It was meant to be your daughter's first sleepover.
Now it's an abduction.
Lucia Blix went home from school for a playdate with her new friend Josie. Later that evening, her mother Elisa dropped her overnight things round and shared a glass of wine with Josie's mother. Then she kissed her little girl goodnight and drove home.
That was the last time she saw her daughter.
The next morning, the house was empty. No furniture, no family, no Lucia.
In Playdate, Alex Dahl puts a microscope on a seemingly average, seemingly happy family plunged into a life-altering situation.
Who has taken their daughter, and why?
'Quickly exerts a grip' Financial Times
'A tense thriller that felt utterly real' Jane Shemilt
'Fast-paced and unsettling' Guardian
'I couldn't put it down' Rachael Blok
Head of Zeus * Thrillers
09 Jul 2020 * 464pp * £4.99 * 9781789544022
'Deceptively simple and extremely clever, Playdate is a tense thriller that felt utterly real, with complex, flawed and relatable characters facing underlying fears and horrific possibilities'
'A tense, exhilarating read that explores every mother's greatest fear – and the consequences of desire. I couldn't put it down'
'The storytelling is crisp [and] there's a terrifying simplicity about the ordinariness of the plot but particularly interesting are the very different responses of the two parents to their daughter's disappearance'
Quickly exerts a grip... This is proof that Dahl is a writer to watch'
'Dahl plays with a scenario that is every parent's nightmare as she slowly reveals the truth in this fast-paced and unsettling read'
Guardian, Thrillers of the Month
A story with real heart, surprising and chilling but the novel is more than an entertainment. As the story unfolds Dahl's exploration of her characters allows readers to go deep into their psyche, an empathetic tale becomes a very compassionate one – who you have compassion for may surprise you – we can't condone what happens but can feel like we understand it and that is very satisfying... Atmospheric... An engaging and emotionally draining read, a superb psychological thriller'
'A wonderfully creepy twisty tale that kept me guessing until the solution was under my nose'
[It will] have your nerves jangling and your emotions twisting... A tough read for those of a nervous disposition and an outright scary one for parents for whom the fear of child abduction is always at the back of their minds'
'A lively page turner. And the real skill of the book is not so much in the twists of the story as the manner in which our sympathies for the key characters are shifted quite dramatically'
'Harrowing and gripping'
'Fast-paced, [a] very unsettling psychological thriller'
Alex Dahl is a half-American, half-Norwegian author. Born in Oslo, she studied Russian and German linguistics with international studies, then went on to complete an MA in creative writing at Bath Spa University and an MSc in business management at Bath University. A committed Francophile, Alex loves to travel, and has so far lived in Moscow, Paris, Stuttgart, Sandefjord, Switzerland, Bath and London. She is the author of four other thrillers: After She'd Gone, Cabin Fever, Playdate, The Heart Keeper, and The Boy at the Door, which was shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger. Follow Alex on Twitter (@alexdahlauthor), Instagram (@authoralex) and Facebook (alexdahlauthor).
ALSO BY Alex Dahl