Little Darlings - Melanie Golding
Reading Challenge Category: Free ARC from NetGalley
THE TWINS ARE CRYING. THE TWINS ARE HUNGRY. LAUREN IS CRYING. LAUREN IS EXHAUSTED. Behind the hospital curtain, someone is waiting . . . After a traumatic birth, 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. But there's nothing on the CCTV. No one remembers seeing a woman come close to Lauren, or her babies. They don't believe anyone was ever there. And yet, Lauren keeps seeing the woman and is convinced her babies are in danger. With every step she takes to keep her children safe, Lauren sinks deeper into paranoia and fear. From the stark loneliness of returning home after birth, to the confines of a psychiatric unit, Lauren’s desperation increases as no one will listen to her. But here’s the question: is she mad, or does she know something we don’t?
Wow, this was absolutely superb! I didn’t really have any preconceptions for this book with not having read any of the author’s work before. It can always be hit and miss when you request a book on NetGalley from a new author. I’d been putting off reading this as I was worried it might be a miss. I shouldn’t have waited as it was more than just a hit! It gripped me and wouldn’t let go; it was so creepy that I was actually afraid to go to sleep after reading it. I kept seeing the woman’s eyes peering through the window (something similar happened to me when I was younger, and I hate having the curtains open when it’s dark!) I don’t have kids of my own, but I still felt the sheer horror of the tale. The whole way through you don’t know if this is a supernatural thriller and what is happening is ‘real’ or whether Lauren is stark raving mad. Even in the end, you still don’t truly know. It leaves you with a million questions and makes you think for quite some time after finishing it. This isn’t a bad thing, as so often I finish a book and forget all about it. I always think the outstanding books are the ones that stay with you afterwards that you can’t get out of your mind! This is one of those books! The citations at the beginning of each chapter made me chuckle as this was undoubtedly paying homage to the MA the author had just finished. Once I realised she was a recent graduate, these made so much more sense! I’m gutted to discover that this is the author’s debut book as it means I can’t read any more of her books yet!