One could argue that the real victim in this scenario is Rebecca. She has committed no crime other than being married to a suspect in the disappearance of a teenage girl. There is no concrete proof other than the fact that both Chris and young Kayleigh vanished on the same day. Does a simple coincidence have more sinister connotations or has Chris been leading a double-life?
The public believes Rebecca has been harbouring a deviant and they also think she supports him. The fact that she is searching for him seems to imply a sort of complicity. Her actions would be perceived as those of a caring and worried wife under other circumstances.
Rebecca starts to admit to herself, as the story progresses, that perhaps her life with Chris wasn’t so picture perfect. She has a selective memory, which is probably why she finds it hard to accept the reality of his betrayal.
As I mentioned before, I think Rebecca is the real victim. She is completely vilified by nearly everyone she encounters, especially a certain group of youngsters. Her life has disintegrated into a fog of sleeping pills and alcohol. Her husband is presumed guilty just based on circumstantial evidence and a heck of a lot of rumours.
Wray has written a cracking read, there is no doubt about that, but I believe she deserves a kudos for perhaps unintentionally calling out the media and society for pointing fingers without proof. For showing the negative aspects of social and mass media where fake news and false rumours are prevalent and reputations are destroyed in the blink of an eye, and the actual truth has become almost inconsequential to the majority of people.