Published by: Random House UK, Cornerstone (30th June 2-16)
Lily has been abducted from outside her high-school gates.
For eight long years she's been locked away from the outside world. During that time she's changed from a girl into a woman. She's had a baby.
And now she has seized her chance and escaped.
Running for her life, with her daughter in her arms, she returns to her family and the life she used to know - to her much-loved twin sister Abby, her mum, her high-school boyfriend - and her freedom.
But is it possible to go back?
Lily's perfect life as a teenager doesn't exist any more. Since she's been gone, her family's lives have changed too, in ways she never could have imagined.
Her return, and the revelation of who took her, will send shockwaves through the whole community.
Lily's story, told from the perspective of the main characters, is absolutely horrific. Despite this, it is also utterly compelling. I can't get my head around the fact that crimes like this really happen, it's unthinkable.
Hollie Overton's gripping and intelligent writing is addictively good. I was desperate to find out who perpetrated this terrible crime, but instead of skimming (and quite unusually for me) I had to read every single word. I was scared of missing some vital clue that would lead me to the kidnapper's door. In spite of my close attention to detail, when the truth was revealed it was a complete surprise. My jaw must've hit the floor, it was such a shock!
Lily is a wonderful character. She's a survivor and incredibly strong. Her almost robotic air of calm when leading the authorities to her abductor is breathtaking. In contrast to this, the raw emotion she shows when reunited with her first love shows her humanity.
Abby is fantastic too. She's feisty and confrontational and a delight to read.
The abductor tells the story from their perspective too. To be inside the mind of such a character is at once both scary and thrilling and their story reads well alongside the other interpretations of events.
Special thanks to the author and publisher for providing an ARC of Baby Doll in return for my unbiased review.