Friday 3 December 2021

The Replacement - Melanie Golding

When a small child is found wandering alone, the local shopkeepers call the authorities immediately. Twenty minutes later, the girl’s mother turns up, panicked and distraught. It doesn't take long to clear things up, and mother and daughter are soon reunited and sent on their way.

Miles away, the body of a man is discovered, floating in a bathtub, but the most surprising discovery of all is that he isn't dead. Despite his injuries, he is very much alive.

Two seemingly unrelated events. But as DS Harper begins to investigate, disturbing truths start to come to light that connect the man to the mother and child, and suddenly it’s not clear where the danger truly lies. Harper must find out, and quickly. Because someone, or something, is closing in and she needs to uncover the truth before it’s too late…

Weaving together the trademark folklore inspiration that readers loved in Little Darlings, with the procedural narrative force of a brilliant mystery, this is the excellent and unnerving new novel from Melanie Golding.

What did I think?

I absolutely loved Melanie Golding's debut, Little Darlings, so I was thrilled to bits to be chosen to take part in the Tandem Collective readalong for her new book, The Replacement.  With a mix of folklore, thriller and police procedural, this is a fast-paced read that will shock and surprise the reader and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The start of the novel is fantastic and it hooked me immediately as you know that something is not quite right and there's something darker hidden beneath the surface.  As if I wasn't hooked enough, a man is found barely clinging on to life and it's clear that it has something to do with the reunited mother and daughter.  The police investigation becomes even more intriguing when the lead investigator tries to hide her conflict of interest.  What a tangled web we must unravel...

I couldn't read fast enough to discover how events played out and Melanie Golding very cleverly misdirects the reader on several occasions so you think you have it all worked out but you really don't.  Some things didn't surprise me, as I'd read Little Darlings, but it didn't prevent me from enjoying the story.  The writing is beautiful, creating layer upon layer of intrigue that must be peeled away gradually to reveal every secret hidden within the pages.

A wonderfully dark and haunting story, The Replacement is intriguing, compelling and hugely enjoyable.  If you're looking for a crime thriller with a difference, then look no further. 

I received a gifted ARC to read and review for the readalong and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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