Book Review: Stolen by Tess Stimson

August 5, 2021 in Mystery & Thriller

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Hello friends! I’m back today with another book review for you and this one is INTENSE. I snapped up the opportunity to read and review Stolen by Tess Stimson because the description alone was too good to ignore. As a mother of a child the same age as Lottie when she disappears, this book was a wild ride of anxiety. Would we get the closure I so desperately wanted? Will mother and child ever be reunited? Who took Lottie and where is she? Is she safe? This is one of those thrillers that will get your heart racing so read on to find out exactly what I thought about this new release…

Many thanks to Avon Books and NetGalley for providing me with an advance reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review.

by Tess Stimson

Publisher: Avon Books
Date of Publication: 5th August 2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Format: eBook (438 pages)
Rating: ★★★★

Buy on*


You thought she was safe. You were wrong…

Alex knows her daughter would never wander off in a strange place. So when her three-year-old vanishes from an idyllic beach wedding, Alex immediately believes the worst.

The hunt for Lottie quickly becomes a world-wide search, but it’s not long before suspicion falls on her mother. Why wasn’t she watching Lottie?

Alex knows she’s not perfect, but she loves her child. And with all eyes on her, Alex fears they’ll never uncover the truth unless she takes matters into her own hands.

Who took Lottie Martini? And will she ever come home?

Content Warnings

  • Child abduction
  • Grief
  • Alcoholism
  • Injury

Book Review

I’ve struggled with anxiety for most of my life so I can relate to the myriad of ways that things can go wrong in a split second. As a parent, those fears are even more extreme. Having been invited to a destination wedding not too long ago, the ‘what ifs’ in this scenario were still fresh in my mind. Stolen is very much the worst case scenario, sure. But these things can and do happen. And they are more likely to happen in situations where you feel safe, surrounded by familiar faces, assured that someone is looking out for your child. But it’s easy to get distracted and even more so, when you’re not accustomed to looking for the vulnerabilities in every situation. (A habit which is both a gift and a curse, if you ask me.) So yes, I’d say that the plot itself felt believable and plausible and it was intense.

Stolen goes through the motions of a typical high profile missing child case. Investigators chasing wild gooses. Mothers demonised in the eyes of the media and general public. Suspicious fingers pointed at the caregiver. Case runs dry, support runs out and the general consensus is that it’s time for the parent to give up and move on. But Alexa is headstrong and despite her flaws, she really does rise to the challenges presented to her here. While I didn’t warm to her, I was firmly on her side throughout empathising and hoping for her to be reunited with her lost child.

The entire book is a ride filled to the brim with red herrings. So much so, that I was thrown by each and every revelation that came out along the way. And the big reveal and its consequences BLEW MY MIND. I didn’t see any of it coming. Every few pages, I was in shock. It was exceptionally well plotted.

However, I did struggle at times with the use of American English in English settings. I also felt that Lottie was VERY mature and advanced for her age. My son is currently the age that Lottie was at the time of her abduction down to the month and some of the things she did or said felt a bit too mature for a 3 year old. But as any parent knows, children develop at different paces so this could be perfectly normal behaviour in the eyes of another reader with a child of the same age.

Overall, I did really enjoy this explosive and gut-wrenching child abduction story. I’d recommend this to thriller lovers who are comfortable reading about missing children and all that comes with it.

Will you be adding Stolen to your TBR? Let me know in the comments below!

1 Comment

  • Stephanie @ Bookfever August 5, 2021 at 6:53 pm

    I love it when the big reveal in a thriller and/or mystery blows your mind. This doesn’t happen very often to me so I wonder if I’d feel the same as you if I should read this book. It sounds like an intriguing read!

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