Forgotten, by Nicole Trope

Finally they are in the queue to get back out onto the main road.
Coffee, here I come.
‘Not now, Aaron, I’m trying to concentrate.’
The traffic has built up in only a few minutes and cars scream past the service station. Malia feels her headache settle in.
This day is never going to end.
‘But Mum…’
‘What Aaron, what?’
‘Where is baby Zach, Mum? Where is he?’

It’s early morning, and already Malia knows it’s not going to be a good day. Her husband Ian has confessed to losing money on the pokies last night – money that could have paid the bills that are piling up. She’s got three kids to get ready for school and daycare. And there is no milk for breakfast. She has to get all three children into the car to make the short drive to the service station so that they can have breakfast. But something terrible happens while she’s buying the milk and suddenly her day is as bad as a day could be. Baby Zach is gone, and she is surrounded by police.

Ali Greenberg is a Detective newly returned to work from maternity leave. She’s been itching to be given a case to solve, but her boss is not sure this is the case for her. She knows better than anyone else around what it is Malia is going through. It might be a better idea to stay at the office – but she feels compelled to help Malia get her baby back.

Jackie is down on her luck. She has said sorry a thousand times, but still she has been punished for a terrible mistake. A strange turn of events gives her what she sees as a chance to put her life back together.

In one hot, troubling day, Forgotten follows the troubling, heartstopping race to find an abducted baby and reunite mother and child. The stories of four women who don’t know each other become inextricably intertwined, and readers will have their hearts in their mouths as the day unfolds.

Well crafted, this is a dramatic tale.

Forgotten, by Nicole Trope
Allen & Unwin, 2017
ISBN 9781760296773

The Boy Under the Table, by Nicole Trope

Bein a mother was all-consuming.
There were so many mistakes you could make, so many ways to lose a child.

When Tina, a runaway teen living on the streets of the Cross, breaks her own rules and goes home with a stranger, she knows it is a dangerous thing to do. But she doesn’t expect to find something in the stranger’s house that will change her life forever. There is a boy tied up underneath the man’s kitchen table, and although Tina knows she could pretend that she saw nothing, the haunting image of that child’s face doesn’t leave her and she has to go back for him

In a distant country twon, Doug and Sarah wait for news of their son, missing for four months. A moment of innatention at the Easter Show and he was gone – vanished without a trace. Their lives are in limbo as they wait for news of his fate.

Their friend Pete, the town policeman, waits too. He and his wife are childless and see Lockie as a surrogate grand child, Doug as a son. As a policeman Pete knows he should remain distanced, but as a friend he suffers too.

The Boy Under the Table is a shocking story of abduction and mistreatment, told through the alternating viewpoints of Tina, Sarah, Doug and Pete. As well as being the frightening, yet moving, tale of Lockie’s ordeal, it is also the story of Tina’s own loss of a brother and the circumstances which saw her end up on the street, of Doug and Sarah’s relationship, and of their friendship with Pete. These other plot lines help to make the story more real, but also more palatable, offering relief from what could be an overwhelming main storyline.

Whilst this is not an easy read in terms of subject matter, it is gripping and also full of hope against pretty tough odds. Trope handles the subject deftly and with compassion making it not just palatable but ultimately uplifting.

The Boy Under the Table

The Boy Under the Table, by Nicole Trope
Allen & Unwin, 2012
ISBN 9781742379272

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