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The missing boy - Rachel Billington

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The missing boy
Rachel Billington
Orion Books
UK Publication Date

Thirteen-year-old Dan hasn't returned home and his parents don't know whether he's run away, been kidnapped - or something worse. For one family the world as they know it is about to fall apart. At first Dan is sleeping rough, revelling in his independence. But with every passing day, his world is becoming darker and more frightening. A hundred thousand children run away each year. Most come back. But will Dan?

Dan's mother, Eve, a drama teacher, can't focus; his father, Max, only knows how to flee his own demons; and his aunt, Martha, while trained to control difficult situations as a prison officer, struggles to hold it all together. Dan's story is told against a grown-up drama of love and shifting loyalties and two sisters who were best friends until Max came between them. Gradually, all three begin to recognise just how badly they have failed the missing boy.

Rachel Billington has written a tense and emotional novel about the day-to-day existence of a contemporary family living through their worst nightmare. Anguish and hope move across the pages until the final breath-taking denouement.

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Rachel Billington has published twenty novels and nine books for children, as well as several non-fiction works. She is also a regular journalist, feature writer and reviewer. She is co-editor of Inside Time, the national newspaper for prisoners and a Vice-President of English PEN. She has four children and five grandchildren and lives in London and Dorset.

It's highly readable and is written with wisdom and compassion
THE TIMES - Kate Saunders

Dan is a subtle study; his vulnerability, his innocence, his resourceful intelligence and his dawning moral sense are wonderfully convincing
DAILY TELEGRAPH - Charlotte Moore

This easy-to-read tale is moving and poignant

Billington explores the difficulties of growing up and growing older with exquisite attention to detail

Sacrifice... combined with the suggestion that through suffering Eve, Max and Martha are brought to a state of greater love, understanding and honesty, is really the moral heart of the novel
THE SPECTATOR - Diana Hendry

a well-wrought, honest book that is generous with its insights and tender in all the right places.
DAILY EXPRESS - Jane Housham

Billington keeps the tension rising, and it all feels horribly believable
SUNDAY TIMES - Lucy Atkins

Tautly written and well paced, this is a very readable novel about a difficult and all too common situation

Hardback original
Keyword Index
Runaway children - England - London - Fiction.|Teenage boys - Fiction.|Families - England - London - Fiction.|Parent and child - Fiction.
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