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99 Red Balloons

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  3,491 ratings  ·  417 reviews

Two girls go missing, decades apart. What would you do if one was your daughter?

When eight-year-old Grace goes missing from a sweetshop on the way home from school, her mother Emma is plunged into a nightmare. Her family rallies around, but as the police hunt begins, cracks begin to emerge.

What are the secret emails sent between Emma’s husband and her sister? Why does he

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Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published August 24th 2017 by Avon
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3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,491 ratings  ·  417 reviews


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Kaceey
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
A fantastic debut thriller

A child is whisked away from a local neighborhood store. The family left in shambles.

Emma and Matt are overwhelmingly devastated when their daughter Grace goes missing. Emma's sister Samantha is right there to help prevent the family from shattering. But just beneath the surface there are hidden secrets and lies that threaten to be exposed as the police search for Grace to bring her home safe and sound.

Tragically, Maggie also lost a granddaughter Zoe years ago. As the
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Susanne  Strong
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
3.5 Stars.* (rounded up)

Grace goes missing one day while walking home from school after leaving the sweets shop by herself. It was the first time she had walked home alone. Every other time her mom, Emma had walked with Grace or spied on her, of course she regrets it. But Grace was now a big girl, being eight years-old and all and Emma thought Grace was finally old enough to walk by herself. Emma was wrong.

Stephanie, Grace's aunt provides support to both her sister Emma and her brother-in-law M
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Lou
At the very beginning I was pulled into the story almost instantly as Elisabeth (Libby) Carpenter has crafted an extremely powerful and fast developing first few pages and first chapter. I loved that it was so easy to get into the story - I had no qualms about that but I did worry that due to the events of the first chapter that the thrill level couldn't be maintained. It kept my interest quite well until around 50%+ but at some point after that it became seriously uneventful and my mind was dri ...more
Carrie
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Eight year old Grace had been begging her parents to start letting her walk home from school with her friends so they finally begin to let her. Grace's mother, Emma, had at first followed her daughter and hid to keep an eye on her as she walked but once she saw she was doing alright she let the girl make the trip on her own until one day Grace didn't come home.

Frantic with worry every searches every where for the little girl finding the last place she was seen was seen in a sweetshop with no ot
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j e w e l s [Books Bejeweled]
Aug 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: books-bejeweled
I kept thinking "maybe it's just me..." but at 70% in, I don't care if it's just me. I can't find a reason to continue trying to read 99 RED BALLOONS. It has a bunch of positive reviews which led to my self-doubt. Most of the reviews focus on the plot, which is not bad at all. The plot is the redeeming quality here, even though you will figure out the ending way way way before it happens.

The writing and organization of the book is a mess. With every chapter, I had no idea who was narrating unles
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Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
This was an okay read. So many great psychological thrillers out this year that I've read and this one didn't quite rank up there with many of them. This novel features a missing child at the core of its plot, again something I've read a lot of this year.

I found the alternating points of view in this somewhat confusing, despite each chapter being headed with the person speaking. To some degree it was that not all the characters had distinct voices, didn't stand out in their own character. At tim
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Lisa
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
Well I have found another new author to read YAY for me I loved this book its really enjoyable & is fast paced with short sharp chapters that will keep you turning the pages at a rate of knots I loved how the author wrote the characters weaving them together & made it an easy flowing read. My favourite character was Stephanie as she had a lot of heartache & sadness going on in her life my emotions were everywhere while reading her POV, the story is told between 3 POV's & wasn't h ...more
Rebbie
Sep 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
2 1/2 stars

This is really a 2 star book, but the development of the character Maggie is so good that by itself it's worth an extra half star.

As you probably know by now, 99 red balloons is about a little girl that goes missing while alone at a shop. The news coverage for the search for her brings back awful memories for a woman named Maggie whose own granddaughter was kidnapped 30 years before under the same suspicious circumstances.

Are the two cases connected, and if so, how? This question lea
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Melisa
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller, netgalley, arc
That twist. Took this one to a different level. That’s all I’m gonna say about that.

But really, THAT TWIST!

I read a ton of psychological thrillers, so if you can stump me, I am pleasantly surprised. Bravo.

This was a page turner from the start, once we got into the nitty gritty of the story, it slowed down a bit, but do I ever love where it ended up.

3.5 stars (rounded up). Thank you Netgalley!
Rachel Hall
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
In the overcrowded psychological thriller market it takes something truly distinctive to stand out from the field, particularly when the central premise of the novel hinges on a missing child. Whilst 99 Red Balloons is a solid and entertaining read it sadly doesn’t add much to the genre and is less psychological thriller and more aptly classified as domestic drama with a strong focus on family dynamics. As such, although I wasn’t expecting 99 Red Balloons to follow the course that it did, I foun ...more
Barbara
Jul 30, 2017 rated it liked it

3.5 stars

As the story opens a schoolgirl is abducted from a sweet shop in England, having been led to believe that the man in the woolly hat was sent by her mom. As the man drives the girl away, the song 'Ninety Nine Red Balloons' - which she likes - is playing on the car radio.

**********

Stephanie arrives at her sister Emma's house to find her sibling near hysteria. Emma's 8-year-old daughter Grace hasn't arrived home from school, and none of the neighbors have seen her. The police arrive to hu
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Sarah Joint
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was surprised to learn this one is a debut! It's very carefully constructed, and there were quite a few surprises in there for me. I even had the "have to set the book down" moment. Or in my case, I set the Kindle down at one of the twists and said "what?!". It made perfect sense, but I wasn't expecting it. I love when that happens. I read way too many thrillers to be surprised often. It definitely kept me turning pages. I did have to look back a few times to re-orientate myself on who was who ...more
Jaime
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Two girls go missing, decades apart. What would you do if one was your daughter?

When eight-year-old Grace goes missing from a sweetshop on the way home from school, her mother Emma is plunged into a nightmare. Her family rallies around, but as the police hunt begins, cracks begin to emerge.

What are the secret emails sent between Emma’s husband and her sister? Why does her mother take so long to join the search? And is Emma really as innocent as she seems?

Meanwhile, ageing widow Maggie Taylor se
...more
Nicki
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So many books these days make promises about killer twists that will take your breath away or you won't see coming.So you start the book expecting something unexpected to happen but end up feeling disappointed by the time you get to the end.This brilliant debut thriller actually does have a totally unexpected twist that took my breath away and had me sitting in my comfy chair for at least five minutes waiting to get over the shock of what I had just read before I could carry on reading.

Eight yea
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Elizabeth
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
99 Red Balloons by Elisabeth Carpenter
99 Red Balloons
by Elisabeth Carpenter
psychological thriller
ARC NetGalley
5 stars

What 's its about :
Two girls go missing, decades apart. What would you do if one was your daughter?

Eight-year-old Grace is last seen in a sweetshop. Her mother Emma is living a nightmare. But as her loved ones rally around her, cracks begin to emerge.

What are the emails sent between her husband and her sister? Why does her mother take so long to join the search? And is there more to the disappearance of her daughte
...more
Lee
Sep 20, 2017 rated it liked it
A little disappointing but an ok read. My issue was the middle of the book, it seemed to go for a long time with not a lot happening and I found myself skimming some pages. I enjoyed the beginning of the story and it definitely picked up in the last 30%, therefore the three star review. The premise of the story is quite good but at times I was also confused who was narrating some of the chapters. Thank you to Netgalley, the author and publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest r ...more
Trish at Between My Lines
99 Red Balloons is the very definition of a 3 star book for me. I liked it, but it had issues. The mystery is entertaining, but predictable. The characters felt under developed, and there were a lot of them. I'd have preferred if the main characters were fleshed out more, and less details on minor characters. That way I would have been less inclined to mix them up, as happened me a few times at the start.

But even with those concerns, it was still an enjoyable read. I didn't even mind that I gues
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Linda Strong
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it

Five year old Zoe went missing 18 years ago and has not been seen since. Eventually her parents divorced. Her mom committed suicide, leaving only her grandmother to grieve daily for her family.

Grace is 8 years old. She has now gone missing. There are no clues, no evidence, no ransom notes. She walked out of sweetshop and basically just vanished.

Grace's family is falling apart. Her mom and dad, besides being worried to death, are angry at each other. Grace's aunt is trying to hold things together
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Mandy White
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible
8 year old Grace goes missing on the way home from school. Her family is distraught. During the investigation to find her, her families secrets and lies start to surface.

A great read and did not see the twist coming at all!! Very enjoyable and great narrators
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Mysteries and thrillers have been my drug of choice for a while now which made 99 Red Balloons seem like a dream come true the second I noticed it on Edelweiss. It had everything I tend to go for these days: a seemingly baffling mystery, a huge emotional challenge and engaging characters. I’ll freely admit to being a little skittish when it comes to stories about kidnapped children, but I managed to overcome even that in the hopes of finding a book I’ll truly enjoy.

99 Red Balloons is told from m
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Liz Barnsley
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
REALLY enjoyed this psychological thriller with its slight twist on the missing child plotline - almost more family drama than thriller Elisabeth Carpenter has written a really quite emotional tale of familial love and loss.

Definitely one to watch in August at which point I'll be doing a full review.

Recommended.
Erin Dunn
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book. Review to come!
Brina (Brina and the Books)
4.5 - 5 Stars

Reviewed on: https://5171milesbookblog.wordpress.com/

Thank you to NetGalley and Avon Books for giving me the chance to read and review an advanced reader's copy of 99 Red Balloons.

I've read quite a few psychological thrillers in the past few weeks and not one of them really satisfied me. I was missing shocking twists and the suspense in most of them. I really thought that I was too picky and that my standards were too high, and I guess that is slightly true, but I am also certain th
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Nicki
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So many books these days make promises about killer twists that will take your breath away or you won't see coming.So you start the book expecting something unexpected to happen but end up feeling disappointed by the time you get to the end.This brilliant debut thriller actually does have a totally unexpected twist that took my breath away and had me sitting in my comfy chair for at least five minutes waiting to get over the shock of what I had just read before I could carry on reading.

Eight yea
...more
BAM The Bibliomaniac
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-book, library, suspense
Twisty plot-me likey
Two little girls are abducted 20 years apart, but somehow there is a connection between the cases. And that’s where the twist comes in. This was a so-so book until that hit the fan. Then my interest level spiked. Author did a great job exploiting the feelings of devotion and despair in her characters. Not a strong suspense narrative, but if you like substitution or “who am I” plots, read this one.
Terry  (TBC)
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Child abduction is tough to read about but in this story it is done so well.
The story takes off instantly and you are dragged in to the search for the missing girl. The two sets of characters in the story crosses between them constantly, not too confusing, interweaving the story well.
Missing kids is big in books at the moment and sadly has been done a lot. Though well written and def 4 stars, it does keep the reader wanting to know what's next.

Yellagirlgc
The beginning and the end were the best parts of this book. The middle seemed to go on for much too long with little happening. A little girl going missing with parallel things from the past happening at the same time. Some things got a little confusing but were later explained. It got you thinking about different subjects relating to parental relationships with children.
I received a copy from Edelweiss for my honest opinion.
Joanne Robertson
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I do love a good missing child thriller and thankfully this is a VERY good missing child thriller. Not only that but there are TWO missing child mysteries to be solved here, with both of them proving to be as intriguing as each other. There is obviously a connection between both tales but as the chilling family secrets weave themselves together, the threads start to unravel with some truly shocking and heartbreaking twists and turns.

I read a lot of books in this genre (missing children do seem t
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Amber Myott
Jun 04, 2018 rated it liked it
The start of this book hooked me and I expected it to continue at a cracking pass .....unfortunately it slowly fizzled out . It was the sort of book I wanted to finish but certaintly didn’t rush to read any chance I got
Sam (Clues and Reviews)
When I first saw the cover of 99 Balloons, the newest release by Elisabeth Carpenter, I was pretty much obsessed. The ominous black and white silhouettes with the lone red balloon had me instantly intrigued, and, after reading the synopsis, this one found its way on to my TBR list.

Eight-year-old Grace goes missing from a sweet shop on the way home from school and her family is thrown into a nightmare. Meanwhile, a woman sees Grace’s story in the newspaper and instantly makes connections to her
...more
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Elisabeth (Libby) Carpenter won a Northern Writers New Fiction Award (2016) and was longlisted for Yeovil Literary Prize (2015 & 2016) and MsLexia Women’s Novel award (2015).

Elisabeth lives in Preston, Lancashire with her family. She loves the north of England, setting most of her stories in the area – including the novel she is writing at the moment.

99 Red Balloons was Elisabeth’s debut novel
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“Shocking when you think about it – the horrible situations people witness, and then justify their inability to change it by leaving it to someone else to deal with.” 1 likes
“Once you start talking about feelings from the past, there’s no way of forgetting them again.” 0 likes
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