By: Anna Snoekstra
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date: 9/20/2016
My Rating: 4 Stars In this chilling psychological thriller, one woman's dark past becomes another's deadly future. 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.
Only Daughter, Anna Snoekstra's debut novel set in Canberra, is bound for Hollywood. read more
Anna Snoekstra, whose debut novel Only Daughter, a thriller set in Canberra, has been picked up in the US by Universal pictures. Photo: Elesa Kurtz
A special thank you to MIRA and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Australian writer Anna Snoekstra’s dark and twisty ONLY DAUGHTER is set in Canberra-"The perfect setting for a troubled teenage protagonist, permeated with a sense of looming danger," says the author in an online interview. Readers will agree it sets the tone for a sense of paranoia. Rebecca (Bec) is a young woman who goes missing. Eleven years later a girl trying to escape getting arrested for shoplifting, claims to be her. However, she is not aware of the dangers surrounding the real Rebecca. A runaway girl is trying to escape her past. Pretending to be a girl abducted. She even looks like her. She has watched the story on the news. She even recalls a story of a string of grisly murders at a place called Holden Valley Aged Care in Melbourne. Butchered grannies. (now this is a Halloween nightmare). She had recalled the missing girl had finished her late night shift at McDonalds in 2003 in the inner north Canberra suburb, of Manuka. But somewhere between her bus stop and home she disappeared, never to be seen again. A family portrait. Idyllic. Parents, two brothers. The family takes her in. However, what she begins to uncover is a labyrinth of dark family evil secrets. As the two narratives from 2003 to 2014—unfold, readers learn about the sixteen-year-old Rebecca Winters' disappearance from a Canberra suburb. Then of course eleven years later, another woman is caught stealing in a Sydney market and claims to be Rebecca (Bec). What happened to the real Rebecca? How will she pull it off? DNA? Imposter. A family. Brothers. Twins. Danger is lurking. Strange things begin happening. The investigation is re-opened. What she had not intended was to fall victim to the same fate as the real Rebecca. Now she is desperate to learn what really happened to the original girl. Is the real killer still out there, and coming for her? Creepy, horror, grisly, spine-tingling. “She grieved for her, and she promised she would fix what she had broken. Promised she would not let them get away with it.” The trace of Bec left in her life was the like a deep scar. A dark sense of foreboding - impending danger; you know something evil is around the corner. At its heart the novel the author mentions, “an allegory of our political climate and an investigation of how paranoia is fed and exploited.” In the midst of the Canberra Bushfire. For me, I was excited to learn what happened to the real (original Bec), more so, than the imposter; however, both storylines were well done, in a mysterious creative approach. Fans of Mark Edwards and Amy Gentry’s "Good as Gone" will enjoy the slight similarity of this intriguing dark psychological chilling thriller. It’s near Halloween. The perfect time, to curl up with a good book and give yourself the spooks. This is one to bump up the "evil creep scary factor." Cleverly constructed, the author drags you into this wacky world, with an expansive cast of characters. However, nothing can top my Jennifer Hillier "Halloween" fix. She is not coming out with a new release, this year, so will have to wait for her next-having read all her previous ones.
About the Author
Anna Snoekstra was born in Canberra, Australia to two civil servants. At the age of seventeen she decided to avoid a full time job and a steady wage to move to Melbourne and become a writer.
She studied Creative Writing and Cinema at The University of Melbourne, followed by Screenwriting at RMIT University.After finishing university, Anna wrote for independent films and fringe theatre, and directed music videos.
During this time, she worked as a cheesemonger, a waitress, a barista, a nanny, a receptionist, a cinema attendant and a film reviewer.Anna now lives with her husband, cat and two housemates and works full time writing. You can pre-order her debut novel Only Daughter here.