Little Darlings – Melanie Golding


“Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Grimms’ Fairy Tales, and Aimee Molloy’s The Perfect Mother.

Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.

A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley—to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.

Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.

Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking—and rechecking—your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.

My Review:  I had heard lots of things about this book on Twitter and was delighted to get an early copy through Netgalley. My thanks to the publishers.

Little Darlings starts off, in my opinion, at a slow pace. Building up the tension and drawing the reader in gradually. I’m not a fan of fantasy, fairytales or folklore normally, but this book has possibly changed my mind.

Lauren is a new mother to twin boys, emotional, exhausted and hormonal she is “visited” in the hospital by a woman who wants to take her twins and replace them with her own. Reporting this to the police, no one believes her and Lauren’s mental health and sanity is now being questioned.

Without giving away the storyline, up to this point in the book it was a standard psychological thriller but then something happens and it freaked me the f*ck out. From that point onwards the book becomes creepy, downright disturbing and very, very dark. There’s something unsettling about babies behaving in a way which is unnatural and frightening and when there are twins involved it becomes doubly disturbing.

Overall, I thought this was a creepy and dark story which was unsettling but very addictive.

About the Author:  Melanie Golding is a graduate of the MA in creative writing program at Bath Spa University, with distinction. She has been employed in many occupations including farm hand, factory worker, childminder and music teacher. Throughout all this, because and in spite of it, there was always the writing. In recent years she has won and been shortlisted in several local and national short story competitions. Little Darlings is her first novel, and has been optioned for screen by Free Range Films, the team behind the adaptation of My Cousin Rachel

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