Lesley and Mack Kinnock are the winners of a £15 million jackpot. Their life completely changes and they move with their 15-year old daughter Rosie to a gated community. One day Rosie disappears from their garden and there is a lot of blood on the lawn. It seems like she has been abducted. Maggie Neville is assigned as a Family Liaison Officer to support Lesley and Mack and to quietly investigate the family and help the investigation team.
I enjoyed Gone Astray, it's well written and with many twists. Though sometimes the story felt a bit constructed. The role as a Family Liaison Officer of the main character, Maggie Neville, offered an unusual, but interesting, perspective on a missing child case. It's a role I've never heard of before.
Quotes from the book
"Is Rosie stressed about her exams at all?" - "She's been worried about a couple of subjects but not enough to run away or do something silly, if that's what you're thinking. Rosie wouldn't do anything like that." That's what most parents say, thought Maggie, yet often they're the last to know if something is really troubling their child.
"Sometimes I think she hates me", she cried. "She gets so cross whenever I ask her anything or try to talk to her. [...] it sometimes feels like I know nothing about my daughter's life."
"Are you saying Rosie is a self-harmer?" [...] "Yes. Rosie cuts herself until she bleeds. And she does it all the time."
"After our win we had every scrounger in Britain asking for a handout. I've lost count of the number of begging letters we've received. Hundreds."
"People think they can just stop you in the street and you'll hand wads of cash over to them [...]. It's why I wish we'd never gone public about our win."
She'd tried to convince him that allowing their names to be publicized as EuroMillions winners was a mistake and would make them targets of unwanted attention, but he cared too much about letting people know how rich he'd become.
"He's not going to be happy, no. A reward that size will have every chancer and nutter from Cornwall to Carlisle crawling out of the woodwork claiming they've got information about where Rosie is and the team will have to check out each one. It'll slow things down."
She looked like she'd aged twenty years. [...] Facing the press meant families having to admit the situation was real and not a horrible, terrifying nightmare they would at some point wake up from.
"My daughter's ten and has just got her first mobile and already she's had other kids texting her asking her to send them pictures of herself like this. Technology and the Internet are turning our kids into amateur porn stars."
"I wish we hadn't won a single penny. I wish that instead of buying that bloody ticket I'd done what I was going to do and spent the money on a KitKat. But I was on a diet. [...] I know, it's mad, isn't it? Right now I'd rather be fat than rich."
[...] she's in the compost heap. I'm afraid we had a disagreement."