Give Me the Child
An unexpected visitor.Dr Cat Lupo aches for another child, despite the psychosis which marked her first pregnancy. So when Ruby Winter, a small girl in need of help, arrives in the middle of the night, it seems like fate.A devastating secret.But as the events behind Ruby’s arrival emerge – her mother’s death, her connection to Cat – Cat questions whether her decision to help Ruby has put her own daughter at risk.Do we get the children we deserve?Cat’s research tells her there’s no such thing as evil. Her history tells her she’s paranoid. But her instincts tell her different. And as the police fight to control a sudden spate of riots raging across the capital, Cat faces a race against time of her own…

Give Me the Child Details

TitleGive Me the Child
Author
FormatPaperback
ReleaseJul 27th, 2017
PublisherHQ
ISBN000821560X
ISBN-139780008215606
Number of pages384 pages
Rating
GenreThriller, Health, Mental Health, Mystery, Crime

Give Me the Child Review

  • Sue1958
    July 24, 2017
    This turned out an unexpected surprise to me as when I saw the title and read the blurb I thought I had the story pretty much in the bag, give or take. But, it was much more than I expected.This is one hell of a dysfunctional family.Cat is a child psychologist which comes in handy within her family life.She is married to Tom. They have one child, Freya and at first seemingly look and sound like the average family.The author soon makes us aware of splits, lies and secrets very early on in the boo This turned out an unexpected surprise to me as when I saw the title and read the blurb I thought I had the story pretty much in the bag, give or take. But, it was much more than I expected.This is one hell of a dysfunctional family.Cat is a child psychologist which comes in handy within her family life.She is married to Tom. They have one child, Freya and at first seemingly look and sound like the average family.The author soon makes us aware of splits, lies and secrets very early on in the book, but as a reader we are not sure where this will lead us. Cat has always wanted another child, but she wasn't quite expecting the way it happened.I won't broaden out more on the story and events or I will spoil it for you. I will explain though that all is not what it seems and the 'winds of time can change' most dramatically.Cat is under severe pressure to keep Freya safe and away from harm, but does she succeed?I can't begin to imagine Cats emotional rolling feelings at the discovery of her husbands infidelity let alone having to house his 'love child' half sister of Freya.But Ruby is no meek and mild mouse of a girl, there are some underlining issues for sure. A remarkable impacting story that will keep you turning pages and the ending was just perfect.My thanks to HQ for providing me with an advanced paperback copy.I HAVE 3 SIGNED COPIES TO GIVE AWAY THANKS TO THE PUBLISHERSINFORMATION ON MY BLOGhttps://sueandherbooks.blogspot.co.uk...
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  • Bibliophile Book Club
    July 10, 2017
    Review to follow!
  • Liz Barnsley
    June 18, 2017
    Review nearer publication.
  • Mandy White
    July 8, 2017
    I enjoyed this book, from the start to the finish i just needed to know what happens next. i received a copy of this book from net galley. if you like a story that keeps you wanting more then give this book a go. When Toms love child comes to live with them life will never be the same for them all. there was a bit of medical talk, mental illness and children with issues.
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  • michelle
    June 7, 2017
    Dr Cat Lupo aches for another child, despite her psychosis which marked her first pregnancy. Then, one night, the door bells rings and it's the Police at the door with a little girl. Cat wonders why they have brought her here. Cat soon discovers that this child his a love child of her husband Tom. He swears that this is the first time they have met. Her mother had died.Cat a child psychologist, knows that there is something wrong with the child Ruby. She wants to keep her daughter Freya safe, aw Dr Cat Lupo aches for another child, despite her psychosis which marked her first pregnancy. Then, one night, the door bells rings and it's the Police at the door with a little girl. Cat wonders why they have brought her here. Cat soon discovers that this child his a love child of her husband Tom. He swears that this is the first time they have met. Her mother had died.Cat a child psychologist, knows that there is something wrong with the child Ruby. She wants to keep her daughter Freya safe, away from her. But, Tom thinks that she is imagining things and she is starting to have another 'episode' again.This book was expertly written, with many twists and turns that kept me entertained throughout the book.
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  • Katherine
    July 18, 2017
    This is quite an incredible book. It is a psychological thriller in the most psychological sense -it is a novel that investigates psychology, psychosis and mental health. It is about deception, manipulation and motivation. It is a novel that debates the concept of 'evil' and whether we get the children we deserve. It is also highly readable and a story of marriage, families, trust, secrets and lies. It is exciting, dramatic, well paced and leaps off the page with exquisitely timed revelations an This is quite an incredible book. It is a psychological thriller in the most psychological sense -it is a novel that investigates psychology, psychosis and mental health. It is about deception, manipulation and motivation. It is a novel that debates the concept of 'evil' and whether we get the children we deserve. It is also highly readable and a story of marriage, families, trust, secrets and lies. It is exciting, dramatic, well paced and leaps off the page with exquisitely timed revelations and twists. It's a psychological thriller in the commercial sense of the word as well and follows the conventions of the domestic noir genre. The story is told from the point of view of Cat, a child psychologist who has suffered first hand with psychosis following the birth of her first and only child. When the police turn up on the doorstep late at night with a child she neither knows or recognises, she is shocked to hear that this 'macabre' looking girl is in fact her husband's daughter. I loved that Cat then pre-empted the reader by saying how "worn and unoriginal" this announcement was and her almost sense of apathy to be part of a "clapped out tale of faithless husband led on by some mysterious femme fatale". She even tells us that if we saw it on TV, "we'd reach for the remote". Well, I didn't and you won't. There is nothing unoriginal about this novel and I was already too invested in Cat's character to not want to read on. McGrath had already hinted at a murkier past, an intriguing issue at work and tension within the family within the opening pages. Even before the arrival of this mysterious girl, later to be named as Ruby Winter, I knew this was going to be a complex and compelling tale. The main hook of the novel is that powerful 'what if' question. What if a girl turns up on your doorstep claiming to be the daughter of your faithful husband? What if your marriage is strained because you always wanted a second child and now, whatever the circumstances, you have one? What if you then become anxious about the behaviour of this girl and believe she is a threat to the family you have worked so hard to create? What if yourself and your husband had been trundling along hoping that the cracks between you were invisible but now, under these pressures, can you still ignore them? This novel will intrigue it's readers because it takes one ordinary couple and propels them into a nightmare - we watch almost vicariously, captivated by a family that shouldn't find itself in this situation or the things that come next, but does. McGrath is an accomplished writer and she understands tension, suspense, pace and the delight of a cliffhanger at the end of a short chapter. We have a disturbed child and we have a child psychologist left to parent her - Cat should be an expert in dealing with her, she should have an overwhelming maternal and professional instinct to protect this child. But she doesn't. She can't.Cat is brutally honest and I think that is why I related to her so quickly and believed in her. As the events in the story begin to unfold, she takes the time out to admit that perhaps herself and Tim were being a little shortsighted about the truth of their marriage and perhaps should acknowledge that the cracks that were becoming more visible. Cat's metaphor that their marriage is no long built of bricks and mortar but like a tent with threadbare patches was very effective and an excellent image to help establish an honest and truthful picture of their relationship. The fact that McGrath takes time to describe Cat's thoughts and feelings means she establishes a very three dimensional character and prepares us for a story that is not only dramatic and captivating in terms action but also going to be one that is provokes a deeper discussion about individuals, responsibility, judgement and consequence.Cat is also very honest about Ruby who has been rescued from a deeply traumatic situation and placed with them for safe keeping yet "my heart is full of contradictory feelings, resenting yet feeling sorry for them." Are Tim and Cat strong enough to weather the storm? I liked the dilemma Cat faces as there is a contradiction between her professional knowledge and understanding of the situation and her personal reaction to it.The increasing hostility between Tim and Cat is painful to read and impossible not to react to. Tim is reluctant to see that Ruby's behaviour or emotional reaction to her situation is concerning. He is reluctant to find Ruby's grandmother so she can go and live with her. The pages are full of 'unsaid things' and suspicions. It's claustrophobic, it's intense, it's relentless and it captures Cat's mental and emotional turmoil incredibly effectively. I was shocked, surprised and gripped by the relationship between Cat and Tim and the observations, reflections and dialogue felt powerfully real and authentic. I felt sympathetic towards Cat who is in the unique position of having suffered from mental health issues, now works with others suffering from mental health issues. When her life is put under extreme pressure, she is judged because the assumption is that perhaps she is falling ill again. She can't ever escape the negative label of having suffered a breakdown before and I liked McGrath's sensitive handling of this as well as her eye for dramatic tension as it challenges the reader to consider whether we can trust Cat, whether she is ill or not. Cat's judgement is never fully trusted by others which increases the suspense and sense of threat for her and for the reader. "A wide, deep, irreparable chasm had opened up in the landscape of our marriage and Tome and I were teetering on the edge." Alongside the investigation into Ruby's past and the relationship between Cat and Tim, is the storyline of Emma and Christopher Barron's son who is a client of Cat's. This secondary storyline gradually gains momentum and purpose as it collides with the main storyline. There are also flashbacks and references to previous cases that Cat has been involved in which are used again to challenge the reader's perception of Cat and to try and usurp her as a reliable narrator and rational person. The other thread that is important is the rioting that is happening around them and the social unrest. This novel is a comment on our society now, at this very moment in time. Not only is an exploration of marriage and motherhood but it is also about truth, trust and a post truth world."In a world when you might, on any morning, wake up to a financial crash or to rioting ......[you'd be] nuts not to have trust issues." This is a really interesting question that McGrath raises again and again in her story. This novel is so contemporary, so clearly placed in our very recent history that these questions could not be more pertinent and I admired the way McGrath could tell us a great fictional tale at the same time as raising these sociological concerns. In the novel, the instability and uncertainty on the streets reflects the mental state of the characters. And in the pages of her novel, McGrath reflects, echoes and explores the questions and fears readers have about the future and about how far we can trust what we see. As I said already, I liked that Cat had had a mental illness but did not have one now. She is a fighter, she is brave. She is not the unreliable narrator we are expecting. I was with Cat the whole time. I was involved, invested and rooting for her and watched with horror as her world falls apart. I loved her passion for motherhood, her intuition, her determination and found her 'journey' incredibly dramatic, exciting and thought provoking. Give Me The Child has several very well timed revelations; it has moments of clarity and many twists. There is a mystery to solve about Ruby, there are dark secrets to uncover and there are several families to keep safe. There is a multilayering of manipulation and deceit and it is a page turner. But this novel is also an exploration of the minds of damaged, vengeful, dangerous people and why they are behaving in this way. There is a discussion of 'evil' and the sound bite that resonates through the pages that "we get the children we deserve" is very emotive and controversial. This book will satisfy any fan of mainstream thrillers and psychological thrillers but I think what makes this book stand out from the crowd, is the character of Cat and the fact that the book takes the psychological thriller to a higher level.
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  • Claire
    July 28, 2017
    Just imagine it’s the middle of the night, the house is all quiet with everyone asleep in bed and there is a knock at the door. Stood there are police officers with a young girl. A young girl whose father is the father of your own child, a young girl you knew nothing about. What’s more you are now expected to take care of this young girl….what could possibly go wrong?I was totally blown away by this fantastic psychological thriller from Mel McGrath. I love a good psychological thriller so I’m al Just imagine it’s the middle of the night, the house is all quiet with everyone asleep in bed and there is a knock at the door. Stood there are police officers with a young girl. A young girl whose father is the father of your own child, a young girl you knew nothing about. What’s more you are now expected to take care of this young girl….what could possibly go wrong?I was totally blown away by this fantastic psychological thriller from Mel McGrath. I love a good psychological thriller so I’m always on the look out for a new author to try. The author’s writing drew me in, I was total immersed in Cat’s world. I wanted to devour the book but savour it at the same time.The more I read, the more I questioned the reliability of Cat – you’d expect a child psychologist to be a reasonably reliable narrator. But as her world start to come crashing down around her and give the fact she suffered mentally whilst pregnant to the extent that she had to be placed into care for her own safety, I began to wonder.There are two children who really haunted me as I read this. Joshua – he’s a chilling child, I actually felt a tightening of my chest as I read certain sections about him. It is quite upsetting as a mother to think that there are children, not just people under the age of 18 but children at primary school who can be diagnosed with such extreme personalities. And then there is Ruby, the young girl who is airdropped into Cat’s life without any warning. She’s a dark child – is she hiding something, is she someone not to be trusted? I really did not know what to make of her. The extent of the darkness of these two children can only be found by reading right to the end.I found the cover to this novel very intriguing at first, such a simple image of an escalator which makes perfect sense as the story builds to its climax.I highly recommend this psychological thriller if you like them dark and gripping!Many thanks to HQ and Netgalley for my advanced copy of Give Me the Child. I’m looking forward to what Mel McGrath has to offer next!
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  • Anne
    July 29, 2017
    "Do we get the children we deserve?"So, do we get the children that we deserve? An interesting question and one that is at the centre of this chilling story. This is so much more than just a psychological thriller, it is 'grip-lit' at its finest, with secrets and lies a plenty. However, in Give Me The Child, the author cleverly and shockingly explores how those lies can impact on children, especially when it is a child who is being forced to lie.Back to the start then. Dr Cat Lupo and her husban "Do we get the children we deserve?"So, do we get the children that we deserve? An interesting question and one that is at the centre of this chilling story. This is so much more than just a psychological thriller, it is 'grip-lit' at its finest, with secrets and lies a plenty. However, in Give Me The Child, the author cleverly and shockingly explores how those lies can impact on children, especially when it is a child who is being forced to lie.Back to the start then. Dr Cat Lupo and her husband Tom appear, on the surface to have it all. She's a neuro-psychiatrist, working with troubled children whilst Tom stays at home to look after eleven-year old Freya whilst working on designing a complex computer game. For a time, they were known as 'Couple Number One'; attending the best parties and mixing with the elite, until Cat made a huge mistake at work. Coupled with an episode of post-natal psychosis, this is when their life changed and their marriage became stale and unexciting. Cat would dearly love another child but Tom is not keen. When, early one morning, there is a knock on the door and a small girl arrives, Cat's world shatters. It seems that the girl, Ruby Winter, is Tom's illegitimate daughter, conceived whilst Cat was in the psychiatric ward.As Cat tries to accept Ruby Winter, she also becomes frightened, and soon begins to fear for her own daughter's safety. This is her story, told in her words against the backdrop of violence on the streets of London which turn to riots and chaos in the city.Mel McGrath is a clever and astute author who keeps her readers on the edge throughout this compelling and addictive thriller. I was struck by the similarities between the turbulence in Cat's mind and life and the escalating violence in the city, it is very cleverly done and adds depth to the story. The portrayal of Cat's mental illness and how she is perceived because of it is both frightening and frustrating, yet incredibly realistic. It is clear that the author has researched the subject of adolescent mental health issues thoroughly, and there is a constant air of authenticity within the plot, the narrative and the characters.Give Me The Child has such an original premise, it is complex and full of twists. The characterisation is perfectly done and the riot-torn London setting is superb. This is not just a dark and delicious thriller, it is a book that raises serious questions. It is a story that will make the reader think about that question: 'Do we get the children we deserve?'http://randomthingsthroughmyletterbox...
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  • Cheryl M-M
    July 25, 2017
    It doesn’t happen often, but occasionally a character will make me want to bash them around the head with a baseball bat for the duration of the story. Yeh, I’m looking straight at you Tom. To be fair I might share some of the whacks with slippery Sal and downtrodden Cat.McGrath slips in some interesting points without deviating from the plot. Once someone has been tarred with the mental health brush, you never really lose the stigma of it. I use the word tar intentionally, because unfortunately It doesn’t happen often, but occasionally a character will make me want to bash them around the head with a baseball bat for the duration of the story. Yeh, I’m looking straight at you Tom. To be fair I might share some of the whacks with slippery Sal and downtrodden Cat.McGrath slips in some interesting points without deviating from the plot. Once someone has been tarred with the mental health brush, you never really lose the stigma of it. I use the word tar intentionally, because unfortunately people still regard mental health issues as a taboo topic. There is a general ignorance surrounding the whole issue, the treatment and how it affects people.Then there is the aspect of children with severe behavioural and mental health issues. The author paints a gloomy picture of parents looking for solutions, but being let down by the system and society. These children are often not given the support they need, and the consequences are dire.Cat knows that every misstep, every over the top reaction and anything her friends and family find slightly out of the ordinary, is a possible cause for alarm. Is Cat just having a bad day or is Cat slipping into another psychosis? All the doubt and suspicion weighs heavily on her. It also tends to steer her decisions and make her less likely to stand up for herself. This element of the story infuriated me the most, well admittedly not as much as Tom did, the way this intelligent and educated woman kowtowed to those around her.McGrath melds fiction with fact in this riveting psychological thriller. She lures the reader in with her ready made solution, only to let it implode further down the line. I would say trust your gut instincts with this read. If it looks like a killer and acts like a killer then chances are it probably is one.*I received an ARC of his book courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley.*
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  • Maggie
    July 16, 2017
    Cat had always wanted another child but her first pregnancy had led to psychosis and understandably perhaps, her husband Tom, doesn't want to face a re-occurrence of that difficult time. She has Freya & she spends her days dealing with children with severe behaviour problems. The family seem to be getting along fine until one early morning when they are awoken by the police. They bring Ruby- Tom's daughter from a fling during Cat's pregnancy. Ruby's mother has died in an accident. Cat tries Cat had always wanted another child but her first pregnancy had led to psychosis and understandably perhaps, her husband Tom, doesn't want to face a re-occurrence of that difficult time. She has Freya & she spends her days dealing with children with severe behaviour problems. The family seem to be getting along fine until one early morning when they are awoken by the police. They bring Ruby- Tom's daughter from a fling during Cat's pregnancy. Ruby's mother has died in an accident. Cat tries to welcome Ruby and make her part of the family but soon begins to worry that Ruby has an agenda of her own. Cat also begins to wonder how well she really knows her husband.This was a story that kept me reading wondering how it would be resolved. Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for letting me read and review it.
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  • Susan
    March 25, 2017
    Give me the child by Mel McGrath. An unexpected visitor.Dr Cat Lupo aches for another child, despite the psychosis which marked her first pregnancy. So when Ruby Winter, a small girl in need of help, arrives in the middle of the night, it seems like fate.A devastating secret.But as the events behind Ruby’s arrival emerge – her mother’s death, her connection to Cat – Cat questions whether her decision to help Ruby has put her own daughter at risk.This was a very good read with good characters. Fu Give me the child by Mel McGrath. An unexpected visitor.Dr Cat Lupo aches for another child, despite the psychosis which marked her first pregnancy. So when Ruby Winter, a small girl in need of help, arrives in the middle of the night, it seems like fate.A devastating secret.But as the events behind Ruby’s arrival emerge – her mother’s death, her connection to Cat – Cat questions whether her decision to help Ruby has put her own daughter at risk.This was a very good read with good characters. Full of twists. I loved the story. Didn't expect that. 5*. Highly recommended. Thanks netgalley.
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  • Edel
    June 20, 2017
    This is a deeply disturbing story about a doctor and her family . Cat is happily married woman with a great husband and a child that is beautiful inside and out , then one night her whole life changes when a stranger shows up at her door . This was unnerving for a number of reasons , the secrets and lies , the layers of deception and the sheer evilness of some of the characters , this makes such good reading ! There is some awesome backstory here and that makes the present day story even more ju This is a deeply disturbing story about a doctor and her family . Cat is happily married woman with a great husband and a child that is beautiful inside and out , then one night her whole life changes when a stranger shows up at her door . This was unnerving for a number of reasons , the secrets and lies , the layers of deception and the sheer evilness of some of the characters , this makes such good reading ! There is some awesome backstory here and that makes the present day story even more juicy . Add this to your TBR immediately ! Loved it!I received this book for review from the lovely people over at Lovereading.co.uk
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  • Wendy Cartmell
    June 18, 2017
    I always enjoy psychological books, where nothing is as it seems at the beginning and this didn’t disappoint. As Cat delves deeper into her husband’s life things are much worse than they appeared initially, the catalyst of their problems being the arrival of a previously unknown love-child. Who is the one orchestrating Cat’s decline? The child? Her husband? Or herself? The spectre of mental health overshadows the whole novel and is a really interesting look at how the stigma of it never really g I always enjoy psychological books, where nothing is as it seems at the beginning and this didn’t disappoint. As Cat delves deeper into her husband’s life things are much worse than they appeared initially, the catalyst of their problems being the arrival of a previously unknown love-child. Who is the one orchestrating Cat’s decline? The child? Her husband? Or herself? The spectre of mental health overshadows the whole novel and is a really interesting look at how the stigma of it never really goes away. Powerfully written.
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  • Bruce Gargoyle
    July 24, 2017
    I received a copy of this title from Harlequin Australia for review.DNF at 81 pages (chapter nine)Ten Second Synopsis:In the middle of the night the police turn up at Cat's door with a bedraggled girl and Cat's world is turned upside down. The girl is the result of her husband's affair and with her mother now dead, has been sent to live with the couple and their daughter...but is she all she seems?Although today’s book was a DNF for me, I would still heartily recommend it to you if you enjoy psy I received a copy of this title from Harlequin Australia for review.DNF at 81 pages (chapter nine)Ten Second Synopsis:In the middle of the night the police turn up at Cat's door with a bedraggled girl and Cat's world is turned upside down. The girl is the result of her husband's affair and with her mother now dead, has been sent to live with the couple and their daughter...but is she all she seems?Although today’s book was a DNF for me, I would still heartily recommend it to you if you enjoy psychological thrillers featuring creepy children. Even though I DNFed this at 81 pages (chapter nine), it is not for the reasons you expect. In fact, for the 81 pages I read, I was engaged, creeped out and thoroughly looking forward to the storm of batsh*t crazy that was no doubt going to explode in the second half of the book. The reason I put this book down is purely because I could no longer bear to read about one of the characters – Cat’s “King of the Manchildren” husband, Tom.But back to the good bits. The book is a psychological thriller based upon the question of what would one do if a long-lost child turned up on the doorstep needing sanctuary…but said child was also significantly emotionally damaged. This is the situation in which Cat finds herself, when the product of Tom’s affair (undertaken when his wife was in the HOSPITAL, PREGNANT and suffering from PRE-NATAL PSYCHOSIS!!) is unexpectedly thrust into the bosom of their family after the death of the child’s mother. From the get-go, Cat is uneasy about the arrangement (perfectly understandably, one would think) and as she goes about tying up the loose ends of the child’s life, discovers some events which give her pause…not least because Cat is a doctor who deals with children displaying characteristics of psychopathy.The story begins to unfold as you would expect. There are incidences that send a shiver up your spine. Cat tries to be welcoming to Ruby (the child) but is conflicted by her resentment of her manchild husband whose manchild actions have caused such disruption to the family. Tom begins to show more loyalty to Ruby than Cat. The suspense is taut, the potential for exciting and thoroughly spine-tingling disaster is ready for tapping….…but then I just snapped. When Tom – philanderer, crap husband and emotionally immature asshat – tells Cat that she’s being paranoid (a direct attack designed to shame her for having a completely unavoidable episode of mental illness in pregnancy) and that he won’t get his new child (who has obviously experienced trauma and neglect) therapy in order to ease the transition into her new family, I could not stomach reading one more second of book that had Tom in it. In fact, I was wishing fervently that Tom could somehow be whooshed out of this book and into the Game of Thrones series, there to be eviscerated by whatever would be the most painful means.Perhaps my irritability trigger is heightened at the moment.But I just couldn’t bear to share the story with Tom any more.However, I would love to know how it ends. If you do happen to read it – and I really hope you do because it has all the hallmarks of a spectacular psychological thriller – please let me know how it ends.And if Tom somehow manages to get off scot-free, feel free to make up some horrible fate for him. I’ll believe you.
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  • Kath
    July 21, 2017
    Actually 4.5 stars.Ooo, I do love a dysfunctional family... and we have it here, and then some. There are secrets, lies, and duplicitous behaviour aplenty in this chilling psychological thriller.Cat Lupo is a child psychologist, she is married to Tom and they have one child, Freya. She really wants another but is wary as her first pregnancy was wracked with psychoses. Then, in the middle of the night there is a knock on the door and, upon opening, Cat is shocked to find the police and a small ch Actually 4.5 stars.Ooo, I do love a dysfunctional family... and we have it here, and then some. There are secrets, lies, and duplicitous behaviour aplenty in this chilling psychological thriller.Cat Lupo is a child psychologist, she is married to Tom and they have one child, Freya. She really wants another but is wary as her first pregnancy was wracked with psychoses. Then, in the middle of the night there is a knock on the door and, upon opening, Cat is shocked to find the police and a small child, Ruby. Apparently, Ruby's mother has died and, as she is Tom's daughter the burden of responsibility for her falls on him!. Woah, back the truck up... Tom is Ruby's father. Well, this is news to everyone but, they take her in. To say she is a little different would be an understatement,. Not just cos of her council estate upbringing and her poor background, more that she starts to display some strange behaviour. Mostly only visible to Cat who already has her own psychological crosses to bear. Obviously. for this genre anyway, no one really believes her so she has to take it upon herself to find out the truth whilst trying to protect her other child.Although a wee bit formulaic, this book held my attention nicely throughout and left me satisfied at the end. I say formulaic in the sense of the whole "main character knowing something but not being believed by anyone else and having to go it alone" storyline that has become so popular these days. That's not to say that the rest of the story around that main premise is also old hat. In fact, for me anyway, the opposite is true with respect to originality so I guess the two balanced out for me on the whole. Although I didn't really warm to Cat completely, I could very easily empathise with her for what she was going through. Shock after shock, disruption to her life that was, mostly, ticking alone quite nicely on the face of it. Or so she thought!The plot was quite chilling and at times a wee bit hard to read, it did somewhat tug at the old emotions as the layers of duplicity were peeled back to expose the bare wires of the shocking truth. One thing I did like was the ending. I can't (won't) give anything away but I thought it was quite a fitting conclusion to all the shenanigans that had gone before. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
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  • Tonile {My Cup and Chaucer}
    July 3, 2017
    I picked this up at BEA and was super excited about it and I chose it as my plane read from New York to San Francisco. It ended up making me so angry that I had to put it down and finish it when I wasn't in public. I'm torn with this mini review because I want to explain why I disliked it so much but since it's not out yet in Australia I don't want to be too spoilery. Sorry in advance if I am! Seriously stop reading now if you don't want some spoilers. Essentially, the main character is Dr (!!) I picked this up at BEA and was super excited about it and I chose it as my plane read from New York to San Francisco. It ended up making me so angry that I had to put it down and finish it when I wasn't in public. I'm torn with this mini review because I want to explain why I disliked it so much but since it's not out yet in Australia I don't want to be too spoilery. Sorry in advance if I am! Seriously stop reading now if you don't want some spoilers. Essentially, the main character is Dr (!!) Cat Lupo, and she's married with one child, a daughter named Freya, whose birth was traumatic for Cat. Her family life is shattered when cops arrive with a child, Ruby, who they claim is Cat's husband's daughter. Cat's husband initially denies knowing about the child and admits to an affair, and then after Cat does some digging he confesses that he lied to her and he did know about the child. Cat is a child psychologist and although she tries to repeatedly voice her concerns about Ruby's behaviour, attitude, and overall influence on Freya, she is dismissed by everyone in her life. She is manipulated, shunned, humiliated, and basically abandoned by her husband and her colleagues and her family in the most absurd fashion and by the end of it, I didn't care much about the resolution to the mystery at all; all I cared about was a resolution to this hideous characterisation of an intelligent and strong woman being portrayed as crazy and unreliable. Maybe that was the author's point because I definitely know that's how women can be and are regularly treated, but there's not enough nuance in the story to deliver this message in a poignant or remotely meaningful way. There's enough psychological abuse of women going on in reality and I don't need to read it in my fiction. Fortunately, I appear to be in the minority with my dislike of this book, so maybe you'll have better luck with it than I did.
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  • Nancy McFarlane
    July 30, 2017
    Dr. Cat Lupo is a child psychologist who suffered psychosis so severe while pregnant that she had to be hospitalized. The psychosis was totally hormone related but once you have been deemed mentally unstable it is a hard label to shake as she discovers when the life she thought was perfect suddenly goes totally off the rails. She has a loving husband, Tom, on the brink of a breakthrough with his gaming business that will mean instant success, a beautiful and happy 11 year old daughter named Frey Dr. Cat Lupo is a child psychologist who suffered psychosis so severe while pregnant that she had to be hospitalized. The psychosis was totally hormone related but once you have been deemed mentally unstable it is a hard label to shake as she discovers when the life she thought was perfect suddenly goes totally off the rails. She has a loving husband, Tom, on the brink of a breakthrough with his gaming business that will mean instant success, a beautiful and happy 11 year old daughter named Freya, and a wonderful job. It all starts to unravel when the doorbell rings in the middle of the night and the police and social worker are on her steps with an 11 year old little girl who they say is Tom’s daughter Ruby Waters. Tom admits to having had a one night stand with someone he met in a bar while Cat was in the mental institute. It would be hard for any wife to warm up to the child who represents her husband’s infidelity but Cat has professional reasons for not warming up to Ruby. Cat thinks she is hiding some dark secret and knows she is a thief and a liar. As days go by she wonders if she is truly evil and becomes scared to death for Freya’s safety. Give Me the Child is the ultimate psychological thriller. Psychology, mental illness, evil and madness are themes throughout the entire book. Everyone, even Cat herself, wonders if she is on the verge of a breakdown. But, if she is, who is to blame – her husband, his love child, stress from work that went very badly once and threatens to do so again, or herself. No matter what Cat must hold it all together to protect her child.
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  • Jo
    July 30, 2017
    This book was in my goody bag from the Theakston's Harrogate Crime Festival, and the first of the twelve I've read. It's a tense, psychological thriller that keeps you turning the pages. I love Cat's character, a mixed-race child psychologist from a dysfunctional background herself. When her husband's love child (the product of a one night stand) turns up on their doorstep one evening, a child Cat knew nothing about, their lives and that of their daughter, Freya, are thrown into turmoil. Ruby, F This book was in my goody bag from the Theakston's Harrogate Crime Festival, and the first of the twelve I've read. It's a tense, psychological thriller that keeps you turning the pages. I love Cat's character, a mixed-race child psychologist from a dysfunctional background herself. When her husband's love child (the product of a one night stand) turns up on their doorstep one evening, a child Cat knew nothing about, their lives and that of their daughter, Freya, are thrown into turmoil. Ruby, Freya's half-sister, is deeply troubled and Cat realises immediately that she is a threat, not only to her, but to her daughter. Ruby and Tom, Cat's husband, share a secret and it's not until close to the end of the book that we find out what it is. Meanwhile Cat is treating a deeply disturbed boy called Joshua, until his wealthy and influential father, who is helping to fund the research institute where Cat works, arranges for her to be suspended and Joshua discharged with all of his records deleted. It's not long before other agencies and individuals are questioning Cat's sanity. She has a history of pregnancy induced psychosis. Her husband uses this to turn the world against her. When Cat's daughter disappears, she gets the blame, but she has no idea where Freya is either. The race is on to find her daughter and save her life.
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  • Tara Russell
    August 1, 2017
    I wasn't very impressed with anyone who dared to interrupt me when I was reading Give Me The Child! Totally engrossed, I was, and begone, real world. Dr Cat Lupo is a neuro-psychiatrist working with children who are seriously disturbed, but she is also the mother of Freya and wife to game developer Tom. Her history of a psychotic episode while pregnant with Freya has left its mark, as has a bad judgement call in a forensic assessment of a young boy in her early professional life. Into this mix c I wasn't very impressed with anyone who dared to interrupt me when I was reading Give Me The Child! Totally engrossed, I was, and begone, real world. Dr Cat Lupo is a neuro-psychiatrist working with children who are seriously disturbed, but she is also the mother of Freya and wife to game developer Tom. Her history of a psychotic episode while pregnant with Freya has left its mark, as has a bad judgement call in a forensic assessment of a young boy in her early professional life. Into this mix comes a vulnerable young girl, Ruby, and her appearance causes everything that Cat holds true to come into question. Cat is a wonderful character, and as I went through the book I was constantly questioning her reliability as narrator...as indeed she herself was second guessing a lot of the book's events. This is really gripping, clever, twisty and really atmospheric in places. Loved it.
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  • Maryline M's Bookshelf
    July 19, 2017
    This review was first published at M's Bookshelf - http://mssbookshelf.blogspot.comARC reviewGive Me The Child is an incredibly gripping read which will haunt you and won't let you rest before you've finished reading it. I just couldn't put this down. It's incredibly intense and at times so very frustrating, but every time I thought I might take a break from this story, I ended up reading another 10 chapters. The element of personality disorders, psychoses and mental manipulation make this book This review was first published at M's Bookshelf - http://mssbookshelf.blogspot.comARC reviewGive Me The Child is an incredibly gripping read which will haunt you and won't let you rest before you've finished reading it. I just couldn't put this down. It's incredibly intense and at times so very frustrating, but every time I thought I might take a break from this story, I ended up reading another 10 chapters. The element of personality disorders, psychoses and mental manipulation make this book gripping and terrifying at the same time. When one of the characters gets pushed into a corner, unable to intervene, discredited and shut out, the book gets frustrating. But all the same, unputdownable. You just have to get to the end to be able to sleep. Give Me The Child kept surprising me and got me hooked until the very last page. I most definitely lost sleep over this one.
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  • Kathleen Gray
    July 19, 2017
    Pretty darn good thriller. I liked the set up and the twists and turns this took. Cat is a pretty intriguing character- well developed and sympathetic. What is it about Ruby? The secrets and lies that lead us through are all very carefully plotted. I didn't guess where this was going, which is a very good thing. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. This is a winner in the psychological thriller genre- well written, suspenseful, and plausibly creepy.
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  • Annabel Kantaria
    June 5, 2017
    Hug your daughter before you read this... it really eats away at a mother's weakest point: the love for her child. Imagine you had to take in your husband's love-child. Imagine you thought she was a bad influence on your own daughter... believable characters and a chilling plot. I don't want to give anything away. Read it.
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  • Maria
    July 31, 2017
    Not quite what I was expecting from the title and cover but a good psychological thriller, a chilling example of 'Domestic Noir'. A late night knock on the door completely overturns the mundane family life of Dr Cat Lupo and she is plunged into a frightening web of lies and violence. Not an easy read at times, but gripping.
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  • Just_me
    June 8, 2017
    I raced through this gripping read. It's very readable, poignant and in places heart wrenching.With thanks for love reading and the publisher for an arc in return for an honest review.
  • Sharon
    May 20, 2017
    Between 3.5-4 stars for me. It's very readable and it went to a place I didn't entirely expect, but not sure if it's quite as good as all the pre-launch buzz wants it to be. I read an ARC.
  • Lorraine
    May 4, 2017
    This is a cleverly written psychological thriller with lots of twists and turns that had me guessing until the end.Superb debut novel. I will look forward to more books from Mel McGrath.
  • Kathy
    July 26, 2017
    Good suspense. Kept you guessing.
  • Pooglie
    July 3, 2017
    Set aside a few hours. Once you've picked up this book, you'll be engrossed and find it hard to put down. It has it all, interesting characters; a fast, yet involved plot; a love story and intrigue. It's a topnotch psychological thriller with lots of science behind it. You will start to question your partner and your kids! It's also very nicely written, there's some beautiful language, exquisite at times. Definitely one to read now, but the film comes out...
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  • Vicky
    July 4, 2017
    Dr Cat Lupo always wanted another child, but the mental health issues she suffered during her first pregnancy gives her pause. When a young girl-Ruby-turns up at her family home in the middle of the night, who has a connection to the family, Cat’s life is turned upside down. A thrilling read that kept its pace throughout. Cat is a great narrator; because of her past history, you wonder if she’s wholly reliable but at the same time, you agree with her assessment of the situation. As the reader, y Dr Cat Lupo always wanted another child, but the mental health issues she suffered during her first pregnancy gives her pause. When a young girl-Ruby-turns up at her family home in the middle of the night, who has a connection to the family, Cat’s life is turned upside down. A thrilling read that kept its pace throughout. Cat is a great narrator; because of her past history, you wonder if she’s wholly reliable but at the same time, you agree with her assessment of the situation. As the reader, you share her frustration that her concern for her child is being ignored. There’s plenty of twists and turns throughout the narrative to keep you guessing-I didn’t want to put it down! By the end I was racing through the pages as the tension reached its peak. Brilliant.
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