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(Gardner and Freeman #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  2,562 ratings  ·  194 reviews
When Abby Henshaw is brutally attacked by two strangers in the countryside, her first thought is for the safety of her baby daughter, Beth. But what follows is a mother’s worst nightmare: Beth is gone and Abby's world collapses around her.

As DI Michael Gardner begins to investigate Abby and her family, he discovers lives built on secrets and betrayals. Under pressure from
Paperback, 362 pages
Published May 30th 2013 by Moth Publishing (first published April 19th 2013)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,562 ratings  ·  194 reviews

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Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! Abby Henshaw is driving with her baby going to visit a friend. She is forced off the road by a car and is then assaulted and raped by its occupants, leaving the baby in the car alone. Abby is terrified, she has never seen these men before and cannot understand why they targeted her. To her horror, after she struggles back to her car she finds her baby missing. What is going on? To divulge more would give away the story but all I will say is that I read this book in ...more
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
A great book written by a relatively new face on the British Crime scene. This was promoted in my local library!

I read this book quickly, it's an interesting and chilling plot with plenty of twists and turns, I'm a big fan of supporting English writers, and this book deserves some credit.


Scary stuff. And you can feel the fear of those impacted in this book. The plot ramps up quickly and it's not long before you feel pulled into the drama. It's a mother's worst nightmare!

I enjoyed som
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow!

This book just hit the ground running right from the start. Boy what a start. This has to be one of the most shocking and uncomfortable starts to a book I have ever read. What poor Abby endures is truly shocking. Not just at the beginning but the whole way through the book.

My heart totally went out to Abby in this story. To not only have to endure being attacked, she then has to try and go on with her life after her baby girl goes missing. You don’t have to be a mother to
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook
It was a book that I downloaded on my Kindle just because it was marked down. And it lay there. Forgotten. Stored away in my Kindle for rainy days when I have no real books to read.

Abby Renshaw and her baby are on their way to visit a friend who lives in the country side, when she is forced off the road, out of her car and badly assaulted. All through the horrendous experience, Abby is only concerned about her baby who was left alone in the car while the men assaulted her. When she finally manag
Katie Pickering
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
let me start by saying how brilliant this book is, it took me all of two days to read and I simply couldn't put it down. I feel the author took a risk writing about the disappearance of a young child but she did it extremely well the characters the plot it all fit together beautifully.

This book kept me guessing the whole way through, every time I thought I knew what was going to happen I ended up being wrong!

"I chose to be a mother. her mother I chose her."

This was my favourite quote of the boo
Abby Henshaw is driving with her 8 month old daughter Beth, on their way to visit a friend. She is suddenly forced off the road by 2 men in a white van and they drag her into the van, leaving Beth alone in the car.

Abby is beaten and raped, and left by the side of the road. When she returns to her car her baby has gone. What follows is the story of the search for the missing baby.

I was totally gripped throughout this book. Abby isn't perfect, but the description of a mother who desperately wants
Linda Lpp
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Listened to the audio version. British mystery-quite enjoyed the story, even though the premise was heartbreaking.
Will definitely look for the next book in this series. Would recommend this book and already have!
Lisa Davies
Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
I listened to this book on audio and the narration was very good. Great read. Well-rounded in both characters and plot, with lots of twists. Better than many I have read in this genre.
Apr 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, debut
‘How had this become her life? It wasn’t even a life. She felt like a ghost.’

Abby Henshaw is on her way to visit a friend after a doctor’s appointment with her eight-month-old baby daughter, Beth. The journey she makes will change her life forever. Suffering a horrendous assault and abandoned at the roadside in a remote spot in the country, Abby faces not only the after effects of the brutal attack, but also comes to a terrifying realisation about Beth – she is gone, stolen. DI Michael Gardner i
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I actually couldn't put it down from the first page.

The story is based in one of my favourite parts of the UK, Redcar, and it's a refreshing change from the more popular locations often used.

I will not dwell too much on the plot, as this has been covered by other reviewers, except to say that Abby is married to Paul and they have an eight month old daughter, Beth. Abby is brutally attacked and raped whilst driving with Beth on a lonely country road to visit her best
Cleopatra  Pullen
Aug 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Abby Henshaw is forcibly removed from her car by two men following a deliberate collision. Her baby daughter Beth is left alone in the car. Before Abby is able to return she disappears. DI Michael Gardner is running the investigation into Beth’s disappearance and uncovers secrets and lies that cause Abby’s life to completely unravel.

This book details the long search for Beth both by DI Gardner who is battling negative publicity from the media as he becomes frustrated at the unresolved mystery. W
Book Junkie
May 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
I had to take off one star because I figured out the plot halfway through...Yet, this was entertaining enough to keep me reading late into the night.
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh my - this book was so emotional for me, not only did we have to deal with rape and broken relationships but the theft of a baby. I remember being so frightened that something was going to happen to my little man every time we went out when he was brand new that to actually read the story of a mother who lost her baby was just harrowing and a total page turner because I just had to know what happened next.
Lorraine Fox
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic read. This is my first Rebecca Muddiman read and I can't recommend it highly enough. Without giving spoilers you definitely think you know the outcome but how wrong you will be! ...more
May 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Abby Henshaw is driving with her 8 month old daughter Beth, on their way to visit a friend. She is forced off the road by by 2 men in a white van, dragged into their van and brutally attacked before being dumped at the side of the road.

However, her nightmare is only just beginning – Beth , her baby daughter has disappeared from the car and is missing…..

The subject matter and descriptions, particularly of the attack are vivid and shocking but it is the search for the daughter that packs the large
Lynda Kelly
Feb 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
Easily the best freebie I've read this year although I downloaded it last year !! It's a debut as well so even more impressive. I really enjoyed it and will keep an eye out for this author again.
A mother is attacked and her baby is also stolen in the same incident. A few years on and another child goes missing in the same town and is being investigated by the same detective. There were a lot of twists and turns and I had seen many other reviewers say they figured the story out quickly but I cert
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I came across this debut novel quite by accident but I'm glad I did. Absolutely gripping crime tale of a woman raped and beaten whose baby girl goes missing during the attack. There follows a five year span as all hope of finding the baby is gone by everybody but the baby's mother and the lead detective. Okay, some of it was pretty formulaic and the second child abduction was remarkably reminiscent of the Shannon Matthews case but it was a fantastic page turner that I had to keep reading past my ...more
Sep 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apparently a debut novel and quite a good one at that. Keep me reading later into the night that I ought to with a few unexpected twists. I thought I knew who it was before I got too far into the book and I was right, though not completely.
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic debut novel that kept me guessing till the end
Shawna P.
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
To my husband, I am sorry I basically was holed up for two days avoiding doing anything but reading this book. Such a nail bitter, and with plenty of twists and turns.
Aug 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5* Wow!!! I had so many "Oh Shit" moments while reading this book. Lots of twists and turns, some I saw coming, most I didn't. This was a thrill ride. ...more
Gaynor Spanswick
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely brilliant ,couldn't put it down . ...more
Dec 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great novel by a new-to-me author. 2015 has been a year of true crime and Brit Lit and I am so glad to have expanded my horizons to beyond the pond.

Tarek Vanderpool
Dec 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Page turner

What a great thriller. This book was filled with mystery and heart ache. In the end a mothers love proved valuable and uncompromising.
Sarah Grundy
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
A decent thriller, but the pace was too quick for me. You never really got to know the characters, and the cliffhangers at the end of a chapter were used so often so that for me they just became annoying. It felt a bit like watching an episode of CSI where the bits that don't make sense are sort of rushed so you don't have time to think about it. The last third of the book in particular was frantic, with most chapters being 1-2 pages. This makes the ending rushed and not very satisfying. If you ...more
Constance Fournier
OH MY GOODNESS. This book is so good. I couldn’t wait to finish it to see how it ended. It was a surprise! Poor Abby, someone grabs her and throws her in a white van leaving her baby in the car seat in back of her car. Just imagine! She is out of her mind with worry. She’s beat up and raped and all she can think of is getting back to that baby Beth. When she does get back to the car little Beth is GONE! Five years later Beth is still gone, Abby’s husband is gone, when will the nightmare end. Who ...more
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-reads
Well it sure is grim up north. And that's just how I like my books. Two areas which particularly impressed me. First, the ambiguity of the characters, and best of all, there wasn't a huge denouement requiring me to envisage an architectural layout.

I've no idea how I stumbled upon this great read, but am very glad I did. May it be the first of many from the publisher and author.
Marilyn McKnight
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A well written book which I read in one day. Very edge of the seat stuff, with lots of twists and turns. The only thing I didn't like was the "Shannon Matthews" part of the story- totally unnecessary and obvious from the first few lines! Bad stereotyping, I'm afraid. Other than that a very interesting story
Stephanie Filer
Basic, but enjoyable.

A little too cliche of a storyline, but an easy and enjoyable read. It was based in Europe so the differences in word choices were distracting at times for this American reader.
Jan 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stumbled across this and realised it was a series
Absolutely loved gone and stolen and I’ve just downloaded the 3rd in the series
Easy read with lots of twists and turns
I love Michael Gardners character and hope there are lots more books to follow.
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Rebecca was born and raised in Redcar . She has lived and worked in Holland and London, and travelled across America on a Greyhound bus in 2002. She won a Northern Writers' Award in 2010 and the Northern Crime Competition in 2012. When not writing she spends her time watching Game of Thrones and dealing with her two unruly dogs. ...more

Other books in the series

Gardner and Freeman (4 books)
  • Gone (Gardner and Freeman, #2)
  • Tell Me Lies (Gardner and Freeman, #3)
  • Murder in Slow Motion (Gardner and Freeman, #4)

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138 likes · 83 comments
“I am arresting you on suspicion of the abduction of Beth Henshaw, and the conspiracy to rape and assault Abigail Henshaw. You don’t have to say anything but it may harm your defence if you do not mention, when questioned, something you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be taken down and given in evidence.” 0 likes
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