Originally published: 1 April 2021
Author: Anna Wharton
Published by: Mantle Books
Length: 416 pages
Reading dates: 1-5 April 2021
A girl who went missing. A family who never gave up. A lonely young woman who only wanted to help . . .
Chloe lives a quiet life. Working as a newspaper archivist in the day and taking care of her Nan in the evening, she’s happy simply to read about the lives of others as she files away the news clippings from the safety of her desk.
But there’s one story that she can’t stop thinking about. The case of Angie Kyle – a girl, Chloe’s age, who went missing as a child. A girl whose parents never gave up hope.
When Chloe’s Nan gets moved into a nursing home, leaving Chloe on the brink of homelessness, she takes a desperate step: answering an ad to be a lodger in the missing girl’s family home. It could be the perfect opportunity to get closer to the story she’s read so much about.
But it’s not long until she realizes this couple aren’t all they seem from the outside…But with everyone in the house hiding something, the question – whose secrets are the most dangerous?
Chloe is a character who is struggling with life as The Imposter starts. Her nan is suffering from dementia and Chloe often has come in late to work or leave early to care for her, trying to keep social services at bay. While working in the newspaper archive one day she comes across the case of Angie Kyle, a 5 year old girl who went missing over 20 years ago. Chloe becomes obsessed with the case, reading all the articles she can find. Angie’s parents have regularly pleaded for more information over the years but no clues were ever found.
When Chloe’s nan goes missing, social services insist she go into a care home and that the house be sold to pay for it. Chloe looses her job and things are looking increasingly desperate and then by luck, she comes across the Kyle’s who now live in a remote countryside house and are looking for a lodger. Chloe moves in and soon becomes a good friend and confident to Maureen Kyle who confides in Chloe about how much she misses Angie and how she never has given up hope. Chloe is unsure about Patrick Kyle though – he isn’t keen on the idea of having a lodger and neither him or Chloe feel comfortable in each other’s company.
This is a really accomplished and exciting debut. Chloe is a vulnerable character who doesn’t have any family apart from her nan and has only one good friend. Her obsession with trying to solve the Kyle case is unhealthy and once she becomes personally involved with the family, things start to spiral out of control. The Kyle’s are also memorable and sympathetic characters – trying to carry on with their lives with the sadness that comes from loosing a child.
The Imposter took me in a completely different direction to what I expected and it was an exciting and tense read.
Thank you to Mantle Books for my gifted proof copy for review as part of the blog tour and to Anne for having me. Don’t forget to check out these other awesome bloggers!
About the author:
ANNA WHARTON has been a print and broadcast journalist for more than twenty years, writing for newspapers including The Times , Guardian , Sunday Times Magazine , Grazia and Red . She was formally an executive editor at The Daily Mail . Anna has ghost-written four memoirs including the Sunday Times bestseller Somebody I Used To Know and
Orwell Prize longlisted CUT: One Woman’s Fight Against FGM in Britain Today. The Imposter is her first novel.