Give Me The Child By Mel McGrath
Dr Cat Lupo aches for another child, despite the psychosis which marked her first pregnancy. So when Ruby Winter, a small girl in need of help, arrives in the middle of the night, it seems like fate. A devastating secret. But as the events behind Ruby’s arrival emerge – her mother’s death, her connection to Cat – Cat questions whether her decision to help Ruby has put her own daughter at risk. Do we get the children we deserve? Cat’s research tells her there’s no such thing as evil. Her history tells her she’s paranoid. But her instincts tell her different. And as the police fight to control a sudden spate of riots raging across the capital, Cat faces a race against time of her own.
I sat reading this book one day and was unable to put it down until I reached the final page. Cleverly written with quite an unreliable narrative, this book made for gripping reading.
The story is seen solely through the eyes of child psychologist Cat Lupo, who is woken in the dead of night by the police with a little girl called Ruby claiming to be her husband’s Tom’s daughter. Shocked and hurt at the deceit and the betrayal, Cat wants nothing to do with the strange girl, but as the little girl’s mother is dead, Cat and Tom become her guardians. Already parents to Freya, who is delighted to have a new sister, they reluctantly try to move on, but there is something about Ruby that Cat can’t quite put her finger on. Having worked with troubled children and her own battles with mental illness, she identifies something in the little girl, something she doesn’t like.
From the every start of this story, the reader is kept on their toes. Cat is a mysterious character, with a background of her own, that she likes to keep hidden. She sees similarities in Ruby from herself and she tries to get close to the child, but Ruby keeps pushing her away. Strange things happen and even Freya, a happy, boisterous child seems withdrawn since the new arrival. Cat’s relationship with Tom also becomes turbulent, he also seems unstable and shows little remorse for his actions, which really makes him an unlikeable character.
The story is riddled with strong personalities, all battling demons and disorders and for me, I found this particularly interesting. In her role as a child psychologist, Cat has to deal with many troubled children and it’s how she identities with them, that I found to be quite fascinating.
The story is filled with many twists and turns that does make for shocking reading, but what’s particularly gripping, is the sense of paranoia that is apparent from the very start. As strange things start to happen in Cat’s life, she and the reader begin to doubt her sanity and it’s these doubts that are both unsettling and addictive.
With a chilling plot and an atmospheric setting, ‘Give Me The Child’, is a fast paced psychological thriller, that made for compulsive reading with a shocking ending that you will never expect!
You can buy Give Me the Child from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.