I had never read any works by Karen Moore, but I had heard a lot about her novel, Torn, and was keen to read it.
Like any mother, Hanna would do anything to protect her small daughter, Eva.
When she discovers that her husband, Luciano, is not all he seems and their blissful life on the island of Sicily is threatened, she wastes no time in seeking refuge abroad. But just as they are settling into their new life in North Wales, Eva disappears.
In a race against time, Hanna is forced to return to Sicily and face the dark world of organised crime in a bid to secure her daughter’s safe return. She must also confront the truth about Luciano’s business dealings and their horrific consequences.
But will Hanna succeed in getting Eva back and bring Luciano to justice?
Or are the stakes just too high?
Torn is Karen Moore's debut novel, but it does not read like a debut novel. It is an assured, gripping tale of a young woman who progresses from a carefree job as a tour guide in Sicily to protecting her young child in a Welsh village.
The story builds gradually as the reader is introduced to Hanna, her daughter Eva, best friend Ceri and Ceri's brother Rhys. The action jumps between Wales and Sicily as the author weaves the tale of Hanna and how she finds herself hiding in the Welsh village seeking safety for herself and Eva.
Hanna's husband, Eva's father, is an exciting, handsome man that Hanna falls completely in love with. It is only after Eva's birth that she begins to discover more about her husband and his family than she knew when they married.
I usually do not enjoy books that jump either in time or place, and this story does both. However, the changes in place and time were so clearly marked in this book that they posed no problem for me.
The story is carefully constructed and layered so cleverly that the tension mounts and the reader is drawn into the problems Hanna encounters. As a result of the character building in this book the reader lives every emotion and struggle that Hanna encounters.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and think it would be an excellent read for a book group as discussions would be wide ranging and varied.
Karen Moore is passionate about all things noir - crime, mystery, thrillers - and writes in that genre. She has been writing all her life, mostly for work purposes, and is now delighted to be able to spend more time developing her own creative work.
Her debut novel, Torn, is a dark tale of intrigue and betrayal set in Sicily and North Wales. She is currently working on the sequel.
Karen worked as a tour guide across Europe, North America and Canada, followed by a career in PR and marketing. She has lived in France and Italy and is now based in Cheshire, England.