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The Girl on the News, by Elisabeth Carpenter

The Girl on the News book cover
Four year old Mia Donovan is safe with her family, so why are there reports on social media that she is missing? Her mother Jessie is worried that her own past may put Mia in danger…
The Girl on the News is a mix of murder mystery, family drama and psychological thriller set in the UK.
Jessie is trying to put the past behind her. She is fiercely protective of her identity and is not on social media for her own protection as well as that of her family. Jessie is the new identity of Rosie McShane, a convicted child killer who murdered her best friend. But someone knows the truth and is ready to expose it to the public, putting Jessie and her family at risk.
It took me a little while to get into this book due to the frequent change in perspective, however I soon settled into the plot and was hooked. There is fantastic emotion in this book as Sadie and Heather deal with their mother’s age and illness as well as the historic murder. Meanwhile Jessie’s mum is very peculiar despite being sober for 6 months. Her attitutude and behaviour toward her daughter have always been awful. The interviews and diary entries are heartbreaking and Rosie seems so young and innocent that it is impossible to feel anything but sorrow at her unfortunate life before and after her best friend’s murder.
The tension is good and there are red herrings to make us suspect a variety of characters. It is clear that Rosie was innocent so who is the real killer? I was absolutely gripped by the plot and the character development. However, I had to suspend my disbelief as there was zero detail on why Rosie was convicted. There appeared to be no evidence whatsoever so I couldn’t understand why she was suspected let alone convicted. I found the ending a little disappointing as there wasn’t much explanation about how and why.
The Girl on the News is a tense and emotional book, full of drama and heartache.

The Girl on the News blog tour banner

Book: The Girl on the News
Author: Elisabeth Carpenter
Pub Day:  January 29th 2024
Buy Link(s):


About the Book: 
My heart pounds as I take in the headline: ‘Missing girl believed kidnapped’. Underneath is a photo of my beautiful daughter Mia, her gap-toothed grin unmistakable. But Mia is safe beside me, snuggled up on the sofa. Why would someone pretend my child has been taken?
I thought my husband Mark and I had built a perfect new life with our precious daughter Mia. She is everything to us. I thought we were finally safe from my past. But I know Mia’s picture on the news means someone has uncovered who I really am…
They must know about the terrible accusations I faced. Those other missing little girls. I was only a child myself but no-one believed I was innocent. Not even my own family. It still haunts me, every day.
Then my worst nightmares come true. Mia is taken, snatched from the playground, and my world collapses.
My sweet daughter is in danger. Because whoever took those children years ago must still be out there. Why are they trying to destroy my life again? And if they knew where to find me, how to take my daughter – does that mean they are someone close to home?
I can’t trust anyone. But it’s not like last time. I’m not a child any longer. And I will do anything to get Mia back, before it’s too late…
An utterly shocking and page-turning psychological thriller perfect for fans of Shari Lapena, The Housemaid and All Her Fault.
Author Bio
Elisabeth Carpenter lives in Preston with her family. She completed a BA in English Literature and Language with the Open University in 2008.
Elisabeth was awarded a Northern Writers’ New Fiction award, and was long-listed for Yeovil Literary Prize (2015 and 2016) and the MsLexia Women’s Novel award (2015). She loves living in the north of England and sets most of her stories in the area, including the novel she is writing at the moment.
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