Book Review: Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

Little Darlings

This book was recommended to me by a friend, who just finished reading it and absolutely gushed at how good it was. I was a little hesitant going into the book, because it balances two genres: thriller (which is really hit or miss with me) and dark fantasy (which I usually love). However, after finishing it, I was glad I decided to trust her opinion and read it.

Release: April, 2019

Page Count: 312

Format: Audiobook

Synopsis: Lauren Tranter has just given birth to beautiful twin baby boys, and is exhausted afterwards. She sees a strange old women in the hospital with two ugly babies of her own, who claims Lauren must choose one of her babies to give to the woman or she will take both. Lauren is terrified and tells police and her husband, only to be told it’s all part of her imagination. One month later, the babies disappear, only to be found soon after. But according to Lauren, they are changed, and Lauren begins to lose her mind trying to find her babies, while no one believes her, except for Detective Harper, who begins to realize there is more here than a mad woman. Part dark fairytale, part thriller, this book will transport you to the dark corners of the imagination.

Non-Spoiler Review

I really enjoyed this book, though it did take me a little bit to get into it. I found the beginning with the birth of the twins and Lauren’s trauma to be a bit uninteresting, until the more fanciful elements began. Then I was entirely hooked. The main conflict in this book is the question of whether Lauren is actually insane or if there is a more real (but fanciful) solution to what she sees. The story jumps between her perspective and Detective Harper, a young female detective who gets interested in the case and realizes the explanation that Lauren is just insane might not fit all the evidence.

I haven’t really read a book like this that for all purposes is a thriller, and yet there is there more dark fairytale elements as well. Each chapter even starts with a quote from the Grimm Brothers, indicating that this is indeed a fantasy. But I also appreciated how this book stayed in the realm of reality too, like everyone thinking Lauren is crazy for seeing this ghostly woman.

There are a large array of characters, and I didn’t find any of them likable save for Detective Harper herself. Lauren is indeed crazy, even if what she’s seeing is real, her husband is a douchebag, most of the police officers and detective are pretty bad, and the rest of the background characters are kind of just there. For me, it was less of the characters and more of the plot that pulled me in, especially as I wanted an answer to the main question of who the mysterious woman was and what her motivations were.

To be honest, the story is pretty slow until the very end, which by far was the best part of the story, answering most of the questions I had for the rest of the book. On one hand, I do want to reveal some spoilers because I loved the twists at the end, especially concerning the sunken town in the lake, but I also don’t want to spoil anything because I really would recommend this book.

Even for someone like me who hasn’t read many thrillers I liked, I enjoyed this book. I was also surprised to find out that this is Melanie Golding’s debut novel (at least as far as I could find because I can’t find any other books written by her). It’s creepy atmosphere and the constant “what’s” really make this book interesting, even with the slow start.

Have you read this book or heard of it? What do you think of books which mix fantasy and thriller elements? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, follow my blog for more musings and, as always,

Best wishes in your life full of adventure,

Madame Writer

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