Monday, November 6, 2017

The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld

4 Stars

Let me allow the book to tell you what it’s about . . . .

“Once upon a time, in a world free of snow, there lived a little girl, and her name was Madison. Madison was like all children: half make-believe. One day her mother said: “We are going to the mountains, to cut a tree for Christmas.” The mountains were much bigger than Madison had ever imagined. Their car was like an ant crawling up the side of a sugar jar. Finally they stopped. Madison was so excited to see the snow. She ran inside the trees, surprised at how dark it was in the woods. Madison turned around She couldn’t see her mother or father. Her heart started beating faster. She was lost! Madison ran and ran, calling, “Mommy, Daddy!” But the more she ran, the more lost she got. Suddenly she went tumbling down a long white cliff. The earth rose and fell, and she could see nothing but snow. Madison landed in a place where the snow rose over her waist. It took a long time, but she fought her way out into another forest. She was shivering. Night fell. All night Madison walked, touching the dark trees with her bare hands. By the time the sun came up, the shivering stopped. Madison began to feel very warm. The snow looked soft, and comforting. Madison wanted to lie down and sleep. She stumbled, her head hitting a tree as she fell. Then everything was white.”

So there you have it. Madison’s family was only looking to experience this once in their life . . . .

Instead we fast-forward three years to the present where their daughter is still missing (and presumed dead). Enter Naomi – her expertise is finding lost children. Things don’t always end well, Naomi has found her fair share of dead children and she definitely doesn’t presume the families who hire her are innocent.

I often hold back on reading a book my friends all loved for fear of being the voice of reason odd one out. This time I’m late to the party simply because it took forever for my turn to come up at the library. If there’s one thing I’ve learned to pay attention to it’s Shelby screaming at me when it comes to mysteries. She, like many of us, reads a lot of them, but her bullshit detector is pretty spot-on and she can usually tell me what I’ll love or hate. And this one????

Maybe the best thing about The Child Finder is that you never feel like you’re wasting time. It doesn’t have many pages, you are well aware of what is going on with the child and the writing is succinct. But you don’t feel cheated either. All of the characters are fully developed and the goings on are quite believable. In a world filled with novels where a “superbadawful” has happened to a main character who then can ONLY find healing in the form of a magic penis (or vagina, as it appears my currently reading selection is going to do), it was quite the change of pace to have an admittedly broken lead who was a badass boss despite being damaged.

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