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Friday, July 31, 2020

Blog Tour Spotlight: Playdate by Alex Dahl

by Alex Dahl

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, Lucia's mother Elisa dropped her overnight things round and kissed her little girl goodnight.
That was the last time she saw her daughter.
The next morning, when Lucia's dad arrived to pick her up, 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?

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. Her first thriller, The Boy at the Door, was a Sunday Times Crime Club star pick and was shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger.


Sandefjord, 19 October 2018

I’ve had the day off, cramming all the things I never normally have time for into the afternoon – highlights and a trim, nails, a half-hearted hour at the gym, and I’m almost late for pick-up. First, I got stuck in bad traffic by the E18 motorway exit, and then Lyder decided to throw a fit when I picked him up from nursery, dropping to the floor like a slab of meat, flopping around in my arms and rolling his eyes back as I shoved his limp limbs into his winter suit.

‘Stop it,’ I hissed, pushing his stockinged feet into his sheepskin boots before grabbing his lunch box, an enormous cardboard artwork and his nursery folder in one hand, my other hand half-dragging my son out the door. ‘Come on!’

In the car, Lyder whines about the fact that I haven’t brought him a snack.

‘Everyone else gets raisins after nursery,’ he wails. ‘Or carrots. Or biscuits. Carl gets biscuits, the kind with chocolate bits in them, it isn’t fair…’ I block out his thin voice droning on and on. It’s been a long week and I feel the beginnings of a headache at the back of my skull. I press my finger to the spot that hurts, staring at a red light taking forever. Three minutes left until pick-up time. Four minutes before Aud, the sour-faced woman running the after-school club starts stabbing my phone number with her long acrylic nails.

The light turns green and I drive fast down the last few quiet suburban roads to Korsvik School, making Lyder giggle nervously in the back seat at the squeal of the tires. I pull up in front of the school and hand Lyder my iPhone, his face breaking into a surprised smile. It’s 4.29 – I made it.

‘I’ll be right back,’ I say, and hurry across the school yard to the brightly lit red wooden building.

‘Mamma!’ squeals Lucia and runs towards me. She jumps into my arms and I kiss her soft golden hair. ‘You’re late.’

‘No, I’m right on time, actually.’

‘Can I go home with Josephine?’

‘Who’s Josephine?’

‘She’s a new girl in my class. Can I? Please?’

‘Not today, sweetie. You know we have to arrange playdates ahead of time, it’s just easier.’

‘Her mom said it’s fine. They’re waiting, in the cloakroom.’


‘Please, Mamma.’ Lucia points through the open doorway to the changing area shared by first- and second-graders.

I sigh and go through with her. A little girl wearing a beautiful pink quilted Moncler jacket and moon boots sits on the bench in the far corner, next to an equally chic-looking mother.

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