HOLD TIGHT – When a child like her own newly adopted daughter is abducted, WPC Jane Velalley shares the long cruel hours of waiting and hoping with the distraught mother.
Searching for clues in a race against time, escalating emotional distress and criminal activity, and with her own home life in turmoil, Velalley must use all her energy and wits and still hold tight to everything she loves and values most herself.
Child protection is a tough job. Could you do it?
Michelle Magorian, author of Goodnight Mr Tom says:
HOLD TIGHT is unputdownable! It is like a novel and a screenplay rolled into one. I could see the depressing, run down areas around Southampton and I desperately wanted WPC Velalley to find Angie. I could feel the pain of the young mother and I was nauseated by the locust-like journalists. I was drawn into Velalley’s exhausting juggling of career, marriage and child care, and felt the frustration of the police when they appeared to be getting no where…
HOLD TIGHT had me on the reading equivalent of being on the edge of my seat. It is so good. I wish there was a TV Company in Southampton who could adapt it.
Gill Kaye Editor ingénu/e magazine says:
HOLD TIGHT – this gripping story opens on a drizzly winter afternoon in the suburbs. WPC Jane Velalley heads wearily back to the police station along the busy M27. Another few short hours will see her safe home with her husband and three-year-old adopted daughter Suzie.
In a sickening instant, however, all Velalley’s training and instinct as a police officer is challenged as the road, slick with rain and obscured by fog, suddenly becomes a tangle of wrecked vehicles and a gruesome discovery is made.
Half a day later, across town, and a young girl hurries a small child, stumbling and crying, across a large stretch of wasteland towards a grim-looking block of flats.
A little girl has disappeared. As a child protection officer, Velalley comes into her own as the hunt for the missing child escalates, but while she comforts the distraught mother her own personal life is under a new threat. Attempting to hold her own in a demanding, male-dominated environment Velalley has to be tough, but just how much can she take before the cracks start to show.
With just enough description, explicit as well as implicit, but no excess literary flab, the stage is set and the protagonists are adroitly realised, their individual personalities expertly drawn with the attention to detail that is the accomplished author’s stock-in-trade.
Written with enormous sensitivity but never flinching from challenging issues, the plot weaves its way deftly through this societal minefield. Author Felicity Fair Thompson doesn’t pull her punches; as a reader you run the emotional gamut of the unfolding drama along with its characters. Like a behind-the-sofa, cushion-clutching Dr Who episode when you’re terrified to watch but unable to look away, Hold Tight is compelling reading.
I was completely caught up in the story – willing them to find the little mite; thoroughly invested and emotionally captured – I was hooked from page one.
Review – ingénu/e magazine – south downs and high weald : issue 20 Spring 2018
Available at your favourite bookshop and on line: