Alex Lake is a social worker living in a seaside town of Britain. Her job is not just a job for her, it is an essential part of who she is. The frustrations and the dangers that she encounters in her job are all worth it when she sees that she has made a real difference in a child’s life.
She has a history of her own, which makes her empathize with the people she meets in her job. She does whatever she can, to ensure that all the children that come her way are taken care of. Sometimes, however, it means that she angers their families and get into the wrong books of some dangerous people.
One day, she receives an anonymous call from a lady reporting that a child might be in danger. It turns out that her colleague had received a call earlier and had discounted it as a fake caller. Something about the case didn’t feel right and Alex goes on to investigate. She comes in contact with Ottilie Wade, a three year old, who is very quiet. Something is not quite right in the Wade household, but Alex is unable to put her finger on what was actually wrong. On the surface, Ottilie is just an extremely shy child, but why does Alex feel that there is more to it? Alex investigates, despite her superiors not taking the case seriously. She gets drawn into the case, and towards the helpless little child who seemed to start to trust her.
Is Alex just blindly following her gut instinct, could her own past be clouding her judgement? It is a interesting book. One that I enjoyed, I could empathize with what Alex was going through, and Ottilie Wade, no child should ever be in that position. Alex’s involvement was understandable, but wasn’t she also a bit over-involved? Some of the other characters could have had more flesh, and some felt very black and white. The other issue I had with the book was the ending. While it was a completely unexpected ending, it felt just too improbable, and unreal. The basis of the story was great, but it could have been handled and edited better, I suppose. It is a heart-wrenching tale, and a sad reality for those who live that life. All in all, it was an interesting read. It certainly gave a perspective of how the lives of social workers are. It is such a thankless job, and yet a job that makes a difference to so many lives.
I would give it a 3.5/5.