Audio Book Review: Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer

Release Date: February 26, 2016
Publisher: Highbridge Books
Format: Audio
Length: 11 hours 49 minutes
Narrator: Antonia Beamish
Genre:   Mystery/
Buy: Audible | Kindle | Paperback


Newly single mom Beth has one constant, gnawing worry: that her dreamy eight-year-old daughter, Carmel, who has a tendency to wander off, will one day go missing.

And then one day, it happens: On a Saturday morning thick with fog, Beth takes Carmel to a local outdoor festival, they get separated in the crowd, and Carmel is gone.

Shattered, Beth sets herself on the grim and lonely mission to find her daughter, keeping on relentlessly even as the authorities tell her that Carmel may be gone for good.

Carmel, meanwhile, is on a strange and harrowing journey of her own—to a totally unexpected place that requires her to live by her wits, while trying desperately to keep in her head, at all times, a vision of her mother …


A case of a child snatched away from her mother, a preacher who believes she is the key to help the faithful heal and a mother whose whole life is shattered and she has to try to pick up the pieces. Kate Hamer's debut novel is well done despite being a bit stagnant in the middle. Written in alternating chapters from Beth and Carmels point of view, we see how the separation affects them both.  Beth does her best to hold herself together but finds herself constantly looking, and then slowly trying to piece her life back together despite the big gaping hole.

Carmel thinking her mom is dead and the man who took her is her grandfather finds herself traveling the small towns in America with a preacher who believes she can heal the sick and faithful. Carmel has always been a bit of a dreamy child and sometimes can see threads of light in people, but can she really heal the sick?

Overall this book was good, as I mentioned I felt the book dragged a bit in the middle but it picked up again in the end and the ending was satisfying even if it felt a bit rushed. There were some interesting connections made from Beth's mother between Carmel and her grandmother which really made you think. I think Beth's grief was well written and felt very authentic. The narrator was wonderful at changing accents, and really capturing the emotion of the characters.

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