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The Boy That Never Was

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  4,487 ratings  ·  556 reviews
You were loved and lost - then you came back . . .

Five years ago, three-year-old Dillon disappeared. For his father Harry - who left him alone for ten crucial minutes - it was an unforgivable lapse. Yet Dillon's mother Robyn has never blamed her husband: her own secret guilt is burden enough.

Now they're trying to move on, returning home to Dublin to make a fresh start.

Kindle Edition
Published 2014
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Kolleen My question also. I am assuming she was just having delusions.
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Average rating 3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,487 ratings  ·  556 reviews

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Feb 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars for The Innocent Sleep by Karen Perry

This is the same novel different name as The Boy That Never WasThe Boy That Never Was by Karen Perry which is a little strange

The Innocent Sleep in set in Tangier and Ireland and tells the stroy of Harry and his wife Robin. Harry is preparing his wife's birhday dinner while she out working. Dillon their young son is asleep upstairs. Suddenly Harry remembers that he has left his wife's birthday gift at a cafe in town. Its only a 5 minute walk away, what is the harm in running out picki
This is a psychological thriller that explores the effect of lies & secrets on a marriage. It's also one hell of a roller coaster ride.

We first meet Harry & Robin in Tangier. It's 2005, the night of Robin's birthday & their lives are about to change forever. I don't want to give too much away but Harry makes some choices prior to an earthquake hitting the area that result in the loss of Dillon, their 3 year old son. No remains were ever found in the pile of rubble that used to be the
Dec 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
If it wasn’t for the fact that my 15 year old son bought me this book for Christmas and so I didn’t want to hurt his feelings by throwing it across the room, this read would have been a DNF for the simple reason that it is just so deadly dull and boring. Five years ago, three year old Dillon tragically disappeared one night, believed killed during an earthquake in Tangier. Now, back in Ireland, his father Harry is convinced that he has seen his son alive and well walking the streets of Dublin. T ...more
Patrice Hoffman
The Innocent Sleep by Karen Perry is the story of a young family who's trying to repair their lives after a devastating earthquake that costs them the life of their 3 year old son, Dillon. Harry leaves his son alone, sleeping, in an effort to get one last trinket for his wife Robin's birthday. During the time he is away, an earthquake occurs and leaves in its wake a depth far greater than the destruction of a building.

Five years later after the catastrophe, Harry is sure that in the midst of a r
Apr 13, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Plot synopsis:

In 2005, Harry and Robin are Irish expats living in Tangier with their 3-year-old son, Dillon. One evening, while Robin is at work and Harry is alone with Dillon, Harry decides to run a quick errand just a few blocks away while Dillon is sleeping. In Harry's absence, an earthquake strikes, and Robin and Harry's apartment building is destroyed. Dillon's body is never found, but he is presumed dead. Harry, however, clings to a belief that somehow Dillon survived and was spirited away
Diane S ☔
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The setting of Tangiers is what first drew me to this book, but many other things kept me avidly reading. I originally thought Harry was a very easy character to dislike, quite frankly I found him to be somewhat of a jerk. Felt so sorry for his wife, but of course things were not quite what they seemed. An earthquake, a destroyed building and a dead child sent this couple reeling, and they returned to Dublin to try to make a fresh start.

Many, many revelations, some stellar writing, twists and tu
Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Tangier, Morocco - where 'the days seem longer, languorous, hazy and golden'. Artists Harry and Robin went there for the strange and beautiful light, the fiery dawns that Harry favors for his paintings. They rent an apartment above an old bookstore. A foolhardy decision made by Harry at the beginning of the tale leads to tragic consequences.

Good, tight writing. The character of Cozimo, the owner of the bookstore, is fascinating. You are never completely sure about him. An older gentleman with a
Jul 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I've read this year!!!
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Started out ok, had one decent twist, then went steadily downhill from there. Badly written and relies heavily on coincidence, and just a flat out dopey ending. This is like reading an Ira Levin novel without any of the camp or charm, and who wants to do that?
Oct 21, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meh. I didn't love the switching narrator, and the ending made me nuts.
Aug 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Harry thought he had time to spare leaving his son Dillon home alone. Preparing for his wife birthday brings him immediate joy but when he forgets her gift a block away from his house, he considers the alternatives: disturb his son sleep by waking him up or leaving the house without his son? Choosing the latter is an unlikely decision but he does it unaware of the impending earthquake that is about to ruin everything. While he is rushing to get to his house, chaos intervenes as people tries to c ...more
Mar 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This book was received from a Goodreads giveaway.

I liked this book but it's not amazing. For me the first 40% was a drag to read. It was only after that that I began to take an interest in the story. None of the characters were likeable and some bits just didn't make sense to me. What kind of person stays with some one who thinks it's acceptable to drug a child?
The ending was good. I'd kind of half figured it out though. Overall a good read but there are much better books of this genre out ther
Liz Barnsley
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Coming March 2014 from Penguin

Thank you to the author and publisher for the netgalley review copy.

Five years ago, three-year-old Dillon disappeared. For his father Harry – who left him alone for ten crucial minutes – it was an unforgivable lapse. Yet Dillon’s mother Robyn has never blamed her husband: her own secret guilt is burden enough.

Another amazing read this one – tugging at my heartstrings – I have had a lot of that lately. Crying after finishing a book seems to be my default position at
I won this in the goodreads giveaways. Thank you Henry Holt and Company for an ARC of the book.

4.5 stars!!

I really enjoyed this book. I did not know what to expect going in because it is actually written by 2 writers, Karen Gillece and Paul Perry, who use the pen name Karen Perry. I didn't know if the book would flow smoothly, but it really worked out to be quite a good read in my opinion. I am curious to know of their writing process. Is one the writer and the other the creative mind? How did t
Dec 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Harry and Robin lived in Tangiers with their young son, Dillon, until a terrible mistake and a devastating earthquake took their child from them. Harry left their son alone in the apartment for ten minutes, returning to find the building, and their child, gone. Although he felt Robin’s unspoken blame, the two return home to Dublin and attempt to rebuild their lives. Robin is keen to look forward, but it is soon apparent that Harry is still tormented by the loss of his son. One day, at a demonstr ...more
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
The success of Gone Girl might suggest that thoroughly unlikeable characters and a preposterous plot can be a good thing. This book disproves that theory.
Mar 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Innocent Sleep by Karen Perry is very close to me declaring that this book is this season's Gone Girl. And that is very high praise indeed. The two person narrative is incredibly well executed, perhaps because Karen Perry is two different writers, and actually works to the flow of the novel.
The Innocent Sleep is the story of a young artistic married couple who lose their child one evening during an earthquake. The husband Harry is planning a special birthday dinner for his wife Robin. To e
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Harry and Robin live a bohemian lifestyle in Tangier - drawn there for the light for their painting. The birth of baby Dillon makes their lives complete, until a moment of carelessness when Dillon is alone and an earthquake strikes. The child's body is never found - but neither were many others - and he is believed dead. By everyone but Harry it seems - on their return to Ireland he has a breakdown, driven by his feelings of guilt at leaving the child alone. Until he spots a child on a Dublin st ...more
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
Excellent! What more can I say that hasn't already been covered by other reviewers!

This story is told from the angle of Robyn and Harry.

Dillon their only son was taken from them one night when Harry was lapse. Harry is tormented by not only the loss of his son but by his action that night, just one little slip.

Robyn doesn't seem to blame him for the loss. Maybe its the secrets. But there are a couple of secrets within this book.

Harry is tormented by the loss of his only son, he paints, he's an
Rosiemae Burton
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very well-written, exicting, emotional rollercoaster of a thriller. I did not see the ending coming at all and I loved the focus on family dynamics and parenting. However, I did find the narrators slightly annoying at times and I did not condone everything that happened. Overall, a brilliant book.
Nov 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
i won this book (YAY!) through Goodreads First Reads for a honest review

Read this review and more over at My Library Card

HOLY SHIT. that's all i can say about how this book ended. i did not see the twist coming. i thought i had figured out how it would end but i was totally taken for a ride those last few chapters. the writing is amazing. i was apprehensive at first to read it because it's not something i would normally read. but the authors were having none of that and pulled me right into the
Kristina Simon
Jun 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! This book was great. It was all twisty and turny, with a teensy bit of a gothic feel about it. I listen to audiobooks when I do chores. Since I couldn't stop listening to this one, the house and yard look good! ;-)
Dec 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-audible
***3.5 STARS***
What would you do, if one small decision you make, would change your whole life for the worst?

It's every parent's nightmare, that one little decision, the questions of, what if?

That's what Harry has to deal with one night, just a quick ten minute trip to recover some forgotten presents at a friends house, an earthquake and a choice that would leave him feeling guilty for years to come and a believe that his son is still alive.

Full of twists and turns which you don't see coming, 'The boy that ne
Maria S.
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I expected this to be a thriller but it was more of a family drama mixed with some mystery. The first 2/3 of the books I felt quite bored and really annoyed with the characters, especially Harry. The last 100 pages though were much more interesting hence the 2.5 stars. The overall story was kinda interesting but again there were so many annoying parts that just made me not like the book as much. One of these annoying parts were that the chapters were soo Freaking Long. Like 15,20,30 pages
With the success of Gone Girl, it seems like a lot of "he said, she said" suspense thrillers are jumping on the bandwagon, hoping to be the next big seller. A recent book review column in Entertainment Weekly offered up a couple of novels that are attempting to follow in Gillian Flynn's footsteps with novels featuring unreliable narrators and potential twists and turns as the story unfolds.

Intrigued by the list, I picked up a few of the novels and came away with some interesting thoughts on each
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical-library
That ending though....
Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommendations
This title was available for review at NetGalley. Upon reading the description, I requested the book and was approved. I was intrigued by the description but the book itself turned out to be so much more than the sample hinted. The book wasn't one of those where the story began slow, gearing up to a climax and then dropped off into a neat conclusion, complete with a bow. No, this story kept its quick, steady pace from the end of the very first paragraph. I admit, it took a little getting used to ...more
Margaret Madden
Thanks to Penguin Ireland for the review copy of this novel.....

Harry and Robin have lost the most important thing in their lives, their son Dillon. When their apartment was destroyed in Tangier, during an earthquake, their three year old son was never found. Guilt eats up Harry on a daily basis and their marriage is teetering on the edge of survival. Now back in Dublin, trying to move on, things seem to be settling and the grief seems less intense, after five years. That is, until Harry spots a
I won an advance copy of this in a Goodreads giveaway.
The concept of two writers penning one novel is a strange one, and in this case the decision is one I don't understand.
Harry and Robin are an Irish couple living in Tangiers when in one night of child neglect when they are both out of the house their three year old son is sleeping in, they lose him in a devastating earthquake. Flash forward five years and the couple are back in Dublin, attempting to get on with their lives, when a chance gli
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Karen Perry is the pen name of Dublin-based authors Paul Perry and Karen Gillece.

Paul Perry is the author of a number of critically acclaimed books. A winner of The Hennessy New Irish Writer of the Year Award, he is a writer and course director in poetry at the Faber Academy in Dublin.

Karen Gillece is the author of four critically acclaimed novels. In 2009 she won the European Union Prize for Lite
“paralyzed by the past, caught in the amber of loss.” 3 likes
“Even the most saintly among us can slip.” 1 likes
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