A chilling plot… a frightfully cold setting… ‘The Child Finder’ is the perfect story to devour during these dull and dark January evenings.
Naomi Cottle finds missing children. She wants to help people, she wants to reunite loved ones, she wants to help them with closure. Families call to her for help when the police have all but given up. She is good at what she does, but she doesn’t always find them. There are snippets of Naomi’s own past which help us build a picture of who she is as a character, and why she is the way she is. She is a discoverer, a finder, she is someone battling her own demons and uses those experiences to help others.
Madison Culver has been missing for three years and Naomi has been called in to help. Madison vanished in the mountainous forests of Oregon, and not long after, blizzards swept the region and the authorities presumed she died from exposure. Naomi knows in her heart though that Madison isn’t dead.
Madison is a strong little girl and I adore the references to fairy tales that surround her. It shows the vivid imagination that children can have, it shows how innocent they are and how they even try to find the good and fun out of something that is so horribly evil. Could this simply be a story of loneliness and wanting to be loved though?!
It is a rather emotional tale – it pulls on the heartstrings, it gets you shouting, and it is incredibly frustrating (in a good way!) as you hope and pray for that happy ending. I even felt a sort of love for little Madison’s captor. A man, that was once an innocent boy, that knows no other way in life.
The story flips back and forth between the points of view of both Naomi and Madeline. This works well as we see both sides of the tale – a little girl getting used to a life without her parents, and a woman on a mission to save a little girl.
We see moments of Naomi as a little girl herself. These are special little paragraphs as we see a hint of a vulnerable child. A child desperate to know her past, which led her into her future, her life as an adult and a woman who wants to help those that are unprotected, unsafe, like she was herself.
The descriptions in the story surpass beautiful and the dialogue life-like. As a reader you easily get inside the heads of these characters which is a raw talent for an author to have. You will get lost in this book and the inviting journey of twists and turns that it takes you on. It is a mystery that will draw you in and not let go.
Thank you to Ben Willis and Rebecca Gray at Orion for a proof copy of this hugely enjoyable novel. Another great read from the Orion Team!
The Child Finder is already out on e-reader now, but if you would like a beautiful hardback version then these will hit bookshops on the 11th January. It is definitely worth a read.