Title: The Child Finder
Author: Rene Denfeld
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 harrowing 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. Can she find the child – and also find out why this particular case is stirring the shadows of her own memories? Could her future be bound to this girl in a way she doesn’t understand?
The Child Finder is a well-written, atmospheric novel with a bit of a twist.
The plot is intriguing, with a few different strands to it – we hear from this mysterious ‘Snow Girl’, Naomi’s own thoughts and feelings and past life, and some of the other families Naomi has tried to help.
I loved the alternative narratives and the book’s twist on the usual police/ detective novel; there was more of the thoughts and feelings of people, not just the procedure of finding them – though that is in here too. Naomi is a unique kind of ‘detective’ in that she ‘finds’ children – having had some experience of being a lost child herself. I found some of the novel, around the middle, to be a little slow and at times found my attention wandering, but the pace picked up again towards the end when I was really eager to find out whether Naomi would be able to find little Madison. Some sentences did feel a little overdramatic in the way they were written but I felt that most of the book was just right.
There are plenty of emotive parts and some uncomfortable scenes which adds to the tension, and I really liked Naomi, though she had her own problems and faults – I’d like to read more about her in future books!
Many thanks to Orion for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.