Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “After Anna” as Want to Read:
After Anna
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

After Anna

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  16,277 ratings  ·  1,300 reviews
The real nightmare starts when her daughter is returned…

A bone-chilling psychological thriller that will suit fans of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Daughter by Jane Shemilt, and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

A girl is missing. Five years old, taken from outside her school. She has vanished, traceless. The police are at a loss; her parents are beyond grief. Their
Kindle Edition, 309 pages
Published July 30th 2015 by Killer Reads
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about After Anna, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Valerie Blanton
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
☕Brenda☕ I agree the middle of the book was pretty much unneeded for the book.
I don't enjoy repetitive filler.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  16,277 ratings  ·  1,300 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of After Anna
Aug 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Every parent's worst nightmare...

If only...

If only you weren't running late at work, if only you had remembered to charge your phone, if only the school was paying attention. These are the things that Julia is thinking when she arrives at her daughter's school and realizes 5-year-old Anna is not there. The search is on but Anna is nowhere to be found. She's vanished without a trace. No one saw anything.

But a week later Anna is returned safe and sound. Everyone is desperate to know what happened.
Jul 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
This is the story of Julia and Brian and what happens when their five year old daughter Anna is abducted in broad daylight – every parent’s worst nightmare indeed. I really think that is all you need to know – in this read, less is better. Unfortunately for me though, the book just didn’t live up to expectations for a number of reasons.

First of all, I think the product description gives a little too much away. Because you know the outcome of the abduction and coupled with the fact that the
Oct 29, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a good basic thriller. Anna is taken and returned one week later. We have no idea who could have done this and why. I was quite heavily vested in this one keen to know whodunnit.

A common theme I notice in many books lately are those of weak sons and strong forboding mothers. It is easy to get swept up into dispising these vindictive and hateful characters.

I have not come across this author before and enjoyed the angsty feelings and the righteousness that built for the mother of Anna,
Liz Barnsley
“After Anna” is a superbly crafted and really most addictive psychological thriller – one that will keep you up all night (I know, after all it just did that to me) – some cutting edge characters and really insightful writing that brings the whole thing to life and really does not allow you to put it aside. For anything. Let alone sleep.

So Anna disappears. Then reappears. After that things get REALLY dangerous…

A couple of things I loved about this one – first of all, even though you know from
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
Jun 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Psychological Thriller Fans
A psychological thriller with a twist here, a twist there and a bit of reveal everywhere. After Anna is for fans of a well written psychological thriller that keeps the tension and suspense levels up.

I liked the fact that this novel had me trying to outguess the plot and characters from the very start and kept me on my toes until the very satisfying end.

The real nightmare starts when her daughter is returned…

A bone-chilling psychological thriller that will suit fans of Daughter, by Jane Shemilt,
Oct 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
I really thought I'd enjoy this book after reading so many good reviews. But in my opinion it was predictable and boring.
In the parts that should of been filled with heightened suspense there were for too many wordy and repetitive sentences and paragraphs which ruined the narrative.
I ended up skimming through the book just to get to the end. A big disappointment
Dec 21, 2015 rated it did not like it
Thank goodness that's over!
Jul 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Well one thing is for sure- Alex Lake sure knows how to create a memorable antagonist!!
I'm still reeling from all the crazy that was tucked behind a face of normal....
After Anna is a short, fast paced thriller about a family already on the fast track to divorce who then experience every parents nightmare...Their only child is abducted. But that's not the real story...the real story comes after. After she's returned home, unharmed, with no memory of where she's been.
I figured out the whodunnit
Jul 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
I would like to thank Net Galley for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.
I hadn't read or heard any of the hype prior to reading this book so I had no prior thoughts or influences. I was simply pulled in by the write up on the cover which made me want to read more.
The book covers every parents nightmare, the disappearance of their child, the guilt etc that follows. But the novel changes course when the child is surprisingly returned and the Mothers nightmare is far from
Mar 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
2 (very generous) stars

Not much can be said without spoiling the end, though you'll figure it out early on. The words "thrilling," "suspenseful," and "gripping" better describe sheetrock than they do this book. My #1 problem was how repetitive the descriptions were of what the characters were doing or saying or thinking. It's as if the author didn't trust us to remember what happened literally 2 pages ago. Also, red herrings abound but were never explained, some of the characters' actions were
Apr 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2016
By 50 pages, I should have known just to flip to the end to see who did it and called it good enough, but noooo. I read every word - even stayed up late to finish it! - sobbing "Why? Why? WHY WON'T YOU END?!"

I resent every minute spent reading this book.
Oct 24, 2015 rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars for After Anna By Alex Lake.

Am in two minds on this book i liked the story line about Anna going missing & Julia Crowne's urgency to find her missing daughter but i thought it was very drawn out with the other characters in the story they all were to fractured & very complicated i know some will hail me down for rating so low but just thought the story dragged a bit
Jun 29, 2015 rated it really liked it

At the start of the book it is introduced as:

**A bone-chilling psychological thriller that will suit fans of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Daughter by Jane Shemilt, and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. **

Let me say first, each book that is mentioned there, I have already read and in my opinion this is a book that will definitely suit fans of those mentioned authors, without one little doubt in my mind.

Its a book well deserving in its own right.

I was hooked to the pages of this book.
Nov 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After Anna was the NO.1 ebook best-seller. I am sure this thriller will be the top NO.1 paperback. I have wanted to read After Anna for sometime. I was waiting for it to come out in paperback as I don't read ebooks. The reason I really wanted to read After Anna is because I love reading a psychological thriller.

Alex Lake most certainly knows how to get readers totally glued to the nightmare unfolding. For Julia and her husband Brian their nightmare is just about to begin. Julia Crowne, is a
Dale Harcombe
One and a half stars.
Julia Crowne is running late getting from work to pick up her five year old daughter at school. When she arrives Anna cannot be found anywhere. It seems no-one around the area has seen her. And what were the teachers doing to just let her wander off unsighted? Although Julia would like to lay the blame at their door, she knows she is as much to blame for not calling to say she would be late. A full scale search involving police ensues but Anna is not found. And then the
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
A five year old goes missing from her school. Her mother was late picking her up. Her phone had no charge and the school didn't follow policy. Frantically searching for their daughter the mother starts getting roasted in the press. And then their daughter comes back with no memory of what happened.

This one is a crazy ride that I very much recommend!
Rachel Hall
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Child abductions are a popular focus in crime fiction, but very few are as well realised as After Anna and so emotionally intense. Working mother and custody lawyer, Julia Crowne, is inadvertently delayed en route to collecting her daughter, Anna, age five from the fee paying school that she attends only to find that her child's whereabouts is unknown. The alarm is quickly raised and pretty soon the whole community are focused on bringing Anna home safe and well. In theory this should unite ...more
Sherri Thacker
Your child goes missing - what is worse that that??? Holy cow. What a roller coaster of a ride!!!! I’ve read several books about a child goes missing but this one is different. Without giving too much away, other things begin to happen and it’s not good! Even though I guessed who took the little girl at the end, it still made a great thriller of a book! I will look for more from Alex Lake.
Jun 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: four-star
A smartly written modern day thriller reminiscent of Fatal Attraction. As a number one e-book bestseller, I anticipated an exciting read and was satisfied by the authors attempts at creating the perfect tone of the story. It's every parents worst nightmare...

When small town lawyer Julia is held up at a custody hearing, she arrives late to collect her young daughter from school. When she arrives, Anna is gone. Abducted by an unknown predator. As time slips by, Julia and her estranged husbands
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

A parents' worst nightmare....four little words: "Your Child Is Missing."

Anna disappeared without a trace as school was being let out for the day.

Anna's mother, Julia, was late picking her up and blamed herself. She and other family members were hoping that another family member had picked her up. Well....someone did pick her up, but they never brought her home.

Anna was missing for a week, and then surprisingly returned. Very strange in a kidnapping case, but she was safe and unharmed. But was
Erin Dunn
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wishlist

Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperCollins for providing an ebook copy of After Anna By: Alex Lake in exchange for an honest review!

Well here I am with another book that fits my mystery/thriller mood. I'm not sure why all of a sudden I've been really in the mood for this genre, especially since I usually prefer them when it's cold outside. Regardless, here goes another one and it was a good one!

I enjoyed After Anna quite a bit. It's another
Leanne Hardy
Aug 23, 2015 rated it did not like it
not a very good read I finished it very quickly, thin plot, severe lack of character made it unconvincing. I knew what was going off very early on due to small number of people in the book & the reasoning was laughable! would not read this authors writing again. With so many authors on the market writing this genre & honestly doing it a million times better I would never recommend this book to anyone.
Neil (or bleed)
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads, adult
I expect more but I still liked it.
Jun 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
I was really excited to finally get my hands on this book, after having read good things about it for a while. The story centers around the disappearance and then sudden return of five-year-old Anna and is told alternately through the mother, Julia's and the kidnapper's POV. While the writing and pacing of the book are such that I was instantly involved, I guessed very early on who the guilty party was, and ended up proven right.
Though this would ordinarily have resulted in a less than stellar
“Who cares about crumbs or mess or late bedtimes? We spend so much time worrying about the little things, when they don’t matter. And we let the things that do matter slip.”
― Alex Lake, After Anna

After Anna.

It was not a bad thriller and I think people who do not read alot of mysteries will like it. For me, the issue was it was a bit predictable. I figured things out and I think that is because I have just read so many thrillers. I did not hate this book but I just found it OK. I also tend to
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
The whole thing is just infuriating. Normally, that shouldn't influence my rating, as it's obviously on purpose, but still, it probably did, because it's one of the stories you would want to throw somewhere far away from you. Also, it's overly long, slightly boring, and even unnecessarily repetitive at times.

If you like a study in bat-shit-crazy, though, you're probably going to enjoy it.

I don't recommend the audiobook, it has too much SCREAMING!! Really, my ears are still ringing.

But, anyway
Tracy Fenton
Jul 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Read this in a day. A pacy and gripping book with some very unlikable characters.
This thriller is suspenseful and more original than a lot of other books. It is an ok read, just a 3 star read.
There was however something wrong with the pacing. The last part is good, but the beginning and the middle of the book are too long. A good editor would enhance the suspense by cutting out the unnecessary parts.
Jill's Book Cafe
Jun 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This was an interesting premise for a book as it offered an alternative to the standard child abduction plot. In this scenario, a child is taken, sedated, but cared for and returned after a week. The reason for this becomes clear as with this book the intended target is not Anna as we are told by the unidentified abductor whose voice is heard in short commentary chapters as the plot develops.

From the beginning I was intrigued by the plot as it was something that everyone could identify with. How
Joanne Robertson
Jun 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This book has been getting quite a lot of hype recently-when a writer uses a pseudonym it seems to whip reviewers up into a bit of a "who is it??!#!" frenzy. I hope that this doesn't take away from what is a great edge of your seat psychological thriller.
As a parent it's your worst nightmare when your child goes missing especially if your mistake is what has lead to their disappearance. Julia is a busy working mum, her phone dies, she's in a meeting, she's late to pick up Anna from school. This
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Woman Next Door
  • Someone We Know
  • The Family Upstairs
  • After Anna
  • An Unwanted Guest
  • Apple of My Eye
  • Watching You
  • The Perfect Girlfriend
  • Bring Me Back
  • A Stranger in the House
  • Have You Seen Her
  • Then She Was Gone
  • In a Cottage In a Wood
  • Her One Mistake
  • Three Days Missing
  • Dear Wife
  • The Nanny
  • Let Me Lie
See similar books…
Alex Lake is a British novelist who was born in the North West of England. After Anna, the author’s first novel written under this pseudonym, was a No.1 bestselling ebook sensation and a top-ten Sunday Times bestseller. The author now lives in the North East of the US.
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“That was the trouble now. People felt sad, so they got a pill. Work was hard, so people resigned. Marriages went through rocky patches and people got divorced. It was selfishness, pure and simple. And it was all justified by emotions. I’m unhappy. I’m stressed. I need to feel loved. Just having the emotion was enough justification for whatever people did. And it was useless. Didn’t people see that unhappiness came from within? A person could change jobs, but if they were an unhappy type then they would take their unhappiness with them.” 3 likes
“Who cares about crumbs or mess or late bedtimes? We spend so much time worrying about the little things, when they don’t matter. And we let the things that do matter slip.” 2 likes
More quotes…