Book Review – The Child Finder by Rene Denfield

child finderThree years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. She would be eight years old now—if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as The Child Finder, Naomi is their last hope.

Naomi’s methodical search takes her deep into the icy, mysterious forest in the Pacific Northwest, and into her own fragmented past. She understands children like Madison because once upon a time, she was a lost girl too.

As Naomi relentlessly pursues and slowly uncovers the truth behind Madison’s disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce the defenses that have protected her, reminding her of a terrible loss she feels but cannot remember. If she finds Madison, will Naomi ultimately unlock the secrets of her own life?

***

gold_star-svggold_star-svggold_star-svggold_star-svg 4/5 Stars

I received this book from the publisher, via Net Galley, in exchange for an honest review.

I have to say, I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought i would. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Whatever I could have expected I doubt it would have been this. The story is really well told, and read quite differently to a regular crime story to me. I liked the elements of fairytales spun through it. I also really liked the second missing child tale – it was clearer there what her process was and also showed how hard it can be. The impacts of all the actions was so well written, and the psychology of it all. Better, in my opinion, than any of the child finding.

The tale of the Snow girl was to me this story’s heart. How she coped with what was happening and how she learned Mr B. And his story was equally as heart breaking, and was delicately handled considering the subject matter.
It’s hard to imagine that a book dealing with everything this one does can leave you feeling hopeful, but somehow this one does.

For me, the main downside to the story was actually Naomi. In the story she keeps herself distant. Sadly this translated across the page and she felt distant to me, very little connection. I liked her figuring out some of her own past, but it felt a little crammed in among the two stories already there. Which is a shame, because it’s a short enough book, I feel that could have been expanded a little to provide that connection. I feel the author tried to generate that at the end, with Jerome, but I didn’t really get there in the end. However, her connections with Mrs Cotter and Diane really worked for me, and did make Naomi a little easier to relate to.

Still, a beautifully told and complex story. Worth a read if you like crime and want something a bit different.

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