LITTLE DARLINGS | Melanie Golding
04.30.2019 | Crooked Lane Books
Rating: 4/5 stars
Lauren Tranter has just gone through a complicated birth bringing her newborn twin sons, Morgan and Riley, into the world. When she experiences a weird encounter at the hospital, imagining there is a woman present trying to steal her babies, those around her become concerned. Clearly she is exhausted, but is there more to her story? Was someone actually in her hospital room? Could the nurses have missed this person?
When Lauren and the babies arrive at home her paranoia continues to grow. Her friends haven’t heard from in weeks. Her husband thinks she needs to get out of the house. When Lauren finally does emerge out into the world, she takes the babies, now a month old, to a local lake. The babies disappear while at the park. They are returned quickly to their hysterical parents, but Lauren believes something is wrong. Something has changed. That woman from the hospital stole her real babies and replaced them with changelings. What lengths will Lauren go to to prove she’s not hysterical. To prove that these twins are not hers?
I’ll take yours and you can have mine. You’ll never know the difference. I can make sure they look just the same. One’s fair. Two is justice done.
Melanie Golding’s debut novel, LITTLE DARLINGS, is an absolutely addictive mix of fairy tale and modern day thriller. I haven’t read many books that fall into the crime fiction genre that encompass a fantasy element to them. Golding takes the folklore surrounding twin births and weaves it into a story all her own.
The story unfolds through the main characters of Lauren Tranter and the detective Joanna Harper, who has been assigned to her case. While the initial event that takes place at the hospital is written off as a mental health incident being handled by the hospital, Harper can’t stop herself from investigating. Harper’s utter determination and fascination with Lauren’s situation make the reader feel that perhaps Lauren hasn’t just lost her mind. Perhaps there are other answers to what is happening.
Little darlings. Lauren wished she was back in that life where the babies were her precious boys, the ones she’d given birth to, who were adored without condition. These ones, had the building been on fire, she would have happily stepped across to get away.
As the story progresses Golding makes a hard case for the possibility of the reader needing to suspend their belief if they are to take Lauren’s side. Surely there must be a factual explanation for what is happening, but what if there was more to it? How much the reader is willing to believe is up to them, but that won’t stop the folklore from catching everyone’s attention and making the reader intrigued. The confidence with which Lauren believes that her babies have been switched is both riveting and heartbreaking at times. As you learn more about the case and the investigation continues, Golding keeps the reader on the edge of their seat needing to know what Lauren will do next.
LITTLE DARLINGS is creepy, captivating, and downright entertaining to read! This book deserves to be at the top of your TBR because you’re not going to want to miss out on talking about it with fellow readers!
Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.
Disclosure: Thank you to Crooked Lane Books for providing me with a free copy in exchange for my honest review!