Summary and book reviews of The Stranger on the Train by Abbie Taylor

The Stranger on the Train

By Abbie Taylor

The Stranger on the Train
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  • Paperback: May 2014,
    352 pages.

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Book Reviewed by:
Norah Piehl

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Book Summary

A mother's worst nightmare: the subway doors close with her baby son still on the train. In this suspenseful debut novel, a woman goes to unimaginable lengths to get her child back.

A struggling, single mother, Emma sometimes wishes that her thirteen-month-old son Ritchie would just disappear. Then, one quiet Sunday evening, after a sinister encounter on the London Underground - Ritchie does just that.

Emma immediately reports his abduction to the police but there she faces a much worse situation than she ever imagined. Why do the police seem so reluctant to help her? And why do they think she would want hurt her own child?

If Emma wants Ritchie back, she'll have to find him herself. With the help of a stranger named Rafe, the one person who seems to believe her, Emma sets off in search of her son. She is determined to find Ritchie no matter what it takes…but who exactly is the real enemy here?

With dark twists and intertwining narratives, The Stranger on the Train is an unforgettable novel of psychological suspense that you will keep you guessing until the shattering finale.

Chapter One
Sunday, September 17th
Day One

At the top of the stairs, a group of teenage boys slumped against the walls with their feet out, taking up most of the passageway. They wore black puffy jackets and had the same expressions on their faces: blank, hard, bored. Emma heard their voices from around the corner, echoing off the tiles. As soon as they saw her, their conversation stopped.

"Excuse me," Emma said politely.

Very slowly, they moved their feet back. There was just enough room for her to pass. She had to walk straight through the middle of the group, feeling their eyes on her. They watched in silence as she struggled down the steps with the buggy and Ritchie and all the bags.

She was glad when she got to the bottom of the steps and around the corner. The tube platform was deserted and starkly lit. Emma checked behind her. The boys had not followed.

"All right, Rich?" Relieved, she crouched down beside the buggy. She was not normally a nervous person, but ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse

The missing child plot, of course, brings to life every parent's worst nightmare. Equally unsettling, however, is the way in which Taylor brings to light many of the secret and ugly desires that mothers may occasionally have, but can only rarely articulate.   (Reviewed by Norah Piehl).

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Media Reviews
The Washington Post

Many will devour in a gulp Abbie Taylor’s first-rate debut thriller...Taylor writes perceptively and poignantly about the powerful bond between parent and child.

Cleveland Plain-Dealer

Taylor keenly depicts the bliss and terrors of being a parent.

Kirkus Reviews

An Alfred Hitchcock–like psychodrama drawn from a mother's nightmare.

Booklist

This first novel is driven by plot, and the roller-coaster ride...is compelling enough to grab and hold interest.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. British author Taylor's taut debut is a heart-stopper...Beginning with the gasp-inducing first chapter, readers won't exhale until the end.

Closer (UK)

A roller-coaster thriller and a great read.

Author Blurb Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author
A sensitive meditation on the parenthood with all it's joys and hardships as well as an unputdownable thriller. Don't miss it!

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Child Abduction Novels

The sudden disappearance of a young child is certainly one of a parent's worst nightmares. It's probably no wonder, then, that the topic has been explored in a large number of novels, ranging from straightforward mysteries and thrillers to more literary approaches that use child abduction as a springboard for exploration of other topics. Here are a few recommended novels from across that range:

The Deep End of the OceanThe Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard
You might remember this book as the very first title chosen for Oprah's Book Club almost twenty years ago. It's still a powerful and moving exploration of the ways in which a child's abduction - or any sort of family tragedy, really - has implications for members of the family far beyond the ...

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