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Stranger Child (DCI Tom Douglas, #4)
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Stranger Child

(DCI Tom Douglas #4)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  16,988 ratings  ·  833 reviews
From the author of number one bestseller, Sleep Tight.

One Dark Secret. One act of revenge.

When Emma Joseph met her husband David, he was a man shattered by grief. His first wife had been killed outright when her car veered off the road. Just as tragically, their six-year-old daughter mysteriously vanished from the scene of the accident.

Now, six years later, Emma believes t
Kindle Edition, 356 pages
Published February 24th 2015 by Black Dot Publishing Ltd (first published 2015)
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Popular Answered Questions
Amy yes, read them in order...
while the individual mysteries in each book can stand alone, what's happening in the background to the repeat characters…more
yes, read them in order...
while the individual mysteries in each book can stand alone, what's happening in the background to the repeat characters develops.(less)
Sophie Yes, "Stranger Child" is 4th book in DCI Tom Douglas series, but all books are alone standers, so you don't have to read them chronologically.

Community Reviews

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4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  16,988 ratings  ·  833 reviews

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Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blog-tours

Those that follow my reviews, by now, you know I am so mean fisted with my 5 stars lol
It has to be a book that I can get my nose into, something that takes me right into the pages [as I am easily distracted!] it is! Here is the book I read after reading SLEEP TIGHT by the same author Rachel Abbott.

They are stand alone books, but, it was suggested by the author that I read SLEEP TIGHT first as they were some loose ends that are tied up in this book. I think YOU MUST read book one
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 nail biting,
suspense filled stars⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I read this book in two sittings; I just couldn’t stand not finishing it today! My face has been in this book for the majority of the day, and caused a complete disregard to everything else I had been planning to do today!

It’s a family story, a police procedural, criminal gang involvement, 2-3 broken family stories, murder, deception, cowardice, kidnapping, betrayal, stupidity, bank heist, extortion, creating and hacking into security systems, secrets wi
Bill Kupersmith
Oct 16, 2017 rated it liked it
I had sworn off reading Rachel Abbott after the second in the Tom Douglas series, but I couldn't resist an el cheapo superbargain Audible & Kindle duo. For the 1st half I was glad to have broken my vow. Tho' I've overdosed on missing baby stories already, this one also includes another sure fire to give me the willies plot. Child goes missing & nothing is heard of her. Then, years later she turns up out of nowhere, but oh how changed, with a frightening new personality & no account o ...more
Linda Strong
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
David doesn't only lose his wife in an auto accident, but his six-year daughter, Natasha, disappears from the car. He eventually remarries and has a son, Ollie, with his second wife, Emma.

Out of the blue, Natasha reappears, now aged 13. Where has she been and how did she get there? Natasha isn't talking. She's secretive and angry and has an agenda that no one suspects.

DCI Tom Douglas gets involved when Ollie goes missing after being taken for a walk by Natasha. Emma calls him on the sly as Natas
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very fast-paced thriller with lots of unexpected surprises based on a highly original subject. Tom Douglas at his very best!
Cleopatra  Pullen
Stranger Child is Rachel Abbott’s fourth book but rest assured, she hasn’t run out of good ideas yet.

Emma Joseph is married to David a successful man whose first wife, Caroline, died in a car accident six years before. Emma lives with the reminder of her beauty in a painting and the memories of the long years where she supported him with his grief because David didn’t just lose his wife in the accident before the emergency services arrived his six-year-old daughter, Natasha, disappeared, seeming
Jun 13, 2015 rated it liked it
I loved Rachel Abbott’s first three books but this one was a bit of a disappointment. It was certainly a page turner but I found the plot over complicated. There were too many coincidences and the ending was rather unsatisfactory.
Malina Skrobosinski
Ahh... now we're on to the good stuff. Finally, in the Stranger Child we see more action from Tom Douglas... and to be honest, we see more action altogether. This novel read more like a series read should read in my opinion, we got to learn more about Tom and his past, in this novel, Tom is brought into the storyline more than he ever has in the past novels. We learn about his brother Jack and their relationship, which, coincidentally ties him to the victims in this case.

Emma Joseph met her hus
Listened to in audio format.

Stranger Child is book 4 in the DCI Tom Douglas series, I would say this has been the best story in the series so far.

The prologue starts with Caroline Joseph driving home from a party with her 6 year old daughter Natasha. Caroline receives a phone call while driving. The reader is only partial to one side of the conversation but Caroline says 'but why should I stop? Caroline loses control of the vehicle it spins and lands upside down. Caroline is killed instantly but
Kath Middleton
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Abduction must be a parent’s worst nightmare. David doesn’t only lose his wife in an accident but his six year-old daughter disappears. He remarries and has a son with his second wife. Then, unbelievably, his daughter reappears, now aged thirteen. In this gripping and disturbing thriller we find out gradually what has happened to young Natasha over the intervening years. DCI Tom Douglas becomes involved when David’s second child is kidnapped and we watch as his mother, Emma, struggles with the d ...more
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Huge improvement on the previous book in the series as far as the writing is concerned. Parts of the plot require a willing suspension of disbelief. But overall, quite enjoyable.
Carol Mcleod
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
Brilliant Read!

This is my first book by this author and it won't be my last!
A great storyline, interesting characters and a cracking storyline with lots of twists & turns along the way.
It's a book that sucks you right in from the very first page and keeps you awake that extra hour by the bedside lamp to keep reading 'just one more chapter' to find out what's happening!
An easy, enjoyable read that keeps the reader guessing and this author doesn't let you down. It's in the genre of a good ps
Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk)
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
A surprisingly awesome thriller, deeply unsettling with a great twist. This is a fourth book of the detective series, however it doesn't feel like it - almost no spoilers, a cohesive plot from the beginning to the end. It keeps you awake at night and it makes your heart tremble. Impossible to put it down!
Tracy Fenton
Feb 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another gripping book by Rachel Abbott with enough twists and turns to make me dizzy. A great book and definitely recommend this
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When you finish a book in two days it has to be a five star, and it was! First Rachel Abbott book for me and won’t be the last. This was fast paced and kept me guessing right the way through, reminded me of a Harlan Coben book. Well through out, believable characters and a twisted plot, loved it.
Jun 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wow! What a pager-turner! I love books that keep me hooked to the point that I say to myself, "Just one more chapter before bed!"...and then I stay up way past!

Emma Joseph is a young mom with a grieving husband. Her husband, David, lost his first wife in an auto accident and his six year-old daughter disappears from the accident site. David, has lived with this tragedy for many years but he is starting to put his life back together with his new wife and young son, Ollie. But just as things star
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
What a ride ! The fourth DCI Tom Douglas thriller from master story teller and author Rachel Abbott, "Stranger Child", delivers with non stop heart palpitating suspense. Douglas is still in a relationship with Leonora "Leo" Harris, and still moping over the loss of his older brother Jack a couple of years back. This story opens six years prior with Mrs. Caroline Joseph and her six year old daughter Natasha traveling home one cold and icy night when their car comes upon another car blocking the r ...more
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I saw the latest book out by Rachel, quickly downloaded it and realised, to my absolute horror, that I hadn't read the preceding book. I was mortified and quickly set about rectifying it before I devoured the latest one in the brilliant DCI Tom Douglas series.

This one has my gripped from the first page. Caroline is driving home at night with her six year old daughter, Tasha, in the back of the car. She doesn't like night driving and is very nervous even though she had pleaded with her husband,
"When Emma Joseph met her husband David, he was a man shattered by grief. His first wife had been killed outright when her car veered off the road. Just as tragically, their six-year-old daughter mysteriously vanished from the scene of the accident."

I have this thing about little kids, which is a tad strange considering I have my own little kids. They can be awfully creepy. So that's why this title caught my eye. That and my recent romance with the mystery genre.

I have such mixed feelings about
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Disappointing. Really enjoyed Rachel Abbott's first effort, but this just became ludicrous and laughable very quickly. Shame really, as it had potential, but too farfetched to even take remotely seriously.
Jul 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
The first chapter drew me in but my interest in it quickly faded. I found it dragged on and that the culprit was obvious.
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For an ambitious plot, this book succeeded in having a brilliantly realistic human feel to it that carried the suspense wonderfully throughout the novel.

- I was genuinely moved by how compassionate Emma was and how the author showed how this heightened compassion faced some tough decisions with the arrival of Tasha. My favourite part of the whole book was seeing how this character coped with impossible situations and how real her love for others felt.
- This book is advertised as a gripping
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A riveting and emotional crime thriller

I have been reading this series of books back to back since I discovered this author. Her books are eloquently written and immediately engaging. This book was "un-put-down-able", I was enthralled and engrossed, reading into the early hours of the morning, promising myself that I'd sleep after, one more chapter. If you enjoy gripping crime thrillers, this book is for you.
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The best one yet

I have read these Tom Douglas books in order and oh my - this is the best so far! Plenty of action all the way through, it just didn't stop! Got quite disappointed when I had to put it down because my train had arrived at its destination - why are they never delayed when you want them to be lol! I loved the way you could really get into the characters and with Emma you could think about what you would do in the same situation. Enjoyed the way that Tom's life got twisted into the
Freda Witt
a 6 year old girl was kidnapped when her mother was killed in a car accident. After being unable to find her, her father marries again and has another child, a boy. The girl arrives at their house one day, telling them not to call the police. She helps kidnap the little boy, her baby brother. She confronts her father, who had arranged the kidnapping to pay off gambling debts. She helps her step mother get the baby back, find the kidnappers.
Donna ~ The Romance Cover
Another crime thriller series started and another new favourite. Rachel Abbott is definitely one to watch with an unputdownable read that I was desperate to finish as quick as possible. With relatable characters and a twisty plot that I never guessed, Rachel Abbott has all the right ingredients and blends them expertly to keep the reader on their toes and on the edge of their seats.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Although this is the fourth book in the series, it's the first one I read, and loved it! This story had me hooked immediately and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. Loved the characters and the dialogue. The flow of the story was fast pace and smooth. This one kept me up late!
Karen Keane
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have loved all Rachel Abbott's previous books and this one did not disappoint. It follows another case of DCI Tom Douglas, which involves the return of a girl who had disappeared 6 years previously and the finding of the body of a young girl of similar age. Full of twists and turns with a brilliant twist at the end it well deserves 5 stars.
Louise Evans
Loved every page! Off to buy more books by Rachel Abbott!
Simone Praylow
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 ⭐⭐⭐ I rounded up to four stars because I like this author. My problem with this book is that it felt drawn out and confusing which made me lose interest. ...more
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Q&A with Rachel A...: * STRANGER CHILD - now in price promotion! 7 18 Jan 19, 2018 04:38AM  
General discussion 1 6 Sep 05, 2017 01:49AM  
Goodreads Authors...: Stranger Child by Rachel Abbott in Amazon Promo 1 6 Dec 07, 2015 06:42AM  
Jack & Emma 1 31 Apr 23, 2015 06:07PM  
Goodreads Authors...: STRANGER CHILD by Rachel Abbott 1 14 Mar 12, 2015 08:28AM  

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I was born and brought up in the north of England, and worked for many years as the managing director of an interactive media company. I wrote every day - everything from creative proposals to user manuals - but most exciting of all was writing interactive dramas - including for the Cluedo (Clue in the US) interactive games. I was fortunate enough to sell my company in 2000 and we moved to Italy w ...more

Other books in the series

DCI Tom Douglas (8 books)
  • Only the Innocent (DCI Tom Douglas, #1)
  • The Back Road (DCI Tom Douglas, #2)
  • Sleep Tight (DCI Tom Douglas, #3)
  • Kill Me Again (DCI Tom Douglas, #5)
  • The Sixth Window (DCI Tom Douglas, #6)
  • Come A Little Closer (DCI Tom Douglas, #7)
  • The Shape of Lies (DCI Tom Douglas, #8)
“Emma wondered not for the first time how silence could vary so much in pitch and tone. This silence held a high-pitched scream at its heart.” 2 likes
“Sometimes she thought of David as an ostrich, burying his head in the sand and forcing himself to believe that all would be well. It was one of the few things about him that she found frustrating. It wasn't so much optimism as an inability to face reality and a tendency to look for the easy way out. It wasn't going to work this time. There was no easy way out.” 1 likes
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