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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Book Review: Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

Little Darlings 
by Melanie Golding
April 30, 2019
315 pages
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

ISBN: 9781683319979 
MP3 CD: 9781982628758
Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.

A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley—to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.

Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.

Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking—and rechecking—your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.

Lauren Tranter gives birth to twin boy babies. Her husband, Patrick is not there for support and not there for her once they go home, making him unlikable from the beginning and he does nothing to help Lauren’s fragile state. The reader doesn’t know if a nasty faery being wants to abduct Lauren’s sons or if it’s just a post-partum hallucination of a sleep-deprived, mentally-ill woman. Readers who are mothers will see themselves in Lauren, not only in the first few months after giving birth but in the sheer horror and panic surrounding every mother's worst fear—losing their child, whether death or by abduction.

The other character in the book we see from her third person POV is DS Jo Harper, an investigator for the local police force. The details of Harper’s investigation, along with folklore about changelings and faeries at the beginnings of each chapter make the story creepy and unnerving. 

Between the strange woman that Lauren sees, and things we learn about Patrick that makes us wonder about his agenda, why he married her (to me there's not one redeeming quality to the man—truly unlikeable), it will make the reader wonder what is truly going on.

“Little Darlings” is a combination of a psychological thriller and a supernatural horror novel concerning faeries and changelings. The pace is slow, but it is taut with suspense. The reader alternates between wondering if it really was a faery or Lauren’s own descent into madness. This will be a fairytale for the 21st century.

I gave Little Darlings 5 sheep.

Reviewed by Pamela K. Kinney

About the Author:
I am a UK based author with a wide range of interests, including music and folklore. In 2016 I completed the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, graduating with Distinction. My debut novel, Little Darlings, is due for publication in early 2019 with HQ HarperCollins in the UK and commonwealth, HarperCollins Canada and Crooked Lane Books in the US.

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