‘Little Darlings’ is Melane Golding’s debut novel.
Lauren is alone on the maternity ward with her new-born twins when a terrifying encounter in the middle of the night leaves her convinced someone is trying to steal her children. Lauren, desperate with fear, locks herself and her sons in the bathroom until the police arrive to investigate. When DS Joanna Harper picks up the list of overnight incidents that have been reported, she expects the usual calls from drunks and wrong numbers. But then a report of an attempted abduction catches her eye. The only thing is that it was flagged as a false alarm just fifteen minutes later. Harper’s superior officer tells her there’s no case here, but Harper can’t let it go so she visits the hospital anyway. There’s nothing on the CCTV. No one believes this woman was ever there. And yet, Lauren claims that she keeps seeing the woman and that her babies are in danger, and soon Harper is sucked into Lauren’s spiral of fear. But how far will they go to save children who may not even be in danger?
I started this book late on a Saturday evening and I couldn’t put it down until I had reached the final page at 2.30 on Sunday morning. Even at that, I had to leave the book in another room as it’s such an unsettling and creepy tale.
The story is seen from the perspective of new mother of twins Lauren and the police detective Harper. Whilst in hospital after giving birth to twins, Lauren is convinced that someone is after her twins and then one day, her fear is confirmed when they are snatched away. Safely returned, Lauren is adamant that the babies are not hers, beginning a quest into proving her sanity and finding her babies. DS Harper is interested in the case, not only is she questioning Lauren’s sanity, but she’s also beginning to see things differently from the new mother’s perspective, making her doubt everything that she believed to be real.
This book has to be one of the most unsettling stories that I’ve read in a while, filled with paranoia and suspense, it was impossible to put down. With the story written from both perspectives, we see the struggles of the first time mother, the tiredness and the fear that they could be taken away. She’s paranoid and convinced that someone is watching her every move and after since the night in the hospital when a woman tried to take her babies, she’s terrified that it will happen again. Meanwhile DS Harper is the calmness and the logic in the story, she understands Lauren’s concerns but as the story progresses, we see her opinions change and this makes for extremely interesting reading.
This story isn’t just a thriller, it’s also part fairy tale and that really does make for creepy reading which really did unsettle me. ‘Little Darlings’ is a cleverly written tale of a mother’s nightmare filled with drama, paranoia and an eerie atmosphere from the very first page, this book is a stunner of a debut and shows the length a mother will go to prove her love.
You can pre-order ‘Little Darlings’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 2nd May 2019.