“Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman and Grimms’ Fairy Tales.
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.
Genre: Thriller / Mystery
Author: Melanie Golding
Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: April 30th, 2019
Publishing House: Crooked Lane Books
What a despairingly creepy novel. Highly readable and full of raw emotional content. Truly heart-shattering!
Lauren Tanter is exhausted after the birth of her twin boys Morgan and Riley. Overjoyed at her bundles, she is dealing with complications after birth and adjusting to the around the clock feedings during her hospital stay, while her husband gets to go home and rest up every night. She is sore, tired and over-flooded emotionally. She loves those boys so much, they are just perfect.
One of those short times when Lauren is able to get some shut-eye, she hears there are other new mothers and babies added to the room, separated by curtains. In the night, one of them is singing to her babies, also twins and Lauren asks her politely to stop. When she opens the curtains to speak to the mother, the scene reveals an eerie situation.
Joanna Harper is the police detective working a 911 call received from the maternity ward of the local hospital. A woman has locked herself into a bathroom with her newborn twins in fear of someone wanting to abduct her babies. Although the security guard at the hospital has not found an intruder in the ward, Harper makes it a personal mission to solve the case of this frightened mother.
Tinged with imperfect characters and dark lore of old folktales, this novel is charismatic and a page-turner. The combination of contemporary fiction with creepy elements was such a suspenseful and interesting read.
If you have any idea about childbirth and the adjustment period after then you can relate to the raw and tiresome moments of Lauren Turner in this novel. Motherhood and caring for infants is tough, hard work, and Golding did an amazing job sticking to how it really is without sugar coating it.
Adding the grief of mental illness, convoluted with illusions of sinister tales and old town history, it had me question the outcome of this novel so much. Will it be a fairy tale ending or a more logical but sad conclusion to Little Darlings?
The elements and excerpts of grim fairytales in the chapters with the suspenseful plot made me a fan. I absolutely recommend this book and will be looking out for more upcoming novels by Melanie Golding.
I received the ARC of Little Darlings from Crooked Lane Books in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own.