THE IMPOSTER By Anna Wharton @whatsonwords @MantleBooks @panmacmillan @RKbookpublicist @RandomTTours

Available from 1st April 2021 | Mantle | Hardback | £14.99

I would like to thank Anne Cater for my spot on this blogtour.

A girl who went missing. A family who never gave up. A lonely young woman who only wanted to help . . .

Chloe lives a quiet life. Working as a newspaper archivist in the day and taking care of her nan in the evening, she’s happy simply to read about the lives of others as she files away the news clippings from the safety of her desk.

But there’s one story that she can’t stop thinking about about. The case of Angie Kyle – a girl, Chloe’s age, who went missing as a child. A girl whose parents never gave up hope.

When Chloe’s nan gets moved into a nursing home, leaving Chloe on the brink of homelessness, she takes a desperate step: answering an ad to be a lodger in the missing girl’s family home. It could be the perfect opportunity to get closer to the story she’s read so much about. But it’s not long until she realises this couple aren’t all they seem from the outside……

But with everyone in the house hiding something, the question is – whose secrets are the most dangerous?


I had seen some great comments about this book so was really looking forward to picking it up to read. So settled myself down and dived in.

I have mixed feelings about Chloe who is the narrator of the book, how reliable is she as she tells the story? at times I felt sorry for her, she just wanted to be loved. Having been fostered from a young age, she had one real friend in her life and that was Hollie, and Hollie did stand by her, although I don’t think Chloe really saw it as that as Hollie now had a boyfriend in Phil, and was moving on in life as everyone does as they grow up. I couldn’t work out if she was jealous of what Hollie had or not, I think maybe there was a bit of envy there.

Chloe works at a newspaper as an archivist, but at the same time she is trying to look after her nan Grace who has Alzheimer’s, she is desperately trying to keep her at home but the social worker has different thoughts. It’s whilst Chloe is working on a file of clippings from an old case of a 4 year old girl who went missing many years earlier, Angie Kyle would have been the same age as Chloe is now, as she looks at the photos of the parents, she imagines their grief, their desperation, as she reads that they will never move on and still hold out hope that their little girl is still alive. The father had only looked away for a second and she had disappeared.

Chloe takes her nan to visit her mum Stella’s grave, but turns away for a second to get some fresh water, when she returns her nan has gone. She frantically searches but no joy, her only option is to go to the police. This triggers in Chloe’s mind how the Kyle’s must have felt when Angie went missing although obviously an elderly lady and a 4 year old child going missing is different. But it seems to have an effect on Chloe. She becomes engrossed in the case, taking the file home from work, which then leads to her losing her job. Now she is more determined than ever to find Angie Kyle. Believing she can do what the police couldn’t.

I enjoyed the story although there were times I found Chloe annoying, but as she starts to dig deeper into the disappearance of Angie, she wants to find her, she wants to bring her home to her parents. She becomes obsessed with the case and obsessed with the Kyle’s. She even ends up becoming a lodger in their house. But then just as she becomes obsessed with Angie, the mum starts to think Chloe is Angie.

But what if everything is not as it seems? What if secrets have been kept over many years? As things start to come together Chloe’s imagination goes into overdrive. But then what if Chloe hasn’t been as honest as she could have been? She told the Kyle’s her nan was dead? What if that isn’t the only lie? All she wants is a family to love her, and to feel wanted.

This is a slow paced read, where the tension gradually builds weaving truth and lies together until you don’t know what is true and what isn’t. But everything comes clear at the end. It’s a story of obsession, loneliness and some lies that make life easier for the person telling them and maybe to protect the person being told the lie. How do you cope with losing a child?

A well crafted debut novel, I will be looking out for what this author writes next.


ANNA WHARTON has been a print and broadcast journalist for more than twenty years, writing for newspapers including The Times, Guardian, Sunday Times Magazine, Grazia and Red. She was formally an executive editor at The Daily Mail. Anna has ghostwritten four memoirs including the Sunday Times bestseller Somebody I Used To Know and Orwell Prize longlisted CUT: One Woman’s Fight Against FGM in Britain Today. The Imposter is her first novel.

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