Book Review: Beneath the Surface by Heidi Perks

March 14, 2016 Book review 17 ★★★★

Books about secrets! I can’t resist them. So when I read the synopsis for this one and saw it was about a family that disappeared out of Abigail’s life, I was so curious and I had to see just what happened.


Book Review: Beneath the Surface by Heidi PerksBeneath The Surface by Heidi Perks
Published by Red Door on March 24th 2016
Genres: Depression & Mental Illness, Emotions & Feelings, Family Life, Mystery & Detective
Pages: 352
Format: eBook
Source: Received from Author
Buy on Amazon

I don't know where you are...
I don't know what I've done...

Teenager Abigail Ryder is devastated when she gets home from school to find her family gone. Nothing makes sense. Things are missing from the house and her stepsisters' room is completely empty. But the police think she's trouble, and when grandmother Eleanor tells her to forget them all and move on, there's no choice other than face the future - alone.

Fourteen years on, Abi and Adam are a happy couple on the verge of parenthood. But when the past comes back to haunt Abi, the only way forward is to go back and uncover the truth - and reveal the dreadful secrets a mother has been hiding all these years.

Page-Turner Refreshing Well Written


First Line of Beneath the Surface by Heidi Perks:


“Abigail didn’t know how she should answer the policeman’s question.”


My Thoughts on Beneath the Surface by Heidi Perks:

I’m always a bit fascinated by missing person cases as all the “what-ifs” and “maybes” just feed my insatiable curiosity. And the setting for this book is even more mysterious as the whole family just up and vanish, along with their belongings. So you feel it is very carefully orchestrated but why did they leave seventeen year old Abigail behind?

“There were secrets in our family so tightly compressed that sometimes I forgot what the truth was.”

The story is told over two different time settings – the time of the disappearance and fourteen years later. It’s all very mysterious and dark as it focuses on mental health issues, family cover ups and dysfunctional relationships. I found I guessed the secret very early on but it didn’t matter in the slightest as I was waiting for the inevitable confrontations to happen and my heart was beating in anticipation.

I also really appreciated how well fleshed out the characters were. Both the likeable ones and the unlikable ones. I could feel sympathy for one of the characters but I also thought her weak and my sympathy never developed into forgiveness. The characters were written with empathy and that made me care about them. I found myself thinking about characters when I wasn’t reading and in particular wondering just what I would do if I was Abigail.

And ultimately, I loved the conclusion. It felt satisfying and authentic and I just know that it was a choice I would have made too. I really appreciated how much this book drew me in and I know for sure I’ll be reading more by Heidi Perks in the future.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-stars


Who should read Beneath the Surface by Heidi Perks?

I’d highly recommend this to you if you enjoy themes of secrets and lies within family settings, complex multi-layered characters and lots of moral dilemmas to discuss. For this reason too I think it would make a great book club read as there are plenty of issues to trash out!

Thanks to the author for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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17 Responses to “Book Review: Beneath the Surface by Heidi Perks”

  1. Greg

    I’d be curious to know too why her family just disappeared and what that’s all about. Sounds like an interesting premise! Complex characters- even better! Sounds like a good mystery!
    Greg recently posted…Cover Characteristics #19

  2. Hannah @ Broc's Bookcase

    Ooooooooooo! I don’t normally do mystery type books but I am very intrigued by this one! What happened? Where did they go? Why did they leave? I want to know EVERYTHING!
    Once this book gets released I will be getting myself a copy IMMEDIATELY!

  3. Lola

    This books sounds intriguing with how everyone’s gone when she comes home. That sounds so creepy and I wonder what really happened to them. The way it’s told from the current and past point of view sounds like it would work for this type of story. Great review!
    Lola recently posted…Review: Shards of Murder by Cheryl Hollon

    • trish

      It wasn’t overly creepy as I read as I knew where they were but all the whys just fascinated me. And yes the different time lines were very effective Lola.

    • trish

      It wasn’t overly creepy as I read it but there were some awful characters. And all the whys kept me flipping the pages 🙂

  4. Melinda

    ok, this sounds like my type of book! I love family sagas filled with secrets and mysteries. I’ll look out for this one.

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