Little Darlings by Melanie Golding
Published by Crooked Lane Books on April 30, 2019 (expected)
Genre(s): fiction, thriller
Format & Length: e-book, 304
Find on Goodreads
“Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Grimms’ Fairy Tales, and Aimee Molloy’s The Perfect Mother.
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.
Little Darlings was one of my most anticipated releases for 2019 and this thriller didn’t disappoint!
Inspired by dark fairy tales, this book is told from two perspectives. The first is Lauren, who has just given birth to twin boys and is convinced a woman came to the hospital to take them away from her. And the second is Joanna, or Jo, the police officer who follows up on the report that was made by the hospital on the “attempted child abduction.” The combination of the two points of view worked together well to create a well-balanced read, grounding a story that could feel too unreliable otherwise.
I’ve come across other stories that combined a hint of supernatural with a questioning of a character’s mental health that didn’t wind up sitting well with me. This book, however, managed to balance Lauren’s spiral of struggling exhaustion and her questioning of her own mental stability with nuggets of proof that she isn’t just seeing things. Additionally, the plot was tightly woven, although a few elements weren’t fully explored, leaving some loose ends. That said, the writing was compelling and the pacing was fast, making for a story that I couldn’t put down.
In the end, Little Darlings was unsettling, atmospheric, and creepy. If that sounds like your type of book, I’d definitely recommend giving this a shot!
*Thanks to the publisher for providing an arc of this edition via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.