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The Child Finder

Updated: Mar 29, 2020

I decided to add The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld to my April reading list because a few bookstagrammers I have met keep raving to me about it.  I have had this on my shelf since last fall, where I purchased it at a used book sale at work.  When I first saw it, the synopsis drew me in, but it hung out on my bookshelf until now.  I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner.  Rene Denfeld is a beautiful writer.  This is a psychological thriller and Denfeld's writing is a combination of poetic and chilling.  I just ordered another one of her books, The Enchanted, and I am bumping that one up to the top of my stack.

The Child Finder is about Naomi, a private investigator known as "the child finder," specializes in finding lost children.  Naomi's past unfolds as she investigates the case of Madison Culver, a young girl who went missing three years prior while looking for an Christmas tree with her family.  Madison was five at the time, so present day, Madison is eight.  That is, if she is even alive.  Naomi has found many children over the years, some happened to still be alive, while others were passed away, but she helps give these families closure and picks up where the police left off.

Naomi is a complex character with a backstory of her own.  She was a missing child at one point in her life.  Though the story does not unfold all of the details, but the reader catches glimpses of her past life.  She escaped "monsters" and was taken in by a foster mother.  While Naomi investigates Madison's case, she uncovers memories of her childhood, long forgotten.

The reader learns early on, that Madison is alive.  Shortly after she was lost, she was found by someone in the woods.  Madison is a sweet mannered little girl, who has a fascination with fairy tales.  These fairy tales help her process the experiences she faces and keep her alive.

The fairy tale references add so much to this book.  The Child Finder is a suspense/thriller, but at times it read like a fairy tale.  I loved learning about Naomi and felt emotionally connected to her character.  The way the book ends, I feel as though there could be a sequal.  I learned that this will be a series and another book is coming out Fall 2019.  I cannot wait.  Rene Denfeld is memorizing and I felt entranced by her writing.  I give The Child Finder ★★★★.5 and highly recommend it if you enjoy psychological thrillers.

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