2019 · Blog Tour · Book review

The Child Before by Michael Scanlon @MScanlonAuthor @bookouture

Happy Friday everyone, I hope you’re all looking forward to the weekend. It’s a pleasure today to be sharing my review for The Child Before by Michael Scanlon as part of the blog tour. My thanks to Noelle at Bookouture for the invite and for the e-copy via NetGalley.

About the book

She began to sing, the girl. Her voice was soft, so soft it was almost of the wind. It was a lullaby. She cradled her arms, rocking them gently back and forth. As if she was holding a baby. But she was not. Her arms were empty.

On a cold morning a cyclist finds the brutally-slaughtered body of a woman in her car, on a remote lane leading to the long-abandoned Irish village of Kelly’s Forge.

But when Detective Finnegan Beck arrives from the nearby town of Cross Beg to investigate he notices there’s a baby’s seat in the back of the car. A bottle of baby’s milk lying in the footwell. And no child.

Little Róisín isn’t the first child to go missing from that same remote location though. There was another baby girl, taken more than fifty years before, who was never found. Has too much time passed for there to be a connection, or does something – or someone – link these two crimes?

Beck claims he does not want to stay in Cross Beg. His heart is back in Dublin, with the woman he loves. But, knowing that a child’s life depends on him changes things. He knows he has to find the missing baby girl. Because if he doesn’t, he fears there’s a chance everyone will give up the baby for dead, just like they did before…

This dark, twisted page turner will keep you up all night. Perfect for fans of LJ Ross, Patricia Gibney, and Rachel Caine.

The Child Before is available to purchase now – Amazon | Apple Books | Kobo | Googleplay

My thoughts

Having read Michael Scanlons first book Where She Lies and enjoying it, I jumped at the chance to read the second book in the series featuring Detective Finnegan Beck and set in the Galway town of Cross Beg.

The first few chapters alternate between present time and 1954 and blooming heck it gave me the shivers.

Present time the body of a woman is found in her car, brutally murdered and when a car seat is spotted in the back and a baby bottle lying in the footwell is found its soon realised a baby had been in the car and the hunt begins for little Róisín.

1954 and we’re taken to Kelly’s Forge where a young boy cowers under a blanket as his mother is questioned by the police about the disappearance of his little sister, covered in blood his mother talks of the monster that took her baby and as the boy watches his mother is taken away deemed mad.

Both stories had me totally gripped, any mysteries involving children always has me on the edge of my seat and The Child Before had me nearly on the floor and turning the pages at lightening speed.

I’ve found with this authors story telling that you really get a feel for all the characters, each one has a story or a secret and even if they aren’t a main character you still get a sense of who they are. It’s very cleverly written and certainly pulls you in.

Beck, well what can I say about him? He’s a likeable character, but a mysterious one and likes the drink a bit too much although he is now attending AA meetings and seems to be on top of it. I feel like the author is holding something back though with this character, like there’s more to tell about him and I like that, it’s exciting to think there’s more to find out about Beck.

I really enjoyed reading The Child Before, it’s filled with beautiful if not eery descriptions at times and gives you a real sense of the setting. It’s also filled with mystery and with plenty red herrings it wasn’t easy to figure out the who’s and why’s and it turned out to be quite a surprise.

I’ll definitely be recommending The Child Before and i’d say it could be read as a stand-alone but it would be helpful to read Where She Lies first, not only do you get a better insight into the characters that way but it’s a blooming good read too.

So I’m definitely looking forward to reading more from Michael Scanlon, hopefully soon.

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About the author

Michael Scanlon is a civilian employee of the An Garda Siochana (the Irish police force), but a life threatening undiagnosed illness that struck while travelling in Spain in 2014 has rendered him on long term sick leave. He is married to Eileen and has a daughter, Sarah. He lives in the countryside outside the town of Ballina in County Mayo. The town has arguably the best salmon river in Europe, called the Moy.

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3 thoughts on “The Child Before by Michael Scanlon @MScanlonAuthor @bookouture

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