‘Safe With You’ is the latest book by R.M Ward.
Kath has lived on the same London estate for decades. Lately she’s become friendly with the little girl next door, who is often left alone for hours at a time while her mum is at work. They have a system. When Mina gets home from school to the empty flat, she knocks on the wall three times. Knock, knock, knock. I’m home safe and sound. But one day Mina’s knock doesn’t come. Kath raises the alarm and the police begin the search. Kath was the only person looking out for Mina – now she might be the only one who can bring her home.
Set in a block of flats on a rough estate and seen from the narrative of quiet Den, elderly Kath who misses nothing and young mother Sandy who’s daughter has gone missing.
As the days pass by and the fingers of blame are pointed, the three people all have their own part in Mina’s disappearance. Sandy is having to deal with the guilt of leaving her daughter alone over night, whilst Den was the last person that saw her and Kathy wishes her had done more for the little girl.
The different narratives add an interesting slant to the story. Sandy is seen as a cold character, who shares little remorse for her daughter but she’s really riddled with guilt and wishes her could provide a better life for her. Kath has lived in the estate for many years and notices everything, she’s jokily referred to as the Miss Marple of the story. But even though she’s elderly and not as spritely as she used to be, she has a keen eye and is the backbone of the small estate, wanting the people to come together at this dark time. Whilst Den is at the centre of it all, he’s a quiet man, who’s bullied because of his meekness and this makes him a prime target as Mina was last seen in his dad’s cafe.
I really enjoyed this story, the different narratives made for gripping reading and really helped the pace of the story. I found myself torn with Kath, sometimes I found her extremely nosy and other times, I pitied her lonely life. Den is also another sympathetic character who was only looking for Mina and gave her the odd free treat and this made him a suspect.
The story is bleak and packed with despair with a little girl at the centre of it all, ‘Safe With Me’ is a dark and gritty story that made for gripping reading.
You can pre-order ‘Safe With You’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 9th September 2022.