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The Girl in the Red Coat

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  16,556 ratings  ·  2,071 reviews
Librarian note: An alternative cover for this edition can be found here

She is the missing girl. But she doesn't know she's lost.

Carmel Wakeford becomes separated from her mother at a local children's festival, and is found by a man who claims to be her estranged grandfather. He tells her that her mother has had an accident and that she is to live with him for now. As days
Hardcover, UK edition, 384 pages
Published February 26th 2015 by Faber & Faber (first published January 13th 2015)
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Joyce This was just one of the many unanswered questions for me. Carmel leaves clues everywhere, but do we ever see the significance of them? I felt I was m…moreThis was just one of the many unanswered questions for me. Carmel leaves clues everywhere, but do we ever see the significance of them? I felt I was missing something throughout the entire book!(less)

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Average rating 3.52  · 
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 ·  16,556 ratings  ·  2,071 reviews

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Megan Johnson
Kate Hamer's new novel, 'The Girl In The Red Coat,' is the story of a mother who loses her daughter while at a storytelling festival, and the daughter who finds herself living amongst strangers in a country other than where she went missing. The search for her turns up many leads, but most turn out to be false leads. Still, hope is not lost and the belief that the young girl is still alive stays strong. The girl, on the other hand, is fed lie after lie until she begins to realize that even she d ...more
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book, 2018, thrillers
The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer is a 2016 Melville House publication.

A mystery/thriller that takes the reader on an emotional, heart wrenching journey –

Beth’s worst nightmare comes to fruition when her daughter, Caramel, is abducted. Both mother and daughter relate to the reader how their lives have changed since that fateful day, as they both sadly adjust to a new normal. For Beth, her life never fully moves forward as she continues to search for Caramel, never giving up hope, against
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer is a 2016 Melville House publication.

A mystery/thriller that takes the reader on an emotional, heart wrenching journey –

Beth’s worst nightmare comes to fruition when her daughter, Caramel, is abducted. Both mother and daughter relate to the reader how their lives have changed since that fateful day, as they both sadly adjust to a new normal. For Beth, her life never fully moves forward as she continues to search for Caramel, never giving up hope, against a
Mar 28, 2015 rated it did not like it
it started out okay and i really liked Carmel and following her line of thoughts about the world and people around her but all the jesus stuff just got annoying and her not trying harder to find out the truth or trying herself to contact her dad. I only kept reading because I could not wait for her reaction that surely had to come, when realizing the truth. but that part never came. It was a dud and i feel this book took all my energy away. boo.
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
I honestly did not know how to rate this book. It has stirred up so many different emotions within. I even put it aside for a while because of the subject matter and the deep fear that lurked in every corner.

"As if Carmel had not been taken but had shattered apart into fragments. An explosion of particles, fine like glass, and I could somehow learn to knit her back together again."

Within moments, Beth's life would be forever changed. Her eight year old daughter had been abducted at a book fair i
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Are all mysteries finally solved or do some last forever? What happens when we die. What became of my little girl. Do they end? Or can unknowing go on for always?"

This was such a richly crafted novel! I'm still taking everything in. When Beth's eight-year-old daughter, Carmel, vanishes without a trace right before her eyes, it feels as though her world has surreptiously turned on its axis. She retraces the events of that day every minute she's conscious. How does a parent recover from something
Apr 27, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Everyone is acquainted with the feeling of blind panic that comes about when you lose something valuable such as a wallet. It is almost as though your senses converge and ALL you can think about is finding your lost item. Then, imagine that feeling magnified exponentially… for it is a precious child you have lost.

This is the tale of a loving mother and daughter who become separated. Beth, a single mother living in Norfolk, England and her eight year-old daughter, Carmel. They are everything to e
Mike Sumner
I am emotionally drained after reading The Girl in the Red Coat. I couldn't wait to finish it. For all the wrong reasons. I wanted it to be over; to move on to something else. Compelled to finish and at times wondering why. Another plot about an abducted child - 8 year old Carmel. Thought to be endowed with the gift of healing. Snatched from under her mother's nose, Beth, by a man who professes to be her grandfather, but isn't, and later identified as a religious fanatic, who sees in Carmel a me ...more
Wendy Darling
2.5 stars Kept my interest, but ended up being underwhelming and unsatisfying on every level.
Mar 05, 2015 rated it liked it
At first glance I thought that ‘The Girl in the Read Coast’ looked like a crime novel, but when I looked more closely I found that it was rather more than that: a story of a mother and a daughter, and of the practical and emotional consequences of the crime that separates them.

Beth is a woman adjusting to a as a single mother to her adored daughter; because her husband left her for another woman.

Carmel is eight years-old; she is bright, sensitive, a little bit dreamy, a little other-worldly even
I struggled with this book for a long time and was determined to finished it. I wasn't bad. No. Just below average for me. Especially the second part.
I should've learned by now not to judge the book by the hype it creates. But I couldn't help it. Ive read reviews, looked at the cover, followed Man Booker Prize predictions and pumped myself up. And then, when I actually got the book and started reading -- I didn't like --I felt like it was my fault; like I wasn't smart enough to understand such
Feb 22, 2016 rated it liked it
The book shelf says it all. This book is eluding me. I wish there were some half star options because I'm reluctant to stick this beautifully written story in the purgatorial, neither good or bad, realm of three stars but despite her wonderful way with words and two haunting, clearly rendered characters I can't help feeling by stories end...nothing much.

Beth is a nervous, over protective mother still reeling from her husband's affair and their subsequent divorce. With no real career and no firm
Nov 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Oooh, what a fabulous debut novel this is. I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy just before I went on my pre-Christmas holiday (I was also most unfortunate to come down with a bad dose of flu at the same time which meant the first half of my holiday in the sun, was spent lolling around, recuperating and gave me plenty of time to read)

This haunting and ethereal psychological chiller, the story of a missing child and her Mothers search for her, is written in the voices of 2 of the mos
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.99 on 01/07/17

I had to sleep on this one before deciding on my rating, 3.5 rounded up to a 4.

There have been many other books about child abduction, for me this one was a bit "spooky". Gramps, Preacher Munroe, the fog, the maze.. The story switches between the voices of the mother Beth and her little girl Carmel. I credit the author with her ability to make us feel Beth's panic, grief, frayed nerves and emotions of the roller coaster ride she's on. The prose is beautiful. Each time I put it as
2.5 stars rounded up to 3 because it held me in its spell for 3 full days. But then in the end I was underwhelmed.

Lately, there seems to be a surplus of lost children and lost little girl stories especially, or haven't you noticed? Apparently, the publishers haven't. Some of these books are better than others at portraying the families left behind once the girl becomes lost. Some tell us what happened to the girl, while others keep us guessing. Here we get to know pretty much the whole story, an
This is not your typical story of an abducted child. It offered a unique perspective, with alternating voices of the mother and daughter, with a touch of the supernatural.
Beth, recently divorced, is a mother prone to worry. Her daughter, Carmel, has a habit of "timing out" and disappearing. So she watches with vigilance on any outings they take. Yet, Carmel disappears at a Festival, and Beth is frantic. She carries the heavy weight of guilt and grief. As the story unfolds, it's revealed why Car
Crime by the Book
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
AMAZING read. This book totally blew me away. First things first: it is TOTALLY unique and unpredictable, and likely to disappoint a reader looking for a traditional cat-and-mouse thriller. It is subtle, intelligent, and perceptive, and takes the reader deep into the psyches of both a young child going through an unimaginable trauma, and a mother left behind to search for her. Gorgeously written and intricately imagined, this story leaps off the page and wraps you up in a world of despair, imagi ...more
Apr 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While the premise of this book sounded good it really was a total letdown, I did like the POV of Beth & Carmel through each chapter, but I felt like I was in The Wizard OF Oz walking down the yellow brick road all the way through.

saying that I felt angst for Beth as the fear grew & grew after losing Carmel at a book festival in Norfolk any mother would be heartbroken to lose a child & possibly never see her again.

as for Gramps & Dorothy I felt a chill up my spine every time they were in the dial
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is an interesting debut and one that stands out because of the characterisation and voices of the two leads. Carmel is kidnapped at the age of eight, leaving her mother devastated. In a moment of confusion, Carmel is taken from a busy festival by a stranger. Carmel and the mother, Beth, are the characters we follow throughout the novel. Beth is a slightly neurotic woman, whose worst nightmare comes true. Carmel is an intriguing, intelligent little eight year old girl, with a strong survivor ...more
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With a slightly different take on a ''missing child' story, Kate Hamer has produced a compelling and often heartbreaking tale of a mother trying to pick up the pieces of her life after her young daughter goes missing at a festival. The focus of the story is not on the police investigation but rather on the shattered life of Beth, the mother and on her missing daughter, Carmel Summer Wakeford.

8 year old Carmel is a dreamy child but she also has an independent and wilful streak and as much as her
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
Wow. I need to sleep on this one before rating and reviewing it. Read in one sitting whilst sick in bed. Must gather my thoughts and feelings.
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars Easy to read, but the middle part is too long and some issues are too vague for me.
Liz Barnsley
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
So. I read this today. A couple of chapters over breakfast I said. That SO didnt work. An excellent read. Full review to follow, I'll be talking about this one in one of my "Spotlight 2015" features on the blog over December. ...more
Apr 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, contemporary
I misjudged the genre of this book. I saw CHILD! MISSING! RED COAT! And thought thriller. I was wrong.

I am struggling a little with how it should be classified, but I would call it more a contemporary fiction that explores the relationships between mother and daughter, through the experience of being separated. In addition, explored are themes of hope, faith, and connection. The level of thematic development, and the tone of the book, is more literary than the average book exploring child abduc
Book Riot Community
A finalist for both the Costa First Book Award and the Dagger Award, The Girl in the Red Coat is a story of a mother's nightmare come true. Beth, a single mom, has always worried that one day her eight-year-old daughter, Carmel, would wander away from her and go missing. And then one day it actually happens. This is an intense, frantic thriller seen from both of their perspectives, as Beth searches for Carmel, and Carmel struggles to make sense of her harrowing new journey.

Tune in to our weekly
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
I think it is every parents worst nightmare to have their child taken from them. Do not know where they are, to always be wondering what you could have done different, And where your child can possibly be.
This book was very good, very different. I like how we saw this from both sides of the story. Carmel was taken from her mom and we saw her journey, and what a journey it was. We also saw the aftermath, how her parents coped with it, how they went on, something I personally would find impossible
Bill Kupersmith
Apr 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Much of this book is set in an imaginary dystopia populated by imbecilic religious fanatics who eat in places called 'diners'. In the country where I live people eat @ Subway & Micky D's - just like in England. ...more
Luanne Ollivier
Mar 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Girl in the Red Coat is Kate Hamer's debut novel. It's garnered lots of attention as a finalist for both the Costa Book Award for First Novel and the Dagger Award. And this is what I love about debuts - there's no history, no expectations of what the story is going to be, no familiarity with the author's style or storytelling - it's a story just waiting for the reader to discover it.

Eight year old Carmel is a dreamer, often getting lost - both physically and mentally. Her single mother, Beth
David Reviews
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing

She is the girl in the red coat. She is there, and then Carmel is gone!

The tension draws you in from the start. We feel the terror and desperation of her single mother Beth. She begins the search for her eight year old daughter and the clock ticks. It’s every mother’s nightmare and we feel the panic, her anguish and that helplessness. Carmel is her only child.

After the initial fright, this settled down into a gripping read. Young Carmel has been tricked and doesn’t know she is missing. Her stor
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Kate Hamer's third novel CRUSHED is published in May 2019 (Faber & Faber). She is the author of THE DOLL FUNERAL (Faber & Faber 2017) which was a Bookseller book of the month and an editor's pick for Radio 4's Open Book. Her first novel THE GIRL IN THE RED COAT has been translated into 18 different languages. It was shortlisted for The Costa First Novel Prize, the British Book Industry Awards Debu ...more

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