I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this debut thriller by Darren Young from Real Readers.

Child Taken tells the story of a young journalist who uncovers the unsolved story of two year old Jessica Prestons abduction. When the story hits headlines again, the case resonates with Dani, who suspects that her parents are hiding a dark secret from her, and she begins to wonder if she could be the missing girl. Both women work together to try and solve the mystery and determine what really happened to Jessica Preston and if she is closer to home than they could ever have imagined.

This is one of the most well-written, gripping debut novels I have read. There are plenty of twists and turns which leave you unable to put the book down. I did not see the massive twist at the end of the book in a million years! The book is based on the sensitive issue of a young child being taken whilst her parents sat only a few minutes away. Young handles this topic brilliantly and also gives an insight into the media’s inner workings during a child abduction.

The chapters are short and are based on multiple characters viewpoints and this allows for the narrative to be told in a punchy and relative way and also means you are left in suspense at the end of pretty much every chapter.

The main characters are well developed and I found each one easy to relate to. The abductor has a dedicated chapter told from their viewpoint at the beginning of each part, this gives the reader an insight into their mindset without ever giving away any clues as to their identity.

Whilst the book is quite long it does a great job of not being over descriptive or dragging out the plot longer than necessary. Every chapter feels important to the story, something which other books often lack.

I am looking forward to the next book by Darren Young and place Child Taken very high up on my favourite reads list.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys thrillers or mysteries, particularly those with a keen interest in missing persons fiction. In my opinion, the book would also appeal to those who usually don’t read thrillers as it is not necessarily frightening or violent (something which can put people off thrillers). If you are looking for a good read that keeps you on your toes until the very end then Child Taken is for you.


Review on Amazon.co.uk by Katie (Real Readers)

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