Four hundred and eighty seconds. That’s how long it took for someone to steal Marin Machado’s four-year-old son.
Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They’re admired in their community and are a loving family. Up until the day Sebastian is taken.
A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. The only thing keeping her going is the unlikely chance that one day Sebastian reappears. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding him, she discovers that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman.
McKenzie Li is an artist and grad student—Instagram famous—and up to her eyeballs in debt. She knows Derek is married. She also knows he’s rich, and dating him comes with perks: help with bills, trips away, expensive gifts. He isn’t her first rich boyfriend, but she finds herself hoping he’ll be the last. She’s falling for him—and that was never part of the plan.
Discovery of the affair sparks Marin back to life. She’s lost her son; she’s not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix. But as she sets a plan in motion, another revelation surfaces. Derek’s lover might know what happened to their son. And so might Derek.
I struggled to connect with Marin unfortunately. Maybe if she hadn’t been a ‘celebrity hairdresser’ by trade I would have found her less annoyingly shallow. Boy that sounds judgemental! But I sometimes wondered if her lifestyle with her rich husband was just a bit too comfy and she wasn’t going to give it up.
However I loved this book. Some of it was rather far fetched and I do hate anything based on coincidences, but it was fast paced, tense, exciting, full of twists (that awful word where everything nowadays if full of twists you didn’t see coming). Well in this case I didn’t. Except it was hard to believe the outcome and who were the villains etc. I can’t say I liked Derek very much either. He was obviously very clever to have made such a fortune but he was still a twat. And McKenzie – sometimes I felt sorry for her while at other times I thought what a conniving little bitch.
I read this in two days flat apart from the final bit which I finished this morning as too tired last night to appreciate the ending. It could have all be said and done in probably two thirds of the length of the book but Marin’s meeting with other parents of missing children was more than just padding. For me it made the book – and Marin – more real.
Many thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.