Child Taken – the debut thriller everyone is talking about was released 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”

“Each step the authour takes you into their world, and what an amazing journey that’s been.  The feelings they invoked kept me reading into the night”  Natalie Wing, Amazon Review

“This is a book that grabbed me from the first page all the way through to the last.” – Mrs am

“This is a compelling and intriging thriller, a fantastic debut novel. Loved it!” – Mrs S Pat 

“Very moving, very well written, very beleivable. More please”  – JA Malloy

“I lost a day of my life  reading this book, couldn’t put it down.” – Suziesouth

“Loved this book….so much I stayed up all night reading it” – Jackie Playdon 

“One of the best books I’ve read in a long while” – Amazon Customer 

“I enjoyed this book from the first page to the last” – J A Malloy

“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

“When I realised Child Taken was Darren Young’s debut novel, you could have knocked me down with a feather.  Incredibly thought provoking. A brilliant new voice in the genre” –

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 talented 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

“If you enjoy a twisting, turning psychological thriller then read this. you won’t be disappointed. I couldnt put the book down”  Kindle Customer

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

“I turned to the first page and two days later I’d finished the book. I can tell you it’s worth every. Single. Penny’ – Dan E (Amazon review)

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

“Britain’s answer to Linwood Barclay and Harlan Coben. A riveting page turner – this book will hook you from the first page” – Gail Marie Mitchell

“I have not slept. I could not put the book down. Amazing till the end. A brilliant debut novel” – Amazon Customer 

“An amazing novel. I read it in two days straight and I’m at a loss as to what to do now I’ve finished’ – Annalise, via website 

“One of the best books I’ve read in a long while. Written in  a manner that keeps you intrigued right until the end” – Amazon Customer

“I reckon this is a top pick on the thriller shelves. It suffocated me with its chilling drama. I adored it. This is an author to watch” – Charlene (Amazon)

“Wow…despite reading many great books this year, I think Child Taken might just be my personal favourite of 2017! It could be a model for how to write the perfect book!” –

“Utterly brilliant read. A must-read for anyone into who dunnits. Some fabulous twists and turns that keep you guessing”  Lisa Haig

“I have been so bored of late with the same old types of books. This is a breath of fresh air. I am writing this at 3am, I could not have gone to sleep without knowing what happened at the end” – Kay (Amazon)

“This is definitley a 10++. I absolutely loved this book and it will go down as as one of my favourite books of 2018” – fancydancer

“You are left in suspense at the end of every chapter and they all feel important to the story, something other books often lack” – Katie (Real Readers)

“This is simply the most stunning, gripping, awesome book I’ve ever read” Paul W (Amazon Review)

“I loved the way the author held my attention, it felt like I was watching a film. Darren Young, you are guilty of making me neglect my home and family (joking!).” – Amazon Customer

“Simply amazing and page turning. One of the best books I have read in years – a must read! But not when you have to get up in the morning!” – Catherine Hall

“Thoroughly good book that had me gripped from the start. Can’t wait to read another of Darren Young’s novels” – Kindle Customer via Amazon

“Great read! One of the best of read in ages. Loved it” – Amazon Customer

“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

“If you read one book this summer, make sure it’s Darren Young’s debut novel, Child Taken” – James R (Amazon 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

“One of the best books I’ve read. Gripping thriller. Gutted I finished it in two days” – Anne Haug (Amazon Review)

“Outstanding book. Gripping all the way through, my wife and I couldn’t put the book down. Would make an incredible film” – Amazon Customer

“I so enjoyed reading this book, I couldn’t stop reading as the more you read the more intriging and exciting it became. More please” – Jay (Amazon)


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!


Life Of Writers Interview – 31 July 2017

Life Of Writers Interview – 31 July 2017

  Read my interview with .... is utterly proud to let you all read the inspiring author interview with Darren Young. He released his debut novel Child Taken on 18 May 2017 by Red Door publishing...

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