Book Review: Lola Is Missing by Alison James

About the Book


Six-year-old Lola Jade Harper is taken from her bedroom. Her mother is distraught. She is convinced her estranged husband, Gavin Harper, has abducted their daughter.

Detective Rachel Prince is leading the investigation but is soon out of her depth as she searches for the most high-profile missing child in the country. To uncover the truth about Lola’s disappearance, Rachel must untangle the Harper family’s complicated web of secrets and lies.

As the case progresses, the body of a local woman is found. The death at first seems unrelated, until a trail of social media posts lead Rachel to a chilling discovery.

And then another little girl is taken…

With growing pressure from the public and the appearance of someone from her past she’d rather forget, will Rachel be able to solve the connection between the two missing children and the murder - before it’s too late? 

My Thoughts

DI Rachel Prince and her colleague DS Mark Brickall from the Major Crime Investigative Support team are brought in as a fresh pair of eyes to support the investigation of the disappearance of Lola Jade Harper five months earlier.

As they comb through the evidence collected and follow up on the minutest of leads, we learn about Lola and the people in her life. I was a touch hesitant in reading a book about child abduction but the topic was handled in a manner that kept me wanting to read more versus dreading what might be coming up next.

The plot was engaging and I found the book to be well written and well paced. For me, while the discovery of the kidnapper is an important detail, I was more interested in the why. I know this is a work of fiction but the story felt credible to me.

The Lying Kind is the first Detective Rachel Prince novel. As a character, I liked her immensely. She is a near-40 woman and a loner by choice. She recognizes that her life may appear barren from the outside but she is content with her circumstances. Her past is a strange one and while we got a resolution, I feel there is more to it. I very much look forward to learning more about her.

I also enjoyed getting to know her colleague and subordinate DS Mark Brickall. Their relationship is both strange and endearing. I love the banter between them and they work well together, each brining their own skill set in to play.

There were a couple of things that didn’t work for me. Firstly, I found it strange, particularly in the latter stages, that Rachel and Mark seemed to work in isolation. Instead of being excited that the final chase was on, I was wondering where the back-up was; this is a case of a missing child. I struggled to believe that such a high profile case could not harness greater support when the kidnappers were discovered. Secondly, there is an incident that DS Mark Brickall is involved in where the solution put a bad taste in my mouth. I am not naïve that I think such things do not take place but I am disappointed that it happened at all and the reaction of those around Mark, including Rachel.

The book is primarily set in London – a city I love – so I enjoyed going with Rachel on her runs through the city as she bypassed certain landmarks. It offered a familiarity that I liked. I am definitely looking forward to more books in this series.

About the Author

I was born in the Cotswolds but spent most of my formative years abroad. I studied languages at Oxford, then became a journalist and author, returning to university after my two children to take a law degree. After a three-year stint as a criminal paralegal, I worked as a commercial copywriter and then a TV storyliner, before coming full circle to write fiction again.

Twitter: @AlisonJbooks