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The Lost Ones by Ben Cheetham

Some secrets are better left undiscovered.

When a nine-year-old girl goes missing in Harwood Forest, the search for her brings back memories of an unsolved double murder some forty years earlier. Could the key to Erin Jackson’s disappearance lie in the bloody fate of Elijah and Joanna Ingham, bludgeoned to death while their young daughters slept? Were the Inghams really the victims of opportunistic burglars—or a more sinister fate?

The woods are combed for signs of the child, but Erin’s brother, Jake, mounts his own investigation, uncovering evidence that puts the Inghams’ daughters—vanished Rachel and ‘crazy’ Mary—in the frame. Meanwhile, Erin’s father suspects that the ragtag army of eco-warriors besieging his quarry development may have something to hide.

As devastating secrets and betrayals are revealed, the Jackson family is brought to a breaking point. But time is running out. Erin is still missing and Jake’s unorthodox enquiries have left him dangerously exposed. They must find Erin and lay the past to rest—before they become its latest victims.

 
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The Lost Ones instantly caught my eyes with its wonderful cover and I thought the description of the book sounded very exciting. And, luckily, the book proved to be a real gem. I had never read anything by Ben Cheetham before I read this book, but now I must add his name to the list of authors to keep an eye out for.

The story is engrossing, a young girl goes missing, and since her father has a lot of enemies is there plenty of suspects. The town has once before been through an ordeal. Forty years before, Elijah and Joanna Ingham was brutally murdered in their house only their daughters survived. But, surely this murder of Elijah and Joanna Ingham couldn't have anything to do with the missing girl?

The Lost Ones is intense and heartbreaking to read. Little Erin is missing, and her parents are desperate to have her back, but has someone taken her or is she just lost? As the hours pass the situation becomes more and more desperate and secrets are revealed. The book is very good and I must admit that I was a bit surprised by the ending. I liked how Cheetham really demonstrated throughout story how devastating this is for the family and the toll it takes on them. You know from the beginning that Erin's mom has a secret, but what is she hiding? The murder at the Ingham house forty years ago, and the legend that the place is haunted gave the story an extras feeling of darkness.

 
I want to thank Thomas & Mercer for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!