Hi book worms! This is a full in depth review of Found Her by N. J MacKay spoilers and all, so do be careful reading if you don’t want the spoilers! I found Niki MacKay through a podcast that she is a co-host on with two other authors (Elle Croft and Victoria Selmen) called Crime Girl Gang that I adore. Found her is Niki’s third novel, the first two are based on the same lead character but Found Her takes a break from Madison Attalee to focus on Eve Moriarty.
Found Her is a split narrative book, something that is fairly common to the genre but that Niki MacKay does really well, using it to really explore different themes within the book and different view points of characters too. Eve mostly splits the narrative with an unknown young boy who is clearly being abused by his mother, and although his father is aware of it, he appears to be too weak to do anything about it.
Eve Moriary is alone in the world where family is concerned. She lives with her partner Mike in her family home, the one she grew up in, the one her family fell apart in. Eve remembers the day her family fell apart, the day she walked home from school with Robbie, her crush, and her younger sister Belle disappeared. Eve stayed at home with her mother from then on out, and looked after her until she passed away. She has no real memories of her father, and knows only that he was a married man with another family.
But the thing is, ever since Belle went missing, Eve has never really been able to shake the feeling that she is being watched. She is militant about double locking her front door, locking windows and ensuring her home is as safe as she can possibly make it. She even refuses to have a small doggy flap registered to her pet dog Dale’s microchip, because it’s a way in and to Eve, her safety is paramount.
Eve is a really well written and constructed character. She suffers with a lot of guilt about what happened to Belle, and it’s clear she feels that her mother always secretly blamed her for what happened to Belle, that she wished Eve had been taken, not Belle. She is stuck in self destructive patterns from the trauma of the loss of her sister. She struggles in her relationship, finding Mike bland, repetitive and almost as if he gets in the way of the life she had before he moved in. She is meticulously neat, he doesn’t tidy up after himself, sex is boring but even Eve admits that he is safe, reliable and will look after her – if she will let him. Eve works with her best friend Mandy for a charity, whom she adores. Yet the relationship there is also shrouded in guilt too and self destructive patterns.
The book however opens with a young girl running away, heading for the cars, heading for safety and it ends with her being hit by a car and all going black. It’s an explosive opening that is followed on by a brilliant exciting incident when we discover that Belle has been found alive.
Once Belle is found, that feeling that took Eve years after Belle’s disappearance to lose returns. Eve is attacked, and secrets start to come out unravelling Eve’s life, people aren’t all they seem to be, least of all Eve herself.