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Little Darlings: A Novel Kindle Edition
Amazon's Best Books of the Month for May: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Refinery29's "Best Summer Thrillers 2019"
Bustle's "10 Horror Retellings Of Your Favorite Classic Stories"
The Nerd Daily's "14 Debut Authors to Discover This April"
Goodreads' "Spring's Most Anticipated mysteries & Thrillers"
The Guardian's "The Best Recent Crime and Thrillers"
"Unforgettable . . . One suspects that the real sorceress here is Golding, whose writing has given a voice to every wronged mother."
—The New York Times Book Review
"A lyrical and atmospheric folktale for the modern age, Little Darlings is a gorgeously crafted story that makes even the grimmest of subjects shine."
“Atmospheric and very creepy indeed.”
"Golding's novel will strike true fear into the heart of any parent. At the same time, the novel explores the fierce and desperate love we have for our children, written with beautiful intensity . . . A gorgeous, creepy, modern fairy tale reminiscent of Angela Carter."
—Kirkus starred review
"A modern story of ghosts and fairy tales . . . Golding beautifully blends the supernatural with the everyday, keeping readers riveted to the page as they question what is true."
—Booklist starred review
"Sinister and sickeningly real, Little Darlings is fairy tale-inflected horror . . . that touch[es] on our deepest, most instinctive fears and fairy tales."
—Foreword Reviews starred review
"Haunting . . . Fans of psychological thrillers will look forward to Golding’s next novel."
"It'll make you question whether mother really does know best or if motherhood is truly the dream it's made out to be."
“Chilling story, beautiful prose. Little Darlings is stunning.”
—Clare Mackintosh, New York Times bestselling author of I Let You Go
"Ingenious, chilling, and completely absorbing, Little Darlings is destined to be the hit of 2019. The scariest book I have read in many years."
—A. J. Banner, bestselling author of The Good Neighbor
“Deep. Dark. Utterly addictive. I read this extraordinary book in one breathless gulp...Be warned—you can't unread this story. It will haunt you.”
—Teresa Driscoll, author of I Am Watching You
“I love this book! Compelling from the first page to the very last, Golding took me by the hand and pulled me softly but persistently through mystery and myth...A masterfully-told story and a beautiful and nuanced work of art.”
—Susan Crawford, author of The Pocket Wife
“Dark, compelling and terrifyingly relatable, Little Darlings takes every parent’s worst fear and deftly twists it into something even more horrific. It will have you checking every shadow for what you hope isn’t really there.”
—Megan Hart, New York Times bestselling author
"Little Darlings is the perfect marriage of taut psychological thriller and nail-biting horror. A changeling-inspired page-turner of note with a highly satisfying ending, it'll stay with you long after you've read it. I loved it and can't wait to see what Melanie Golding does next.”
—Sarah Lotz, author of The White Road
"A twisty, chilling exploration of the dark side of motherhood, brilliantly told by a debut author whose skill is evident from the first page. Any parent—any human, for that matter—will have a hard time putting this book down once they start."
—Brad Parks, international bestselling author of The Last Act
“A story that is in turn enthralling, creepy and downright sinister, Melanie Golding turns fairy tales on their heads in Little Darlings, making this one to watch out for in 2019. A brilliant, heart-pounding read.”
—Lisa Hall, author of Between You and Me
“Rich and satisfying, this is part who-done-it, part fairy tale, part psychological thriller...Will continue to rattle you, long after you have put it down.”
—Felicity Everett, author of The People at Number 9
“Riveting, terrifying and at times heartbreaking...Melanie Golding’s disturbing portrait of a new mother’s paranoia is superbly written, cleverly plotted and gruesomely beautiful in an unforgettable way. A stunning debut.”
—Annie Ward, author of Beautiful Bad
“Little Darlings is brilliant—beautifully written, disturbing and deliciously creepy.”
—Roz Watkins, author of The Devil’s Dice
"Dark, richly evocative, tense, and thought-provoking. Taps into every woman's fear that she will not be believed."
—Mel McGrath, author of Give Me the Child
"Viscerally creepy and compelling—a contemporary dark fairy tale that reeled me in like tales of old."
—Angela Clarke, author of Follow Me
"Little Darlings gives a thrill so deep it dips at times into pleasure, at Golding's sheer creativity, at her ability to take our most natural and primal life experience and weave into it our most ancient myths, transforming it into high horror. She keeps the reader spellbound until the very end . . . The psychological intensity of this novel is on par with the best."
—Katherine Forbes Riley, author of The Bobcat
"A psychological thriller with a suggestion of the supernatural . . . Golding provides enough reasonable doubt about Lauren’s view of events to keep readers guessing."
From the Back Cover
She’ll do anything to save them.
Lauren, a new mother, is exhausted by the demands of her twin boys. Since coming home from the hospital, she rarely leaves the house. But it isn’t only new motherhood keeping her there. Lauren knows someone is watching them and that someone wants her babies. It started with an incident at the hospital and an emergency call in the middle of the night. No one believes her—not her husband, not the police—until one day in the park when everything changes. The babies, tucked in their stroller, disappear from Lauren’s side. When they are found unharmed, everyone else rejoices. Only Lauren realizes the horrible truth: These are not my children. Is Lauren mad or does she know something no one else does?
A modern twist on the changeling myth and inspired by some of our darkest folklore, Little Darlings is an unsettling psychological thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Grimms’ Fairy Tales and stories that go bump in the night.--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B07H7SGH32
- Publisher : Crooked Lane Books (April 30, 2019)
- Publication date : April 30, 2019
- Language : English
- File size : 1461 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 315 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #82,752 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from the United States
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A new mother's worst nightmare is the premise of Little Darlings.
Lauren Tranter is the new mother of twin boys, Morgan and Riley. She's overwhelmed, experiencing postpartum depression and if that wasn't enough, one of the nights while she's still at the hospital, a young woman with twins wants to exchange/take her babies. Lauren runs away and hides in the bathroom and calls the cops. Of course, no one can find the woman and her babies. They all think it was Lauren hallucinating. She's tired, she was given medications during delivery so the conclusion is that she was imaging the whole event.
DS Jo Harper reviews the report the next morning and something about the event pushes her to meet Lauren and to further investigate it. Jo believes Lauren. She knows something happened to Lauren at the hospital. Sadly, her boss doesn't agree with her and using the police resources is not something he wants to agree on. Jo doesn't want to leave the case and she starts using her own free time to follow some leads.
Then the worst happens. While on an outing with the babies a month after they were born, Lauren falls asleep on a bench and when she wakes up, her babies are gone. Jo is called to help with the kidnapping. She finds the twins but when they returned them to Lauren, she shockingly screams that they're not hers!
I liked both Lauren and DS Jo Harper. It was interesting not knowing if Lauren was imagining it all or if it was real. The folklore at the beginning of every chapter really helps with the eeriness. Jo had her own reasons for investigating the case involving babies and she tried her best to help Lauren.
Little Darlings reads itself. The whole story was spooky. It had my attention from beginning to end.
I heard this could become a movie. Perfect script for one.
Is Lauren psychologically unstable? She seems so, but more so at the start of the story than later on, when she's in a mental facility, drugged out of her mind. Why does Patrick seem to be loving and protective, and then, keeping up appearances for Lauren, seems to be a liar, dishonest, and probably unfaithful? Why would the fairies/faeries want to steal Lauren's twins, only to actually want them back? Why does Jo Harper become almost obsessed by a 125 year old skeleton from the lake (which could be haunting Lauren), when we know such a discovery would not really interest the police much?
In any case, if you want an excellent synopsis, (with spoilers), but spelling out the weakness of this tale, read the two-star review by N. Ahyee. It's very comprehensive and contain all my own objections against this story.
Worst of all, the ending leaves us up in the air. Poor helpless Lauren, the mother, is a victim -- but it seems she will never get out of the mental institution. Very unsatisfactory ending.
This story is creepy, atmospheric, and engaging from page one. It moves quickly to a satisfying end staying on topic the whole way, making the book impossible to put down. While I think many of us love psychological thrillers this one may hit home with more people. Thankfully, not many of us have a spouse that kills for sport but oh so many readers are new moms, full of doubt, questions and very low on sleep. This book plays on all those experiences that are so common making this story one to really send a shiver up your spine.
If you are ready for a twisty, suspenseful read, this is a great one. Needless to say, if you are about to deliver your own little bundle of joy, don't pack Little Darlings in your hospital bag.
Top reviews from other countries
I’d been patiently (ok, a little impatiently) waiting for this one and it did not disappoint! Something tells me we’ll be seeing a lot more from this talented author - I truly hope so anyway!
This is the first book I have read and wow, I couldn't have picked a better book!
This is fantasticly wrote. If I were to write a book it would be just like this.
I can't stop telling people about it.
I do wish I knew what happened to the characters at the end but I guess that's for me to decide.
I will be watching out for this lady's next novel that's for certain.
However, I'm actually not sure about what really happened in the book. Neither during the story nor particularly not in the end. As for being entertaining, the story did at times keep me glued to the pages, but there are also chapters filled with (to me) unnecessary, boring details. Parts of the book left me impatient for something significant to happen but instead of building up expectation, I got bored. Particularly during the last third I skimmed through a lot of text, eager to know what it was all about and get a solution. Which, as already said, I do not feel one actually gets.
The writing? This is a debut novel and of course one is always curious. The author knows how to write. Her vocabulary is impressive and sophisticated. But, does it get too complicated? I had to read quite a bit twice in order to get the clear meaning, which was frustrating.
This is a dark novel. No doubt about that. Not particularly entertaining, but still interesting. For new readers I would recommend to buy the paperback version or borrow from the library.
I am, however, awaiting Golding's next novel with great expectation.
There is nothing worse than the feeling of not being believed and thank goodness for Detective Harper! After viewing the incident calls from the night shift she comes across Lauren's call - something inside Harper tells her to follow it up despite it being put down as a false alarm. There is no evidence of what Lauren saw, and no else saw of heard anything other Lauren shouting, something niggles at Harper to stay on this case despite there being not apparent case at all.
Soon Lauren is home and settling into a routine that is mainly one sided. I hated Patrick with a passion in this story he was selfish and self centred - he needs his sleep or he doesn't function and basically gives Lauren no help with twins. I know what it is like to do the night shift every night with one child so my heart went out to Lauren doing it with two! It didn't help that Lauren felt she couldn't sleep for fear of the woman returning to take her twins, when she ventures out one day with the twins shes take a set and closes her eyes for just a moment and later wakes to realises she has fallen asleep and her children are gone! They are found pretty quickly and the so called abductor arrested, but something is wrong, Lauren can see it but no one else can - why don't they believe her when she says they are not her twins? They are not Morgan and Riley?
From that moment I actually thought Lauren had gone mad and snapped, she tried to put them in the river!
Honestly this book will take you to the edge as you question Lauren's sanity, is she really seeing the twins as Changlings like in the fairy-folk tales or is she having a psychitic breakdown. Golding has done a fantastic job of this novel and it was a chilling horror that you never really know what was real and what was just Lauren's imagination.
Is Lauren suffering postnatal psychosis, or is she telling the truth? The folk tale embedded in the story’s DNA gives another twist, another dimension.
DS Joanna Harper has to go deeper than she’s ever gone before to investigate the dark heart of the crime she uncovers. But first, she must face up to the truth about herself.
Beautifully written, this chilling story grips the reader and will not let you go. When the book is finished you’re still lingering inside the world where the old stories, the dreams and fables and nightmares, they’re real. They’re here right now.