I’m delighted to be sharing my review of “The Secret Child” by Caroline Mitchell. One of my favourite authors, she just keeps delivering tightly plotted, jaw-dropping and reads that keep you up way past your bedtime!
Thanks to the author, publisher, and Netgalley for the review copy.
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
DI Amy Winter knows evil. She’s lived through it.
Four-year-old Ellen is snatched by a stranger in the dead of night. Her devastated mother, Nicole, receives four identical phials and a threatening note in a familiar scrawl that chills her to the bone. But she always knew this would happen. She’s been expecting it for years…
According to the note, one of the phials is poisoned. Nicole is given a deadly challenge: if she drinks one, the sadistic kidnapper will notify the police of Ellen’s location. The sender claims to be Luka Volkov but Luka is supposed to be dead, killed long ago in a fire that haunts all those involved.
DI Amy Winter is still reeling from the discovery that she is the daughter of a serial killer, and her childhood trauma only makes her more determined to bring Ellen home. When another child is taken, Amy finds herself in a race against time. To rescue the children, must she seek help from the one person she wants to forget…?
I love a prologue especially when it is one which sets the scene and grabs you and this one did just that. A four-year-old child, Ellen Curtis, is snatched from the safety of her home and right away it becomes clear that she will not be the last.
And so Amy Winters is back. The Secret Child is the 2nd in the series and can be read as a stand-alone. However, you seriously want to know Amy’s back story so read Truth and Lies first (You can find my review here)
DCI Pike, Amy’s boss and she don’t have the strongest relationship but the two women rub along with a streak of competitiveness keeping both on their toes. Amy is tasked with heading up the missing child investigation, which she assumes is a kidnapping given the status of her family. Incidents involving children are close to her heart and Amy is determined to find the girl before it’s too late. The Secret Child will discover just how much Amy can trust Pike and those around her as her relationships with her colleagues and friends are called to task.
Once again Caroline Mitchell marries past and present effortlessly to bring readers a nail-biting chiller of a read. Without giving away any spoilers, Amy’s own past is never far behind her and this case is no different as she struggles to let go of her own demons in her battle to save Ellen. Her birth mother, Lillian Grimes, continues to exert her power over Amy. This is a fascinating concept and one that keeps me on the edge of my seat as I am desperate to uncover what the final outcome will be.
Crossing the time span from now to a poverty-stricken family in Russia in the 1980s, ethics, and psychology are explored alongside coercion and control within relationships.
Amy’s internal turmoil and conflict are agonizing in this novel and it gave a real insight into her character. As a reader I found myself drawn to her, I empathised with her while the same time feeling frustrated at the barriers she put up. I connected with her on many levels and find her an intriguing character to read about.
The Secret Child is full of twists, turns, and dark delights. It kept me hooked throughout and definitely kept me reading way past my bedtime. And that ending! WTF! Caroline Mitchell, I need the next installment now!
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About the author:
USA Today and International #1 Bestselling Author. Shortlisted by the International Thriller Awards for best ebook 2017.
Over half a million books sold.
Caroline originates from Ireland and now lives with her family in a village on the coast of Essex. A former police detective, she has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high-risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. She now writes full time.
Caroline writes psychological and crime thrillers. The most recent, Silent Victim reached No.1 in the Amazon charts in the UK, USA and Australia. It has been described as ‘brilliantly gripping and deliciously creepy’.
Set in Notting Hill, London, her new DI Amy Winter thriller, Truth and Lies, is published by Thomas & Mercer.
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