As soon as I began reading Child Taken by Darren Young I was drawn into this novel instantly. The first thing I noticed was the fascinating structure of this story, and how incredibly enticing I found it to be. Readers are taken back and forth between the past and the present, but also the narrative is switched repeatedly, leaving us beside different characters in entirely different circumstances as the novel begins to unravel. I loved this because I couldn’t wait to see how these characters would eventually find themselves linked.

I couldn’t wait to see how Young would manipulate these people into crossing each other’s path and wondered what would happen once they finally did. The story itself is centred around the day when two-year-old Jessica Preston goes missing, and the events that lead up to that, as well as the events that follow. Young’s writing style truly packs a punch. It is sharp and neat and ensures that the pace moves along at a fantastic speed that had me reluctant to put this novel down unless I absolutely had to.

Being able to see this novel from so many narratives/perspectives and with the different characters who I quickly got to know was incredibly satisfying for me as the reader. I suppose it’s because I was given access to the truth before the characters themselves were, which left me wanting to scream into the pages, to let them know what really happened on the beach that day. I was completely immersed within this dark and gripping novel, and I found myself thinking about it when I was wasn’t reading it.

Young ensures that his readers are taken on a turbulent trip as the past begins to catch up with the present. It was action-packed, constantly keeping me on my toes and allowing me glimpses into these secret lives that I wanted to tear apart oh so badly so that the truth could be revealed.

Child Taken by Darren Young was a wholly gripping, enticing and shocking novel that looks at the theme of missing children in fiction in a completely new way. From beginning to end, Young had me hypnotised throughout this novel and I really cannot wait to see what the author has up his sleeve next.


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