Child Taken – the debut thriller is out on 18 May 2017

‘How could such a thing happen?
But it did happen.
I wasn’t one of the others, observing.
It happened to me.’

One hot summer’s day, two-year-old Jessica Preston disappears from the beach. The police are convinced she drowned, but Sandra Preston won’t give up hope that her daughter is still alive. After all, a mother’s instinct is never wrong.

Is it?

Twenty years later, another child goes missing, and Sandra is approached by a young journalist who raises questions about what really happened to Jessica Preston all those years ago. But when the journalist discovers someone with an explosive secret, it threatens not only to reveal what’s been covered up for so long, but puts both their lives in danger.

What they’re saying about Child Taken…

“OK. I’m going to say it: this is the best thriller I’ve ever read. Full stop. Darren Young has such a flawless way with words” Books Of All Kinds

“As debuts go, this is pretty spectacular; it must be one of the best debuts I’ve ever read – impossible to put down”

“A book that stands out from the crowd. A natural storyteller that has such an engaging writing style, I could lose myself in his words all day. Definitely a name to look out for in the future” – mychestnutreadingtree

“A tense and beautifully addictive thriller – one of those books that you just get sucked into and don’t want to  stop reading. A really excellent read – recommended” LizLovesBooks

“It has quickly become one of my favourite books of the year. Is as close to unputdownable as books come.”

“A terrific, gripping, page-turning debut by a telented new voice. A hell of a debut” – The Book Review Cafe

“I’m so addicted. It is so thrilling! Very unique!. You will want to read this book. I promise!” – DayDreamin Star

“It is amazing. I would recommend to all fans of crime fiction. I can easily see Darren Young becoming a star in the genre in the future”annebonnybook

“An absorbing story and real page-turner. A really skillfully plotted debut novel”  Short Book and Scribes

“An enjoyable read that offers the reader something a little different from other novels featuring a similar premise’ – Jo’s Book Blog

“Child Taken is an impressive debut which stands out amongst a growing number of pyschological thrillers” – Portable Magic

“Wow. Wholly gripping, incredibly enticing and shocking novel that looks at the theme in a completely new way. From beginning to end, Young had me hypnotised” – Hummingbird Reviews

“This is a stunning debut novel which is not afraid of tackling a difficult subject. It is exceptionally plotted out Have Books Will 

“Oh my, I loved those closing chapters. I was completely hypnotised by what I was reading and there was no way I was going to put Child Taken down”

“An intriguing and complex thriller. An accomplished debut” Random Things Through My Letterbox

“I was hooked the entire time and I recommend you pick this book up. It’s a stunning debut thriller that will keep you enthralled” – Words Of A Paige

“A fantastic debut – you will not think that this is a debut novel, such is the storytelling and characterisation” – Go Buy The Book 

“My only disappointment was discovering that this is Darren Young’s debut novel – I loved it so much that I wanted to find out what else he had written. Definitely a new talent to keep an eye on” – Madhouse Family Reviews

“The start of this book sucked me in and two days later it spat me out. I was so enthralled in what was happening that I just couldn’t put it down”  Broadbean Books

“I really enjoyed Child Taken – by halfway through I was certainly ‘hooked’ – and it’s an impressive debut novel.” – Read & Review

“This book reminded me of Gone Girl. I can easily see this book being made into a successful movie. An excellent read” – Sabrina Fancy



Welcome to my website. I’m an author and my debut thriller, Child Taken is released by Red Door Books on 18 May 2017.

Take a look around. You’ll find more information on the book, me and the latest news and updates. Click here to sign up to my newsletter for updates.


For me, writing a book has been a long and challenging process; not exactly what I expected but enjoyable (at times) with a huge learning curve.

I read all the guide books before I started, and along the way, but they don’t tell you everything so in my blog, you can get the full story of my experience and find out what the guide books aren’t telling you!


Q&A With Misti Moo

Q&A With Misti Moo

Misti: Child Taken is available now! It's one of my #5 favourites! Go and get yourself a copy! Q&A: 1. Did you always want to become an author? If not, what made you make the decision to become one? Not an author but I always enjoyed writing and had ambitions to...

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