It was a crime that shocked the world.
The CCTV footage shows a young woman pushing through the hospital doors.
She walks into the nursery, picks up a baby and places her carefully in a shopping bag.
She walks out to the car park, towards an old Ford Corolla. For a moment, she holds the child gently against her breast and, with her eyes closed, she smells her.
Then she clips the baby into the car, gets in and drives off.
This is where the footage ends.
What happens next will leave a mother devastated, and a little boy adrift in a world he will never understand.
When I first heard about I Came to Say Goodbye I immediately added it to my Amazon wishlist as it sounded like a book I'd love to read so when I saw it was available on NetGalley I requested a copy to review but then also received a copy of the book in the post from Arrow Publishing.
I expected this book to be all about the abduction of the baby girl and certainly the prologue does begin with the details of this event but then the format changes. The rest of the book is in the format of a witness statement in letter form from the family, first the father and then the older sister, which at first had nothing to do with the abduction but explained events in the families past that had played a major part into the mental state of the abductor.
It isn't until near the end that the narrative tells you what happened to the baby girl and I have to confess that this had me in floods of tears as I couldn't believe what I was reading. I know that this was a work of fiction but sadly there are too many instances of things like this happening in the world today.
Because of the way it has been written I think this is one of those books that people are either going to love it or hate it, for me it's the former although I did find it a little slow going at times. You could feel the shame, pain, frustration that the family felt about not being able to get the help that they'd needed to prevent this tragedy from happening. The ending also surprised me in a good way...