One summer’s day, two year old Jessica Preston disappears from a beach. She’s believed to have drowned but her mother, Sandra, is convinced her daughter was taken.

Twenty years later, another child goes missing and Laura, a journalist, stumbles upon the case of Jessica Preston, who was never found. Laura soon finds herself in way over her head but she’s determined to see things through, no matter the danger she’s putting herself and her family in.

When I realised Child Taken was Darren Young’s debut novel, you could have knocked me over with a feather. This psychological thriller does what so little of them in this genre have done lately. It’s different and like other reviewers have said before me, it stands out from the crowd.

From the very beginning of the book, you know Jessica was taken. That in itself is a novel way of telling a story. Each part of the story kicks off with the point of view of the man who’s raising Jessica and the mother who lost her. I could have read an entire book with just those chapters as they are incredibly thought-provoking. This is one of those books that will keep you up at night as you keep going over things in your head, asking yourself what you would have done.

What we have here, is an incredibly well constructed plot that has you flipping the pages in a desperate attempt to find out the truth. It’s a harrowing story of how the kidnapping of a child affects everyone. And even if, like me, you figure out where it’s going, it in no way detracts from the tense ride this story takes you on.

Darren Young is a brilliant new voice in the genre of psychological thrillers and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!


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