The Forgotten Boy
By: Emily Shiner
Publication Date: 01/10/2023
My Rating: 5 Stars
Going back home can be deadly.
Mina would have been perfectly happy never setting foot in her childhood home ever again. But it’s part of her parents’ will - if she wants her inheritance, she has to return home and clean out the house.
But it’s not just dust and antiques waiting for her in Black Tar, Tennessee. The home is full of memories and secrets. And unlike Mina, who can’t remember why her parents hated her, the town is full of people who never forgot.
They know the truth, and they’re coming for her.
If she’s going to survive returning home one last time, she’s going to have to remember what terrible thing happened when she was a little girl.
She’ll have to to outsmart the people who want to hurt her.
And she’ll have to hope a stranger can help her.
But no matter what Mina tries, there’s always someone one step ahead.
Emily Shiner returns following I'm Following You (5 stars) with THE BOY FORGOTTEN —a heart-pounding, locked-room, domestic suspense thriller of memory, revenge, and obsession.
I have titles for my authors, and Emily has earned the "queen of revenge/obsession." A pro at writing the juiciest revenge plots.
Readers will be swept away in this twisty psychological thriller of families, revenge, and secrets.
Firstly, we know there is a little boy by this adorable cover. Readers discover in the Prologue (which hooks you instantly) that someone saw the little boy go under in a pool.
He never came back up. We learned there was a pool party and lots of wine and booze.
Fast forward years later, Mina's parents have died, and she is coming home to clean out and sell the house she grew up in. She is not looking forward to it— from New York back to Tennessee.
Mina does not have a lot of memories from her childhood, except her parents were very mean to her and made her clean the baseboards with a toothbrush. Why were they so mean to her? She was not allowed to play outside with other kids. There was always punishment. They seem to hate her.
She arrives and discovers an alarm company with contracts still on the house. So she guesses she will keep everything in place until she sells the home. But first, she must tackle cleaning it out and preparing it for sale.
She plans on being there one week and one week only in the small town of Black Tar, Tennessee, and dying to return to New York City and her life as a designer.
Also, she was never allowed in her parent's bedroom. She is dying to see what they have been hiding. Another door to another room is locked in the parent's bedroom, and she must find a key.
It is still locked? Is it a storage room or what? What is hidden in there?
Mina would love to hire someone to take care of all this, but one of the stipulations in her mom's will was that she must be the one to do the work if she wanted any of the inheritance. She must be the one to empty it and put it on the market. But why?
All her student loans will be paid off, and she can get a nicer place in NY, so she will get it done.
She also senses something sinister happened in this house, but she cannot remember. There is a mysterious box she finds under their bed. A locked room. And finds something written in the back of her closet that gives her the chills. The words are strange and she has no memory of writing these words.
Told from Mina and Rebecca's POV.
Rebecca Wilder has stalked Mina for the last eight years on her social media. Rebecca runs a security company. She has complete control over Mina's parent's house. She can lock all doors and windows with an app. She pretends to befriend Mina and offers to help her clean out the house.
Then Mina's phone is dead and then goes missing with the charger. Then her tires are slashed. What is going on?
Throughout the clean-up, Mina drinks a lot of wine and stays buzzed most of the time. She has yet to learn what Rebecca is capable of and what she wants.
Between the booze, her fuzzy memory, the mysterious box, the locked room, the two mysterious flower deliveries with no name on the cards with strange messages, and all the weird things happening in the house, Mina feels like she is losing her mind.
One of the cards on the flowers says, "I'm watching you." Twice the floral guy delivers flowers. It feels like a threat. Who is watching?
Then Rebecca will not seem to leave. She is always there and gives her the creeps.
Mina must pay.
Then another woman shows up, Wanda Skyler. She says she was a family friend and came over for her parents' parties. A piece of jewelry that her mom had of hers. There are two women in this house, and they are hovering around. Mina does not remember either. Wanda says she has come for something that is hers.
Rebecca and Wanda are not getting along? What is going on between these two? Then Mina finds herself trapped in her parent's home, and all windows and doors are locked. What do these two women want from her?
The author keeps you in suspense with a locked-room claustrophobic, suffocating vibe with no escape. Then the unspeakable happens, and another signature plot twist at the end (the author is known for), which is wickedly evil and one you will not anticipate.
There is more than one killer on the loose. Who will remain alive? A dangerous game of cat and mouse. The secrets of the parents and families rise to the surface. If she is saved, she will be living another nightmare. Someone else is watching. Will she ever escape Black Tar?
Taut with foreboding, THE BOY FORGOTTEN is a quick, fun, and suspenseful read that is addictive and can be read in one sitting. Complex, chilling, and deliciously wicked! I am enjoying the author's writing style.
Fast-paced, unsettling, and terrifying—for fans of authors Freida McFadden, Kimberly Belle, and Daniel Hurst.
I am still trying to figure out how Author Emily Shiner cranks out all these thrillers —she is a writing machine and I am undoubtedly enjoying her talents. Trying to read her backlist between all my new ARCs.
You know, the gals from NC are driven. (I am a NC native myself) and we tend to be workaholics. Will have to find out if the author is a Virgo. My Grammarly just sent me an email telling me I was a writing machine for writing reviews, blogs, newsletters, and website content for authors. Yes, I can crank out the word count. Never tried my hand at book writing—will leave that to the pros.
If you have not read Emily Shiner, I highly recommend her books. This book would be a fun audiobook and would be a great movie.
Also, check out her upcoming book, You Can't Hide (Feb 19, 2023). I finished the ARC last evening and it is another 5 STAR thriller that will blow you away.
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
Pub Date: Jan 10, 2023
My Rating: 5 Stars
About the Author
Emily Shiner grew up in Western North Carolina, and after going to college in Charlotte, returned to her beloved mountains to write novels that keep you up at night. She lives with her husband, daughter, two dogs, a menagerie of chickens, and tens of thousands of bees. When not writing, she’s reading, hiking, or drinking copious amounts of tea while daydreaming about fall. WEBSITE