Review: Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

Title: Little Darlings by Melanie Golding
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Supernatural Elements
Length: 315 pages
Book Rating: C+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


“Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Grimms’ Fairy Tales, and Aimee Molloy’s The Perfect Mother.

Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.

A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley—to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.

Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.

Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some of our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking—and rechecking—your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.


Little Darlings by Melanie Golding is an eerie mystery with supernatural elements.

Lauren Tranter has just given birth to twin boys. Following a long labor, a somewhat traumatic birth and little sleep, she is left to care for the boys on her own when her husband, Patrick, leaves for the night. Lauren is completely overwhelmed and exhausted when she is attacked by a crazed woman who tries to steal her newborn babies.  Despite no one believing Lauren’s experience is real, Detective Sergeant Joanna Harper cannot shake the feeling there is something to the new mother’s claims. And a month later, when the twins go missing during an outing, Joanna  keeps digging for answers long after her boss tells her to close the case.  What happened to Lauren’s babies? Is there a sinister reason for what is happening to Lauren? Or is Lauren experiencing postpartum psychosis?

Lauren and Patrick have been happily married for quite some time when the twins are born. Lauren is already aware that Patrick is not exactly the caregiver type, but she is still somewhat stunned when he turns all the childcare and household duties over to her.  She is delighted with her sons, but nursing them around the clock, a lack of sleep and her fear the woman will steal her boys is taking a huge toll on her.  It does not help she has received some odd gifts and she cannot shake the feeling that someone is watching her. Absolutely convinced the woman from the hospital is just waiting for the chance to grab her sons, Lauren locks herself in the bedroom and refuses to step foot outside the house.

At Patrick’s urging, Lauren finally decides there will be no harm in meeting her friends for a few hours in the park. Feeling more like her old self, she is having a wonderful time until a fateful decision turns her world upside down.  Afterwards, she remains certain that something is amiss with her sons. And Lauren is determined to do whatever it takes to right this tragic wrong.

Little Darlings is a clever mystery with a storyline that utilizes some rather dark fairy tales and folklore.  Lauren’s experiences as a new mother are realistically portrayed and her predicament makes it very easy to empathize with her. DS Harper is a fantastic detective who refuses to quit searching for the truth about what happened to Lauren and her sons.  Despite the slow pacing, there is plenty of suspense as Melanie Golding  brings the novel to an exciting yet frustratingly ambiguous conclusion. An intriguing debut that I recommend to readers who enjoy a good mystery with just a touch of the supernatural.

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Filed under Contemporary, Crooked Lane Books, Little Darlings, Melanie Golding, Mystery, Rated C+, Review, Supernatural Elements

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