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.
I went into this thinking that it was going to be another police procedural with a possible hint of psychological thriller thrown in. Boy, was I ever wrong. Little Darlings is dark, exciting, and one heck of a thrill ride. The best part is that you really have no idea which reality is the true one. Is Lauren really only exhausted or did faeries try to steal her infant twins?
Lauren Tranter is an interesting character. From all accounts, she’s a reasonable, rational person. That she presents herself so normally in the beginning is the key to everything – you want to believe she’s not losing her mind. But there are little bits and pieces dropped here and there that make you begin to wonder. Is she really as stable as she wants us to believe?
DS Joanna Harper has issues of her own, but she does her best to keep them firmly in the past. However, she does make some impulsive decisions that tend to get her into trouble with her boss. I liked how she didn’t automatically write Lauren’s 999 call from the hospital off as a mental health issue. Sometimes there’s more at work than is obvious. I do hope that there is another book in this series with Harper, because I would like to see her grow and become a better detective.
Little Darlings has something for everyone. An intense, creepy mystery with threads of dark faery tales woven into it. Fast paced and gripping, I’d highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good mystery wrapped in a bit of paranormal possibility. The addition of bits of folklore heading each chapter only made the story more intriguing for me. Watching it all come together in the end was worth the wait.
*Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for a fair review.