Wednesday 3 May 2017

Book review : Child Taken - Darren Young

When you see high profile child abduction cases like Maddie McCann, it's hard to take into account that that little baby-faced girl from the poster campaign is gone forever. If she is ever found alive, she will be a young woman and probably won't really even remember her parents.

Child Taken focuses on a little girl who disappears from a crowded beach where she was playing with her brother and parents. When her hat is washed up on the shore, the police and the general public are quick to assume that she has drowned and the case is closed. Her mother is convinced that she was abducted and is still alive, but everyone says that she is trying to find someone else to blame to assuage her guilt and that she can't face the reality that her child is dead.

The case soon falls out of the limelight and is pretty much forgotten about until a young journalist, working on another local missing child story, uncovers the original case and decides to follow it up. When she starts receiving threats, she knows that she is on to something and goes all out to uncover the truth.

It's a fast-paced nail-biter that had me compulsively turning the pages, desperate to reach the end and I was totally blindsided by the unexpected twists and turns. It lost a bit of its realism in the final pages with Laura seemingly becoming as indestructible as a Hollywood action hero, but I was still gripped. There is a loose thread that I can only see as a plot fail because I can't find a plausible explanation however hard I try - the fatal crash near the beginning of the novel. You assume you know who was implicated right from the start but the final shock ending makes this highly unlikely if not impossible, while offering no other interpretation.

My only real disappointment though was discovering that this is Darren Young's debut novel - I loved it so much that I wanted to find out what else he had written. Definitely a new talent to keep an eye on.

Head over to see what other book bloggers thought on the Child Taken blog tour.

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £8.99

Disclosure : I received a copy of the book in order to write an honest review.

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