When They Find Her is immediately gripping. Lia Middleton doesn’t take too long to get into the dramatic mystery of Naomi’s night alone with her young daughter, Freya. There’s a near-instant air of intrigue that Middleton develops through a number of ways.
The issue of Naomi’s past, and the secrets she’s kept well-hidden, and woven into a web of lies, slowly works their way to the forefront of her current situation. Her failed marriage to Aiden seems to constantly be at odds with her current relationship with new boyfriend Rupert. Her tense and distrustful relationship with Helen, Aiden’s second wife, is also a source of drama for her. But the most important relationship in Naomi’s life has to be that with Freya, for whom she has unconditional love. While all this might sound like the book would feel overwhelming, or far too dramatic, it never feels like either. Middleton really seems to have worked out how to balance numerous subplots without ever making the book unbearable for, or losing the interest of, the reader.
While Middleton proves skilful at crafting an intricate and wholly engaging storyline, she also successfully weaves in a deeply important and central theme with some informative commentary. I won’t get into much more depth, for fear of spoiling it, but I will say that When They Find Her, in some way, really immersed me into the shoes of a well-intentioned mother fraught with psychological and emotional issues.
When They Find Her is a bit of tearjerker. With some some really shocking twists and turns, namely toward the end, this is a book about one woman and how her love for her daughter and her complex web of lies and secrets are fundamentally incompatible.