I have no memory of what happened but I was told I killed my son. And you believe what your loved ones, your doctor, and the police tell you, don’t you?
My name is Emma Cartwright. Three years ago it was Susan Webster, and I murdered my twelve week old son Dylan. I was sent to Oakdale Psychiatric institute for my crime and four weeks ago I was released early on parole with a new identity, address and a chance to rebuild my shattered life.
This morning I received and envelope addressed to Susan Webster. Inside it was a photograph of a toddler called Dylan. Now I am questioning everything I believe because if I have no memory of the event, how can I believe he’s truly dead?
If there was the smallest chance your son was alive, what would you do to get him back?
Last week feeling under the weather, more than a little sorry for myself, and wrapped up in bed having a duvet day, I picked up Jenny Blackhurst’s debut novel How I Lost You and finished it in one sitting. It was ideal, a perfect lazing by the pool / rainy day read, it is intriguing, engrossing and will have you flipping the pages quickly.
There are two main threads in How I Lost You, the first is the story of Susan, what happened to her when her son was murdered, her suspicions and beliefs surrounding the mystery of what really happened, and her re-evaluation of her previous life and the relationships within it. The second is set twenty years earlier, and tells the story of the lives and misdemeanours of a group of privileged boys as they grow up and go to university together.
It takes a little while to reconcile these two strands, trying to work out where the characters from one fit within the other, but once the pieces slot into place the story moves on apace. Susan teams up with journalist Nick, as they attempt to discover the reality of what happened to baby Dylan, and what, if anything, it has to do with the past life of her ex-husband Mark.
My only niggle with the book is that for a convicted killer released on parole, Susan appears to be incredibly naive and far too trusting of others, but if you can suspend that little bit of disbelief for a while then How I Lost you is a thoroughly enjoyable read, with a culprit that few will see coming.