Rena Sutherland wakes from a coma into a mother’s nightmare. Her daughter is missing – lost for four days – but no one has noticed; no one has complained; no one has been searching.
As the victim support officer assigned to her case, Christine Emmett puts aside her own problems as she tries to guide Rena through the maelstrom of her daughter’s disappearance.
A task made harder by an ex-husband desperate for control; a paedophile on early-release in the community; and a psychic who knows more than seems possible.
And intertwined throughout, the stories of six women; six daughters lost.
I thought that not knowing was the worst thing I could ever endure. Not knowing if she was in trouble or needing my help or in pain. I worried that she’d been taken by someone that would hurt her, then I worried that she’d been taken by someone who would love her and care for her and in a year or two she’d have forgotten I ever existed. Not knowing was killing me.
The police found her body stuffed into an old recycling bin out the back of a sleep-out. My beautiful girl had been bent to fit as though she was just a piece of rubbish, something to be disposed of.
When I went to the hospital to identify my beautiful girl’s broken body – that was worse than not knowing. When I buried her in the cemetery and compared the size of the gravesite to the other freshly buried bodies – that was worse than not knowing.
When I drank myself to sleep on the anniversary of her sixth birthday, and realised that I would likely be doing that until my life ended – that was worse than not knowing.
Katherine Hayton is a 41 year old woman who works in insurance, doesn’t have children or pets, can’t drive, has lived in Christchurch her entire life, and currently resides two minutes walk from where she was born. For some reason she’s developed a rich fantasy life.