Thirteen-year-old Dan hasn’t returned home and his parents don’t know whether he’s run away, been kidnapped – or something worse. For one family the world as they know it is about to fall apart. At first Dan is sleeping rough, revelling in his independence. But with every passing day, his world is becoming darker and more frightening. A hundred thousand children run away each year. Most come back. But will Dan? Dan’s mother, Eve, a drama teacher, can’t focus; his father, Max, only knows how to flee his own demons; and his aunt, Martha, while trained to control difficult situations as a prison officer, struggles to hold it all together. Dan’s story is told against a grown-up drama of love and shifting loyalties and two sisters who were best friends until Max came between them. Gradually, all three begin to recognise just how badly they have failed the missing boy. Rachel Billington has written a tense and emotional novel about the day-to-day existence of a contemporary family living through their worst nightmare. Anguish and hope move across the pages until the final breath-taking denouement.
“It’s highly readable and is written with wisdom and compassion” Kate Saunders, The Times
“Dan is a subtle study; his vulnerability, his innocence, his resourceful intelligence and his dawning moral sense are wonderfully convincing” Charlotte Moore, Daily Telegraph
“Billington keeps the tension rising, and it all feels horribly believable” Lucy Atkins, The Sunday Times