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April 15, 2023

The School Trip by Miranda Smith ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

They should have been watching. But my little girl is gone...

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of psychological thriller The School Trip by Miranda Smith
April 2023; Bookouture; 978-1837900565
audio, ebook, print (280 pages); psychological thriller

The School Trip
was an 'unputdownable' book that kept me up way past bedtime.  There was no way that I could sleep until I found out how the book ended.  

Emma is a kindergarten teacher.  She's a recent widow and worries about her 6-year-old daughter Claire and how her father's death will affect her.  As the story begins, all of the kindergarten classes take a field trip to the local pumpkin patch.  Even though Claire isn't in Emma's class, they are on the field trip together. The kids have a great time - petting the animals, going on a hayride, and playing in the park.  Claire doesn't get to spend as much time as with Claire because she has to take care of her own class but she trusts her daughter's teacher to do the same.  When a little girl goes missing, Emma works with the other teachers to find her.  The police are called and when the little girl is found, the parents and their children begin to leave.  That's when Emma realizes that Claire is missing.  She knows that her daughter wouldn't leave with a stranger and begins to search for her.  The police have a video of the park exit that shows Claire walking out of the park with a stranger.  After losing her husband two years before, she is totally upset that she may have also lost her daughter and blames herself as she wonders if there is somehow a link between her husband's death and her daughter's disappearance.  

As a parent, it's hard to imagine anything worse than having your child disappear and the author takes us through all of Emma's anguish and tears.  Her willingness to do whatever she can to find her daughter cause the police to begin to leave her out of their case but she's willing to go against them and follow an idea that she has about who is responsible.  This book was a real roller coaster ride with lots of twists and turns.  The author did an interesting thing to make things even tenser for the reader -- interspersed in the story are several chapters by the kidnapper who has an attitude that is totally unhinged.  Those chapters made me worry more about what the outcome would be because I could see the unnamed kidnapper as someone willing to hurt Claire
This was a fantastic thrilling book that melded the search for the child with the grief from the loss of her husband that Emma continues to work through.  I highly recommend this thriller and have ordered some of Miranda Smith's earlier novels.

Buy The School Trip at Amazon

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.  

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