Posted in Book Reviews, Fiction

Book Review: How I Lost You by Jenny Blackhurst

Warning: Some people may find the content of this book disturbing, it may also be a trigger for some people, read with caution.

Star Rating: 5/5
Title: How I Lost You
Author: Jenny Blackhurst
Publisher: Headline
Pages: 368
Genre: Fiction, Adult, Crime, Mystery, Thriller

They told her she killed her son. She served her time. But what if they lied?

I have no memory of what happened but I was told I killed my son. And you believe what your loved ones, your doctor and the police tell you, don’t you?

My name is Emma Cartwright. Three years ago I was Susan Webster, and I murdered my twelve-week-old son Dylan. I was sent to Oakdale Psychiatric Institute for my crime, and four weeks ago I was released early on parole with a new identity, address and a chance to rebuild my tattered life.

This morning, I received an envelope addressed to Susan Webster. Inside it was a photograph of a toddler called Dylan. Now I am questioning everything I believe because if I have no memory of the event, how can I truly believe he’s dead?

If there was the smallest chance your son was alive, what would you do to get him back?

Disclaimer: I was sent this book to review, this will in no way effect my judgement of the book and I will always be 100% honest in my reviews.
I first saw this book on Twitter, it looked incredibly interesting and when I saw that it was available to request on book bridgr, I decided to give it a go. I hadn’t finished a book in a very long time and as I was in a crime fiction sort of mood, as soon as this arrived I decided to pick it up and boy did I read. I read the most in one sitting that I have in a very long time, it was so interesting and so intriguing, the more I read the more I wanted to read on.
This book is the kind of book that sucks you in purely on the premise, it is about a woman who was sent to a mental institution as she suffered from post natal depression and murdered her 3 month old son, after four years she’s gotten out, built her life up and now she’s being sent anonymous messages that suggest her son may still be alive. How amazing of a story does it sound already? I was sucked in instantly, desperately wanting to know what happened. There are a hell of a lot of twists and turns, you keep trying to guess the whole way through and each time nothing is as it seems, I would never in a million years have guessed that ending, it was so unexpected but it just all fit together so well, the plot is so incredibly well thought out that it shows how talented Jenny Blackhurst actually is.
I want to talk a little bit about the characters, I think they were all written so incredibly well, especially Susie, the main character, it was as though when you read how she was feeling, that you could feel her heart breaking, that you could feel how confused she was and how much she just wanted to not be the person that murdered her own son, it was done so well. I’ve learnt a lot about depression in university and some people don’t get it, they get it completely wrong, some authors just don’t write about it properly where as Jenny Blackhurst just seemed to nail it on the head for me. Her friend Cassie was so well written as well, I would’ve liked to have heard more about her story and how she ended up in the mental institution, because we only got snippets (she could probably have a book of her own) but she was so snappy, said it like it is, entirely opposite to Susie that it was such an incredibly unlikely friendship and I think if it weren’t for the institution there is no way they would have ever even spoke, but Cassie looked out for Susie and I liked that.
As I said I am trying to ease myself into crime and this is a lot more hard hitting than Dying for Christmas, there is more detail in some scenes and I can see why some people may find this difficult to read (I’ve read about too many real life serial killers and crime for this to affect me too much) but I know that there are books which are a lot more graphic so this may also be a good place to start to get into crime too!
This book is just really well written and one of the best books I have read in a long time, I highly recommend this to anyone and everyone and I can’t wait to read more by Jenny Blackhurst.

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