Book Review: How I Lost You by Jenny Blackhurst

They told her she killed her son. She served her time. But what if they lied? 

I have no memory of what happened but I was told I killed my son. And you believe what your loved ones, your doctor and the police tell you, don’t you?

 My name is Emma Cartwright. Three years ago I was Susan Webster, and I murdered my twelve-week-old son Dylan. I was sent to Oakdale Psychiatric Institute for my crime, and four weeks ago I was released early on parole with a new identity, address and a chance to rebuild my tattered life. This morning, I received an envelope addressed to Susan Webster. Inside it was a photograph of a toddler called Dylan. Now I am questioning everything I believe because if I have no memory of the event, how can I truly believe he’s dead?

 If there was the smallest chance your son was alive, what would you do to get him back? (from

Published by Headline (UK) April 2015 

Wow. Talk about being sucked into a book from the very first page! Jenny Blackhurst certainly knows how to grab her reader and hang on to them until the very last page. I was hooked to this book, spurred on by the small chapters, sometimes only a couple of pages long but always leaving me needing to read ‘just one more’.

How I Lost You tells the story of Emma/Susan,who after being convicted for the murder of her newborn son has just been released with a new identity. Still unable to remember that fateful day, she sets about starting over her life. But then strange things begin to happen and the doubts she’s always had about the incident three years ago resurface.Susan is convinced she didn’t kill her son. More so, she’s sure he’s still alive.

This is an edge of your seat, gripping read which will refuse to let you go. I was fascinated by Susan’s story, horrified at the possibilities and suspicious of every character-never quite trusting anyone. Jenny Blackhurst twists her story in a number of unexpected ways, I never knew exactly how it was going to go and was extremely surprised by it’s eventual direction. I had to know what had happened and read this book in two sittings.

How I Lost You takes on some dark and disturbing subjects. There’s obsession, revenge, control and manipulation…creating a thrilling emotional mix. The book takes an even dark and sinister turn around two thirds through, and wasn’t always comfortable to read, but it’s a twist I hadn’t been expecting and is something I haven’t come across before. I did feel the character of Susan was at times a little too naive, considering the things she’d gone through, but that would be my only criticism. For the most part, this book is exactly what a reader of psychological thrillers wants; a twisty plot, fast paced and addictive writing and an explosive ending. Recommended!

I read an advanced proof copy courtesy of the publishers

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