Child Taken is the brand new, debut thriller from Darren Young.
One summer’s day, a young Jessica Preston disappears from the beach where she was playing with her family. The police say she drowned, but her mother thinks otherwise. She thinks she was taken. 20 years later, another child goes missing, prompting a young journalist to uncover the mystery behind what really happened to Jessica. She finds someone with an explosive secret, which not only threatens to reveal the truth, but puts lives in danger.
After reading Gone Girl and The Girl On The Train last year, I’ve really grown to enjoy mystery and crime thrillers, and so it was a pleasure to read Child Taken, which follows a similar narrative style.
The chapters were a short length, which kept the pace moving, and helped easily switch between the two narrative perspectives of our female protagonists: Danni and Laura. This style heavily reminded me of The Girl On The Train, which tells the narrative through the eyes of Rachel, Anna, and Megan, and I liked this.
I particularly liked Laura, particularly because she works as a journalist, which is a position I’d like to be in myself one day, and the fact she uses her journalism to uncover a horrible secret reminds me of another Gillian Flynn novel, Sharp Objects, which is another favourite thriller of mine.
At various points in the book, there was definite, and well-crafted suspense – one Goodreads user said Child Taken ‘sucked me in and … spat me out’ – and I can definitely see its potential to become a book that people struggle to put down.
However, although some parts were genuinely thrilling, I felt other parts were slightly lacking – introductions of new characters were often followed by lots of background information which I found a bit unnecessary.
I really enjoyed Child Taken – by halfway through I was certainly “hooked” – and it’s an impressive debut novel. In places, it could do with a polish, but I think it has brilliant potential.
Star Rating: 4/5 Stars
Child Taken will be available to buy as a paperback on Amazon UK from May 2017.