Six Minutes by Petronella McGovern. (2019).
**4.5 out of 5 stars**
How can a child disappear from under the care of four playgroup mums? Lexie dashed to the local shops for six minutes, leaving Bella at playgroup. But when she returns, Bella is gone. Police and media descend on the tiny village near Canberra and locals unite to find Bella. Quickly, online hate messages target Lexie and her husband Marty and relationships start to fracture. What secrets are all of the parents hiding? Why does a local teacher have a photo of Bella he keeps in his house? What exactly happened in those six minutes and where is Bella??
Eeeep. As the mother of young children, the whole concept of this book is terrifying. I couldn’t imagine leaving my kid in the care of people I trust and coming back to find my kid missing, especially after only six minutes!! This is an amazing fiction debut novel for the author with a very twisty suspense feel. There were a few red herrings scattered throughout the plotline and I genuinely had no idea what had happened to Bella and why; I love it when final explanations are not predictable but also plausible! The narrative is primarily told from Lexie and Marty’s point of views as well as a police officer, a fellow playgroup mum and a local school teacher. A very engaging novel that I didn’t want to put down, I just wanted to know where little Bella went.
A very gripping tale that I’d highly recommend!