How to Disappear by Gillian McAllister

You can run, you can hide, but can you disappear for good?

Lauren’s daughter Zara witnessed a terrible crime. But speaking up comes with a price, and when Zara’s identity is revealed online, it puts a target on her back.

The only choice is to disappear.

From their family, their friends, even from Lauren’s husband.

No goodbyes. Just new names, new home, new lives.

One mistake – a text, an Instagram like – could bring their old lives crashing into the new.

As Lauren will learn, disappearing is easy.

Staying hidden is much harder . . .

My Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This for me is her best book so far! Compelling, hard hitting and an emotional rollercoaster from the first to the very last page! Worthy of every 5 star review it receives as I know my 5 star rating won’t be the first and it certainly won’t be the last.

After witnessing the murder of a local homeless man by two teenagers, little did 14 year old Zara, or her parents, know that from that moment on their entire lives would never be the same again. Their blended family will be ripped apart, all contact severed from everyone in their lives, even their adored family pet Bill, a golden retriever, will never see either Lauren or Zara ever again.

As the two young lads, footballers, one on his way to the big leagues, the Premiership, stand trial for the murder, Zara is called to give evidence being the only witness to the attack. Due to the fact of Zara’s young age, her identity is concealed from everyone, especially the media, she is only known as Girl A.

Girl A, Zara, when cross examined in the court proceedings, her statement begins to unravel and under pressure she cracks and admits that Jamie, the homeless man had in fact attacked the two young lads first! The results of this confession – both boys walk out of the courtroom scot-free!

Luke, the boy who actually stabbed Jamie to death, had had a promising football carer ahead of him before he was held in prison on remand awaiting trial for murder. Now his carer as a professional footballer is over, and with two of their teams rising stars both going on trial for murder, it has effected the entire Holloway FC, and people are not happy! Some of the die hard fans hold Girl A entirely responsible, and they want her to pay.

A facebook group pops up called Find Girl A and thus begins the search for Girl A’s real identity, then from there, her location, then after that? With several death threats being posted, who knows what they are capable of once they find her.

It doesn’t take them long at all to discover Girl A’s real identity and the threat to Zara’s life is genuine, so much so that their only option if they want to keep her alive and safe, is going into witness protection. As Zara’s mum, she will do whatever it takes to keep her daughter safe, but for her husband to enter witness protection with them he would have to leave behind his daughter, Polly, forever and never contact her every again, because once you are in, your in. All your past history, all your family members erased as if they never existed.

They both know that Lauren has no choice but to leave, has to make sure Zara is safe, and they both know Aidan can’t leave his daughter Poppy and has to stay, has to watch his wife and his step-daughter walk out of his life forever.

Given new names, new identities and whole new fictitious lives, Lauren and Zara are driven miles away from London and set up in a new house, and a new set of rules to follow. Their only hope of staying safe and not being found is to embrace the new names and lives they have been given, stick to the rules and never contact anyone from their past, no matter what.

But is it truly that easy? To just up and leave your entire life, your entire family without ever looking back? If they thought that leaving was hard, they soon discover staying away, the lack of contact is harder than ever imagined.

This story is told by Before, Days gone and Days in and is told via Lauren, Zara, Aidan and Poppy’s points of view as we watch the whole thing play out across the pages.

It was never going to be easy, but no one, not even the reader knows what is about to happen next!

And it was the not knowing that kept me up all night, reading right through until morning to reach the final pages, watching the fates of these characters unfold across the pages, my heart cracking for Aidan whilst cursing the author for doing that to me (and undoubtedly most readers!) 😱

How to Disappear will be published on 09 July 2020 and is available for pre-order now.

Would I recommend it? Without a shadow of a doubt! Just click on the link below!

A massive thank you to the author Gillian McAllister, publishers Penguin Michael Joseph UK and NetGalley for my digital copy of this brilliant book in exchange for an honest and independent review.

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