“In the necessary and uncomfortable places where Rene Denfeld locates her haunting fiction, the lines between victim and perpetrator can be painfully blurry…. Giving voice to those who are metaphorically or even literally voiceless, Rene Denfeld reminds us that consequences continue, aftermath continues — yet we must somehow find ways of holding on to threads of hard-won hope.” (Elizabeth Rosner, San Francisco Chronicle)
“At times haunting, at times devastating.... Captivating read.” (Bustle)
“A chillingly good read that will stay with you long after you close the book.” (BookPage)
“Gut-wrenching, its compassion goes a long way toward healing readers’ aching hearts.” (Shelf Awareness)
“It’s stunning. From the first page... we are in a strange, forbidding territory.... I couldn’t put this book down.” (The Globe and Mail)
“A hauntingly beautiful, chilling novel by a real-life badass heroine… Denfeld brings [her protagonist] to life with precise, lyrical prose. While the whole book reads like a fairytale for adults, Naomi herself is fully realized and deeply human.” (CrimeReads)
“A glittering gem of a story—part mystery, part fairy tale, and all white-knuckled, edge-of-your-seat thriller… readers will be drawn in by Denfeld’s lyrical prose and undone by the brutal reality that Naomi uncovers, just beneath the snowy forest floor.” (Library Journal, starred review)
“Aptly unclassifiable, Denfeld’s compulsively readable second novel calls on elements of horror, mystery, fairy tales, and even romance to explore legacies of violence and the resilience of the most vulnerable among us.” (Booklist)
“Intense.... Innovative... Heartbreaking, surprising.... The conclusion will leave readers breathless.” (Publishers Weekly)
From the Back Cover
“This is something I know: no matter how far you have run, no matter how long you have been lost, it is never too late to be found.”
Three 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, 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?
Told in the alternating voices of Naomi and a deeply imaginative child, The Child Finder is a breathtaking, deeply atmospheric, and exquisitely rendered literary page-turner.
Performed by Alyssa Bresnahan