The Darkest Winter Ever by C. J Clarke
A huge thank you to C. J Clarke for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review!
When James’ daughter Poppy is abducted by a human trafficking ring he abandons everything to search for her. Using all the skills he has as a Private Investigator, he finds someone unexpected. Valerie, a woman abducted years ago like his daughter, and now his one hope for finding Poppy. But will they be able to find her in time?
C. J Clarke drops you straight into the heart wrenching moment when Poppy is abducted. You can’t help but feel silent desperation for the young girl as terror takes hold and she does all she can to escape. The same raw emotion can be seen in her father as the story continues and his guilt plagues him, sending him on a rollercoaster of emotions as he searches for her.
And to ramp up the tension readers have a chance to see through Valerie’s point of view as well. This was such a wise choice, showing the trauma and emotional damage a survivor has to cope with. Valerie’s scenes never let the reader forget how the story could end.
I did find that the second half of the book wasn’t as fleshed out as the first half. I started to find typos, but nothing that took away from the story or pulled me out of the narrative. I also felt that some of James’ actions weren’t quite on target with trying to find Poppy and he became distracted. But everything did slide into place and come full circle by the end. C. J Clarke tactfully detailed the most chilling of scenes and had the perfect balance of hope and despair that kept me reading. In under a hundred pages, she told a gripping story full of raw emotion.
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