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Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

Publication date: 02 May 2019

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Are you a Grimm's Fairy Tales fan? If so, this is for you.

Lauren gives birth to twins. While she's still in the hospital, a fairy woman with her own twins comes to her and demands that they switch one the twins, so one of hers will have a chance at a better life. This is fair, she says, this is just. I will make sure he looks the same, and if you don't agree I'll take them both. Lauren refuses, of course, and the woman attacks. While she is able to hide until help arrives, everyone believes that she is crazy, that the stress of the birth has been too much on the woman. If nobody believes her, how will she protect what matters most to her from a figment of her imagination?

The suspense in this novel is intense. As a mother myself, I tore through the pages, demanding safety for Lauren's twins, Riley and Morgan. Would they be taken? When? I was angry at the husband, how could Patrick not believe her? And if he didn't, why didn't he help her more? The only person who seems to believe that there was someone (if not a fairy) who threatened to take her child is a detective, who is told to leave well enough alone and not waste the department's resources on what is "obviously" a mental health case. While half the story is told from Lauren's perspective, the other half is written from Detective Harper's perspective, and I enjoyed her tenacity.

I never post spoilers in my reviews, I consider them more "encouragements to read" than critiques of the author's work, but I feel that I need to say: this story ends like you would expect an ancient fairy folk tale to end. It's not an unhappy ending, but not entirely satisfying either. By the end of the story I was wishing for justice in the form of a truck running over Patrick, and I didn't get it. However, it was a thrilling read, and had just enough magic to keep this fantasy lover hooked!


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