On the hottest day of the year, Caroline Harvey is found dead in Suffolk. Her body is left draped over a cot – but the baby she was looking after is missing.
Hundreds of miles away, Siobhan Dillon is on a luxurious family holiday in France when her husband, Callum, is arrested by French police on suspicion of murder.
As Siobhan’s perfect family is torn apart by the media in the nation’s frantic search for the missing baby, she desperately tries to piece together how Callum knew Caroline.
What happened that night? Was Caroline as innocent as she seemed – or was she hiding a secret of her own?
I’ve been a huge fan of Phoebe Morgan since The Doll House, so unsurprisingly I loved this one as well, her third novel. It’s a simple tale of murder, infidelity and a missing baby. You would think. Well let me tell you it’s not simple and the intrigue builds more and more till my fellow Pigeons (I read this with The Pigeonhole online book club) and I were screaming at the screen: ‘Where’s the baby?’ ‘Oh no! Not the baby!’ ‘Where’s the suitcase?’ and words to that effect.
Callum is a handsome, clever, successful TV Executive who loves women almost as much as he loves himself. His poor wife Siobhan – I quite liked her, others didn’t – knows about his affairs but is totally gob-smacked when he is arrested for murdering his lover Caroline and abducting the baby she was looking after. Poor Caroline is (or was in this case), a lonely, introverted children’s book illustrator with few friends or family. All she wants is love and a baby of her own. Sorry Caro I think you made a poor choice in Callum.
Siobhan has a sister Maria, never married, thinks her life of freedom and independence is so much better than Siobhan’s life of drudgery and motherhood. But Maria is thick as thieves with their daughter Emma (more one-upmanship), who is very po-faced and mixed up, but then she’s a teenager so no surprises there. The family are enjoying a break at Maria’s beautiful second home in France when the gendarmes come knocking.
The story is told from various points of view including Siobhan, Caroline and DS Alex Wildy who is on the case. With such a small cast of characters, I like the way the police side is given as it is less claustrophobic and gives another dimension to the story.
The Baby Sitter is so cleverly plotted and paced that you’ll be changing your mind continuously about who did it right until the very end. Just as it should be.
Many thanks to The Pigeonhole, my fellow Pigeons and to Phoebe for her constant engagement and for making this such an enjoyable read. Can’t wait for Book 4.