REVIEW: The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld

The Child FinderTitle: The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld
Pages: 288
Published by: Orion Publishing Group
Publication date: 11th January 2018
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Format: Hardback
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Naomi Cottle finds missing children. When the police have given up their search and an investigation stalls, families call her. She possesses a rare, intuitive sense, born out of her own experience, that allows her to succeed when others have failed.

Young Madison Culver has been missing for three years. She vanished on a family trip to the mountainous forests of Oregon, where they’d gone to cut down a tree for Christmas. Soon after she disappeared, blizzards swept the region and the authorities presumed she died from exposure.

But Naomi knows that Madison isn’t dead. As she relentlessly pursues the truth behind Madison’s disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce defences that have protected her for so long. If she finds this child, will Naomi ultimately unlock the secrets of her own life?

My review:

A huge thank you to Orion Publishing Group for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

I was really intrigued by this book because the cover is absolutely beautiful and I loved how it was described as a haunting novel. I’ve read a lot of books about private investigators finding missing people and I loved how Naomi only found missing children. It was very interesting reading about all the different cases she has taken on and how she first found herself in this particular career.

The story is told from the point of view of Naomi and Madison. Naomi’s chapters switch between the past and the present day in her search for Madison. There are a lot of questions surrounding her childhood, who she is, where she came from, etc. She doesn’t remember anything about her childhood. She only remembers when she was found and placed in a foster home. I loved the scenes where she looked back on her foster life because they were full of the most heartwarming scenes. There’s a lot of questions surrounding Naomi’s childhood and she has no real sense of identity. As she begins searching for Madison, she has dreams of her childhood and running through a field. She hopes that by remembering this dream she can finally piece her life together and find out more about where she came from. This is the first book in a series so I’m looking forward to learning more about who Naomi is.

Madison’s chapters start from when she first went missing and work there way up to the present day when Naomi is searching for her. I really enjoyed having the book told from two points of view and it flowed together nicely. It was so strange reading from the point of view of an adult and then switching to a child. Madison’s chapters were childlike as you would expect but they were also very peculiar. She has had her childhood snatched from her and has been locked away for three years. It was strange seeing how she evolved in the three years she was held captive. She was a strangely strong-willed child and had a lot of determination. I don’t know how she didn’t go completely insane but children are supposedly better at coping with things I think. She has a strange coping mechanism and it was really interesting how she created a whole other personality for herself. She almost shed her skin and stepped into a new one. It was quite fascinating to read.

This isn’t a very long book, it’s not even 300 pages but I felt it dragged in a lot of places. Every time Naomi searched for Madison she came up blank and had nothing for the parents. It felt very repetitive and I just wanted something to happen. Madison’s chapters felt like a filler since the case had stalled and was going nowhere. In between her search for Madison she also took on another case which she quickly solved. Again, I felt like this was a filler for the lack of information on Madison’s whereabouts. I felt like she didn’t throw all she had into the case and was doing a lot of other things when she should have been looking for Madison.

After dragging a lot the ending finally got exciting when Naomi realised that Madison was still alive and that she was able to find her. It was resolved very quickly though. The ending was very sad and I found myself pitying the kidnapper. You find out that he also had a very tragic life and when you found out who he was it was very heartbreaking. Don’t get me wrong, it’s no excuse for what he did to Madison but it was still really sad. It was so amazing though seeing Madison finally reunited with her family again after three years.

Overall this book was haunting, heartbreaking but also heartwarming. It was filled with scenes of sadness and scenes of love. There was a lot of uplifting moments despite all the bad ones. Naomi has a very interesting story to tell and I look forward to hearing more of her story in the second book.

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