Stolen – Lesley Pearce

This is the story of a young woman, who is found washed up on a beach on the Sussex coast. A young woman who has had many things stolen from her and her loss of memory means that the police are baffled as to how she came to be on the beach and what the true story really is.

A young woman who has had her childhood stolen by her parents, she is made to feel in the wrong for everything that she does or does not do. Even her tragedy in her adult life does not make up for this.

A young woman who has had her sister stolen from her through no fault of her own.

A young woman who has her heart stolen more than once – but will it heal to be able to love after her memory comes back?

A young woman who has had her soul and personality stolen from her after she suffers some violence whilst abroad, but are these kind people really just trying to help her.

A young woman who has given birth but has no idea where her baby is.

However, Dale, Scott, Simon and Adam have all had this young woman stolen from them in many different ways, flatmates, friends, work colleagues. As Dale recognises the face on the front of the newspaper, she contacts the police and through meeting up with this young woman finally the pieces are all placed back together. But this young woman is still in danger and someone out there has some unfinished business and will stop at nothing to ensure that the young woman will be found this time – dead.

The characters perhaps are a bit superficial but I think that is the world in which they inhabit and at times, perhaps the storyline was dragged out a bit. But for me all it did was draw me into the story more and make me want to keep turning the pages. There is some violence which other reviewers have mentioned and it is not in the graphic sense of punches thrown and then a quick shake of hands and everything will be good again. This violence is the lasting sort emotionally, physically the wounds will heal. It was not very pleasant to read and it did make me feel sick at some point but it was relevant to the story – it was there to show why the young woman may have done what she did, after her ordeal.

Overall the book has enough to keep the reader entertained, it all its many definitions and although some found the story line a bit farfetched it is just a book and no one has forced you to read it.

This is the first Lesley Pearce that I have read and I did enjoy the book, it certainly whiled away a wet weekend! I was hooked by it and I did enjoy it but I feel guilty saying that because the subject matter and some of the violence was not pleasant.  The places that were featured are not too far from me, and I recognised some of the names. The spa where Dale and Scott had a familiar feel to it – having worked in such a place it could quite easily have been based there! I am not sure if I would read another Lesley Pearce? (this one was given to me after someone else had read it). But I do think I would perhaps pick one up from the library or the charity shop if  I wanted to read more. The author has certainly had a fascinating life, there is a bit about her at the end of the book and having just read the book I can perhaps see where she gets some of her ideas from.