Title: Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 288 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
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 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—a presence in her room at night, 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 impostor is living Bec’s life. Sleeping in her bed. Hugging her mother and father. Learning her best friends’ names. Playing with her little brothers.
But Bec’s welcoming family and enthusiastic friends are not quite as they seem. As the impostor 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 by Anna Snoekstra is a riveting mystery that is written in a split narrative that takes place during two different time periods. In 2003, the story takes place in the days leading up to Bec Winters’ disappearance. In the present, the story begins when a young woman who closely resembles Bec takes her place to avoid arrest. Both story arcs are compelling but the events leading up to Bec’s disappearance are the most chilling.
After being picked up for shoplifting, a young woman makes an impetuous decision to tell authorities her name is Bec Winters. Since she bears an eerie resemblance to the missing girl, the police have no reason to doubt her claim and she is quickly reunited with “her” family. Fooling the family seems to be easy enough but the imposter has a more difficult task of convincing the real Bec’s best friend Lizzie Grant. The imposter must also endure in depth questioning from the detective on the case, Vincent Andopolis. An excellent actress with an uncanny ability to read people, she manages to evade answering Vincent’s many questions about her kidnapping but he seems to growing suspicious of her. Although Bec’s parents and twin brothers Andrew and Paul seem to harbor no doubts about her identity, the imposter begins to grow uneasy with the family’s increasingly strange behavior.
The flashbacks detailing the days before Bec’s disappearance begin with normal teenage behavior. She hangs out with her best friend Lizzie in between working her shifts at a fast food restaurant. At home, Bec’s parents dote on Andrew and Paul while mostly ignoring Bec and chastising her for not spending about time with her brothers. As strange things begin occurring at home, Bec turns to Lizzie and her co-workers to help exorcise her ghosts. Shortly after a disagreement with Lizzie, Bec vanishes without a trace after a late shift at work, leaving everyone, including the police, stymied about what happened to her.
A suspense-laden debut by Anna Snoekstra, Only Daughter is an intriguing mystery that has plenty of twists and turns. Bec’s story arc grows increasingly ominous as the bizarre events she is experiencing become more frightening. The present day storyline is full of tension as the imposter tries to keep everyone from realizing she is not Bec. Both story arcs reach their denouement at the virtually the same time and although a little far-fetched, the novel’s conclusion is full of stunning plot twists. An all around spellbinding mystery that fans of the genre are sure to enjoy.