Coronation Day, 1953.
In the Somerset village of Sawbridge, young shopkeeper Molly Heywood slips away from the celebrations to her friend's cottage and makes a shocking discovery: Cassie is dead and her six-year-old daughter Petal has vanished without a trace. In her grief, Molly seeks help from her childhood friend George, now the village policeman, but no one can find Petal. The only clue is a letter from London, where Cassie once lived. Despite George's reluctance and her growing feelings for him, Molly resolves to go to London in the hope of discovering the missing child.
Arriving in the big city, Molly quickly learns it's a dangerous place for a country girl on her own. But there's hope too - in the Blitz-ruined East End, she unexpectedly finds friendship with strangers from Cassie's past and, with handsome, mysterious workman Charley, the possibility of something more. However, the closer Molly gets to the truth, the more perilous her journey becomes.
She has given up everything - her home, happiness and a chance at love - all to find Petal. But is she also risking her life?
Without a Trace is set in the 1950’s and actually opens on Coronation Day, as the village of Sawbridge is buzzing with excitement and getting ready to celebrate but Molly soon realises that her friend Cassie and daughter Petal are not to be seen. As Molly dashes to Cassie’s home to see what has kept her, nothing could have prepared her for what she would find, Cassie is lying in a pool of her own blood and her daughter Petal is nowhere to be found.
As time moves on and the police have not found Petal and seem to have given up, Molly is still grieving for her friend and she is determined to find Petal and with the only thing to go on is a letter addressed to Cassie from a friend in London, Molly decides to follow the trail and also start living a life she wants to live at the same time.
This book got off to a quick and shocking start and the pace of the book continued right the way through. Molly was a kind, determined and selfless character who also has a vulnerable and naive side to her too, I am sure every reader will connect with her character from the opening chapter. I loved seeing her grow as a character as the storyline progressed. The secondary characters in this book were all well developed and I enjoyed getting to know each of them.
Cassie’s background was unpredictable I had no idea what her secrets could be, we only see Cassie through other characters eyes so we can only see their opinion on her but I didn’t feel like she was a down and out but I still couldn’t work out why she was hiding in Sawbridge.
I loved the romance in this book it was very believable, I had a strong feeling I knew who was going to end up with Molly’s heart and I am pleased with the outcome.
This was a gripping and unpredictable read that had such engaging characters, a beautiful and addictive storyline and a perfectly tied up ending. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, this sure is another winner by Lesley Pearse.