in Pittsburgh, PA---Jill Lassiter (professional photographer), with her three-year-old daughter, Sophia at the park. A distraction. Her daughter is gone. The police are called. Jill is frantic. Forty minutes pass, and Sophia suddenly appears. Her husband, David arrives. She found a doggie. She loves dogs. What the heck happened? A mark. A tiny red pinprick with a slight swelling of the skin around it. Did someone inject her? Was she drugged? A bug bite? All Sophia says is that she found the doggie. They go to the hospital. No answers. Nothing would ever happen to Sophia again—the worst was over. However, Jill may be wrong. Strange things start happening. Three months later Sophia goes missing again. The suspicion turns to the parents. Jill thinks her daughter is still alive. Now she is the number one suspect. However, she knows she is innocent-- the real killer is still out there. A motive? Does Jill really know David? Jill is tenacious. How could she have missed the signs? An accident. Payback. Motivation. A journal. A connection. A past. Twenty- three days. Who can she trust? A monster. A surprise twisted ending. Throughout the novel, the author flashes back and forth to journal entries (identity not revealed). A man and woman. An affair. A breakup. How do the pieces fit together? While none of the characters are particularly likable, the author keeps you reading the complex suburban domestic suspense to the final conclusion. My first book by the author and look forward to reading more!
About the Author
I was born in New York City and moved to Indiana, Ohio, back to Indiana, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I was the always the new kid, attending nine schools in 12 years including four different high schools.
Wherever we moved, one thing was a constant—we always lived near a library and a bookstore. Books were the friends that never said goodbye and great companions on long, dusty U-Haul trips from one place to the next. Each new apartment or house became home once the books were unpacked.
I was a petty thief as a child, a skilled liar, a card cheat and a Girl Scout. I was also a bookworm (some things never change) and always wrote “reading” first on any list that asked what I did for pleasure.
I love books so much that I worked as a library aide for three years in high school and narrowly escaped being fired because I spent so much time reading the books I was supposed to be shelving!
I started writing in my early teens and knew at 15 that I wanted to be a novelist, though it took me years to realize that dream.
After high school, I attended two small colleges before graduating from Penn State with a degree in Journalism. I married and settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but the wanderlust has remained. I’ve traveled to countries I read about as a child–the Cook Islands, Egypt, China, and Turkey among others. I’ve also had the good fortune to live for a time in Qatar, a country I came to regard as a second home.
Like many authors, I’ve had an assortment of jobs that paid the rent: Reporter, technical writer, freelance copywriter, and editor among others. In addition to parenting two delightful children, my resume has recently included becoming an adjunct instructor for Seton Hill University’s MFA in Writing Popular Fiction.
As a teenager, staying up late devouring the latest Stephen King novel, I used to wonder what it was like to be married to him—did his wife sleep uneasily, one hand poised to dial 911? It occurred to me recently that this is what my husband and many authors’ spouses might be doing.
I’ve always been intrigued by the dark side, by the potential for evil that lurks in all of us, by what triggers seemingly average people to commit brutal and heinous acts against other human beings. However, I’m equally fascinated by the capacity for goodness and kindness that also dwells within us, amazed and inspired by the stories of ordinary people who confront cruelty with courage or choose compassion over vengeance.
For me, it always comes back to the matter of choice. In all my writing I’m interested in exploring those turning points in our lives that make us the people we are and sometimes, for better or worse, the people we never thought we’d be. Read More