Pushed to breaking point, Cara Burrows abandons her home and family and escapes to a five-star spa resort she can’t afford. Late at night, exhausted and desperate, she lets herself into her hotel room and is shocked to find it already occupied – by a man and a teenage girl.
A simple mistake on the part of the hotel receptionist – but Cara’s fear intensifies when she works out that the girl she saw alive and well in the hotel room is someone she can’t possibly have seen: the most famous murder victim in the country, Melody Chapa, whose parents are serving life sentences for her murder.
Cara doesn’t know what to trust: everything she’s read and heard about the case, or the evidence of her own eyes. Did she really see Melody? And is she prepared to ask herself that question and answer it honestly if it means risking her own life?
Did You See Melody? is the story of Melody Chapa, a girl whose parents are currently in prison for her murder. The thing is, she’s been seen by a slightly eccentric elderly woman in a five star American resort. A woman who spots a different missing child every year when she returns. You’d be forgiven for not taking her too seriously.
But then Melody is spotted by someone else at the same resort; this time it’s straight talking, super English Cara Burrows who has waltzed into the narrative by sheer misfortune. Then she goes missing.
So what works?
It’s an interesting story, and there are some fun characters in the form of a mother-daughter team. At points the story really flows and as a reader, you’re encouraged to read on for just another page.
But, and it’s a big but, I can’t help but feel it’s 150 pages too long and there is So. Much. Superfluous writing. There’s a lot of legal repetition and I feel that if you took out all that excess, the story would lose absolutely nothing. But because it’s all in there, at times it really drags. I found myself wanting to skip over a lot.
So there’s that, and there’s also the ending.
This is a spoiler so do avert your eyes if you don’t want to know, which I would recommend if you intend on reading this book because it’s going to render it useless.
Sooooo, at the end of the novel we find out Melody is alive, and that her parents were emotionally abusive to the max which led the trio of warped vigilantes into kidnapping and “saving her” from a horrible home.
Everything gets tied up neatly, and you think okay, well, I guess that’s the end.
But no, for some reason, in the last few pages Hannah decides to throw in a really annoying curve ball.
Melody basically whispers to Cara that she can’t remember if any of the bad things which happened to her as a child actually did happen, she’s just been going along with it. But she refuses admit this to anyone, and when Cara is like “What?!”, Melody goes back to playing dumb about it.
So we don’t know if her parents really were abusive, we don’t know if the warped reasoning behind taking her had ANY justification, we don’t know a lot of things. It’s just such an annoying end to a long read. There’s zero closure and it left me thinking what was the point?
Did you see Melody, Sohpie Hannah: On Amazon.