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Mace & Crown | March 19, 2018

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'The Girl You Lost' Sheds New Light on the Typical Murder Mystery

‘The Girl You Lost’ Sheds New Light on the Typical Murder Mystery
Lindsey Lanham
Contributing Writer
"The Girl You Lost" by Kathryn Croft

“The Girl You Lost” by Kathryn Croft

Simone Porter is a teenage mother whose child, at only six months old, is abducted. Though Simone and her husband, Matt, have gone on with their lives, the memory of their daughter has never been forgotten. Eighteen years later, a girl named Grace shows up and tells Simone she’s her daughter. Suddenly, Simone is thrown into a world where her daughter might be alive, and she now has to find who abducted her daughter.

“The Girl You Lost,” released on Feb. 5, is Kathryn Croft’s fourth psychological thriller. She studied media arts in school with an emphasis in English literature. Kathryn worked in human resources, but then took her love of literature and became a teacher. Soon after, she began writing.

In “The Girl You Lost,” Croft explores a mother’s worst nightmare, losing her child. She lays out a complicated path for Simone Porter to take in order to find out what exactly happened with her daughter. Kathryn throws in other mothers who have lost their daughters. She also manages to keep the reader on their toes as Simone tries to find her daughter while maintaining a healthy relationship with her husband and boss.

Simone Porter’s husband, Matt, plays a seemingly small background character. He stays in the shadows, but is a solid figure for Simone. Like Simone, he never shows any immediate emotion. Kathryn Croft manages to come up with an intricate plot, but her characters have no dynamic. They all have two emotions: unease and impassiveness.

Though the story has a complicated and well-developed plot, it has a simplistic writing style, not leaving the reader confused as the plot does that itself. Simone stays painstakingly monotone, yet driven. She manages to stay calm even though her supposed daughter has shown up again in her life. Simone comes across as almost puppet-like with her mute reactions and ability to stay stoic even when life-changing events happen.

As the plot grows and Simone Porter finds more clues to the disappearance of her daughter, the story reveals several subplots, which end up connecting in the end. All of the excess characters can be a bit overwhelming at first, but once things start getting pieced together, everything begins to make more sense.

“The Girl You Lost” is an easy, enjoyable read. The plot is interesting enough, with seemingly complicated plot twists and turns to keep the reader entertained as they go through Simone Porter’s story. There’s a constant sense of urgency, each chapter ending with a new surprise twist and the reader waiting to know what will happen next.

The story is simple, keeping the reader interested but never discouraged. Kathryn Croft has done an excellent job in writing an intriguing story exploring what lengths a mother would go to to save her daughter. The characters can be a bit bland, but fortunately, the plot makes up for it. It’s a fresh breath on the classic murder mystery.