Little Darlings
“Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman and Grimms’ Fairy Tales.Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley―to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking―and rechecking―your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.

Little Darlings Details

TitleLittle Darlings
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 30th, 2019
PublisherCrooked Lane Books
ISBN-139781683319979
Rating
GenreThriller, Mystery, Horror, Mystery Thriller, Fiction

Little Darlings Review

  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    How could her brain conjure something that seemed so real, something laden with so much horrifying detail, and yet there be nothing at all? This book is seriously creepy, creative and sad. I think it's a bit misleading that it has found its way to the mystery/thriller section when it is mostly a contemporary with elements (or suggestions) of magical realism. But either way, it's a moving, frightening, psychological portrait of new motherhood, set in the Peak District.Little Darlings is inspired How could her brain conjure something that seemed so real, something laden with so much horrifying detail, and yet there be nothing at all? This book is seriously creepy, creative and sad. I think it's a bit misleading that it has found its way to the mystery/thriller section when it is mostly a contemporary with elements (or suggestions) of magical realism. But either way, it's a moving, frightening, psychological portrait of new motherhood, set in the Peak District.Little Darlings is inspired by the Welsh fairy tale A Brewery of Eggshells, about a woman with newborn twins who are swapped with changelings. Lauren Tranter has just given birth to two beautiful twin boys who quickly become her whole world. When a disheveled woman appears on the maternity ward and threatens to swap them with her own sons, she is rightfully terrified and will do anything to protect her babies.Lauren is tired and stressed like all new mothers, but she knows the woman is real. Even though the doctors and the police and her husband keep telling her that she is seeing things, that she needs help, she knows the truth. When her babies go missing one day, a frantic search begins and they are quickly found, seemingly unharmed. But Lauren knows the truth about that, too - these babies are not the children she lost.Everyone wants to dismiss her as mentally ill except Detective Sergeant Joanna Harper, who has her own reasons for believing Lauren. Against the wishes of her superiors, Harper opens her own investigation into what really happened.I think the police procedural aspects are the weakest part of the novel. Little Darlings is at its strongest when hovering somewhere between a portrait of postpartum depression and a dark, sinister fairy tale. I can speak from experience when I say depression can be terrifying. And just like in this novel, you can never quite be sure what is a legitimate feeling and what is an exaggerated response brought on by your mental state; these two often overlap.After the birth of my first child, I found myself crying uncontrollably. I was exhausted, confused and afraid of absolutely everything. On top of the hormonal crash that comes after giving birth, for most people there's also the pure terror of being wholly responsible for someone else's wellbeing for the first time in your life. Unless you were previously a carer, the emotional shift that comes with knowing the responsibility falls entirely on you changes you beyond belief.I think this book captures all that. Maybe the woman is real and this is a dark fairy tale, and maybe she is not and this is just a book about a woman struggling with mental illness. But it actually doesn't matter that much. The fear - of getting it wrong, messing up, of losing your baby, of not being a good mother - all of that is very real either way. I found it highly effective.CW: Depression.Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
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  • Maureen
    January 1, 1970
    Oh boy, this was one scary scenario. With echoes of Grimms Fairy Tales, ‘Little Darlings’ will probably give you sleepless nights along with the protagonist!It’s the wee small hours of the morning on the maternity ward, and even though she’s exhausted, Lauren Tranter lies awake, already worrying about the responsibility of looking after her newborn twins Riley and Morgan - like any new mum she has concerns about her new role in life, keeping these little ones safe and well. Little does she know Oh boy, this was one scary scenario. With echoes of Grimms Fairy Tales, ‘Little Darlings’ will probably give you sleepless nights along with the protagonist!It’s the wee small hours of the morning on the maternity ward, and even though she’s exhausted, Lauren Tranter lies awake, already worrying about the responsibility of looking after her newborn twins Riley and Morgan - like any new mum she has concerns about her new role in life, keeping these little ones safe and well. Little does she know that her role as guardian will be challenged that very night, when she encounters a dirty, smelly disheveled woman who attempts to steal her babies. Lauren is convinced that she wasn’t dreaming, and slowly but surely she enters a nightmare world where she tries to impress on those around her that her children are in danger, but no-one believes her, not even her husband Patrick.After a panicked phone call from Lauren to the police reporting the attempted abduction, hospital security guards are soon on the scene, but find Lauren locked in the bathroom with her babies and no sign of an intruder. She couldn’t have imagined it could she?Eventually the case comes to the attention of Detective Jo Harper who starts to see some truth in what Lauren is saying, but this won’t be an easy case to crack, venturing off as it does into the realms of the supernatural!This was a well written, though unsettling read, as it relies heavily on folklore and fairy tales of the darker kind. The author did an excellent job of portraying a post natal woman on the edge - very little sleep, a husband who shows no inclination to share responsibilities, and appears to care little about her well being. Add to that her fear that someone is out to steal her babies, and it’s not difficult to feel deep empathy with her. Though there was something of a slow start, it soon picks up pace and let me just say, it doesn’t get much creepier than this! Not something I’m likely to forget in a hurry!* Thank you to Netgalley and HQ for my ARC, I have given an honest unbiased review in exchange *
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  • Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
    January 1, 1970
    Five Creepy StarsLaura Tranter just had newborn twins. She named them Morgan and Riley. She is exhausted and needs a lot of rest. The night in the hospital room a woman tried to take her babies. and replace them with her own...creatures. Eek! When she tells everyone what happened, no one believes her. They think that she is just imagining things and needs lot of rest. Harper was a police officer on the case. Compulsively creepy and inspired by some of our darkest fairy tales. Each chapter starts Five Creepy StarsLaura Tranter just had newborn twins. She named them Morgan and Riley. She is exhausted and needs a lot of rest. The night in the hospital room a woman tried to take her babies. and replace them with her own...creatures. Eek! When she tells everyone what happened, no one believes her. They think that she is just imagining things and needs lot of rest. Harper was a police officer on the case. Compulsively creepy and inspired by some of our darkest fairy tales. Each chapter starts with a passage from dark folklore. Is Lauren imagining all of this or is the supernatural real? How to protect your child. 1. Placing a key next to an infant will prevent him from being exchanged.2. Woman may never be left alone during the first six weeks following childbirth, for the devil then has more power over them.3. During the first six weeks following childbirth, mothers may not go to sleep until someone has come to watch the child. If mothers are overcome by sleep, changelings are often laid in the cradle.Jacob GrimmEEK!! I loved this book and it was so creepy good! !I love dark fairytales. I couldn't believe this was a debut novel. I was immediately drawn into the story and my eyes were glued to the pages. This was a very fast paced read with lots of suspense and was so intriguing. The supernatural was so creepy. This one will definitely be a memorable story. This book is so different and I have not read a book like this before. Its a nightmare but not scary. Its such an addicting read. The ending was cleverly done and that's why I gave it 5 stars. This author has a great imagination and I hope she has another book coming out soon.The characters were fully developed. I really loved Lauren's character. I felt so sorry for her and my heart went out to her. I didn't like Patrick. He didn't seem to be concerned at all. I thought he was a terrible husband.This was a Traveling Sister Read and we all enjoyed it.I want to thank Edelweiss, Crooked Lane Books and the author for the copy of this book in exchange for for an honest review.
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  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    Have you ever found yourself writing a review for a book that you didn't particularly enjoy, but found important and/or necessary? Little Darlings was just that read for me, and if you'll bear with me, I'll do my best in unpacking these complicated feelings I have below."The child is not mine as the first was,I cannot sing it to rest,I cannot lift it up fatherlyAnd bliss it upon my breast:Yet it lies in my little one's cradleAnd it sits in my little one's chair,And the light of the heaven she's Have you ever found yourself writing a review for a book that you didn't particularly enjoy, but found important and/or necessary? Little Darlings was just that read for me, and if you'll bear with me, I'll do my best in unpacking these complicated feelings I have below."The child is not mine as the first was,I cannot sing it to rest,I cannot lift it up fatherlyAnd bliss it upon my breast:Yet it lies in my little one's cradleAnd it sits in my little one's chair,And the light of the heaven she's gone toTransfigures its golden hair."-From The Changeling, by James Russell LowellI feel the need to say up front that my review will be covering this book from two standpoints: 1) as a genre read and 2) as a fictional exposition and, dare I say allegory, of postpartum depression/anxiety and the overall grief some new mothers find themselves enduring as they enter this new stage of life. I'm going to tackle the less glowing of the two first and save what I found empowering for the grand finale. As a mystery/thriller/horror/whatever genre you want to market this as, I found it ok. My intense love of all things involving Welsh folklore should have sealed this as a 5 star read, but I think my expectations were not on par for what this book is meant to offer. That's not a bad thing, just simply a form of miscommunication and overeagerness on this reader's part. Obviously, (and keeping this spoiler free) you are made aware that Little Darlings is considered a paranormal thriller, due to the plot engaging in a tango of "have Lauren's babies been swapped with changelings or is she suffering some form of postpartum psychosis?" I think the reason I was a little let down in this aspect is due to a number of influences. Could it be that, because I have read so many incredible mysteries lately indulging in Welsh folklore that I'm oversaturated at the moment? Could it be that I've just read so many mysteries that I've come to demand an unfair level of "confound me, dammit!" in my reads? It's quite possible. I'm clearly in the minority that I found the pacing to be slow and drawn out, and that could be because of point two."She was still waiting for the rush of love. That one you feel, all at once the second they're born, like nothing you've ever experienced before. The rush of love that people with children always go on about. She'd been looking forward to it. It worried her that she hadn't felt it yet."Now to the part I've been itching to write about. This is a bloody well-done depiction, albeit fictional, of the terrifying and lonely spiral into PPD. As someone who has suffered twice with PPD/PPA, I found Golding's writing and comparisons to be so spot on, it was as if she had crawled into my brain and taken my greatest fears and weaknesses and put them on paper. I'm in awe of how accurately she portrayed this mental battle, and wondered as I read if she herself had suffered with this, or was close to someone who had in the past. That said, it was a difficult read that had me fighting to block out some of those horrible memories; I think it's worth noting that this may be a triggering read for others who have suffered with PPD and you may want to assure you're in the proper mental state before devouring this novel. I have a huge respect for the author in bringing attention to a disorder that, while common and affecting numerous women each year, is still considered very taboo and kept quiet. This is an important read and a story that needed to be written, and for that fact alone I hope this novel gets the worldwide attention and success that it deserves. *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
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  • شيماء ✨
    January 1, 1970
    yes breakups hurt but have you ever been enjoying reading a book until the ending completely ruined it for you?
  • Debra
    January 1, 1970
    "Mother Knows Best"Lauren Tranter has just given birth to twin boys, Morgan and Riley. Naturally she is exhausted and in need of sleep. But she knows what she saw in her room in the maternity ward - a woman attempting to take her twins and replace them with her own, "it’s only fair". However, when hospital security and the police arrive, they find no evidence of the possible kidnapper. Furthermore, no one believes Lauren, but Detective Harper, a police officer feels that there might be something "Mother Knows Best"Lauren Tranter has just given birth to twin boys, Morgan and Riley. Naturally she is exhausted and in need of sleep. But she knows what she saw in her room in the maternity ward - a woman attempting to take her twins and replace them with her own, "it’s only fair". However, when hospital security and the police arrive, they find no evidence of the possible kidnapper. Furthermore, no one believes Lauren, but Detective Harper, a police officer feels that there might be something to Lauren's story.Lauren continues to feel unease and doesn't want to leave her home. Her mission is to protect her babies. On a rare outing to the park, the twins disappear from her side, and once found, Lauren is convinced that something is not right, and Lauren declares "these are not my babies"Little Darlings is inspired by dark fairy tales and folklore. This book is sprinkled with quotes and passages referring to "changelings". The folklore and fairy tales fit seamlessly into this tale and further add to the feeling of dread and provide for an eerie atmosphere. The entire book I was guessing just what was going on. Was Lauren correct, was there some sinister woman attempting to swap babies with her, was Lauren experiencing symptoms of postpartum psychosis. I love trying to figure things out in books, and this one had me guessing!This is a well written psychological thriller which is atmospheric with a dark creepy feel. My only complaint is that I wanted this book to be darker, to be even creepier, and more suspenseful. I also thought there were "romances" and "possible romances" in this book which really did not add to the story and in fact detracted from the story to a small degree. I wanted more menacing and heart pounding moments.Overall, an enjoyable read. It is easy to feel for Lauren as she struggles with caring for two newborns, sleep deprivation, recovering from childbirth and having very little assistance at home. She is struggling with so many things while also being hyper-vigilant attempting to keep her children safe. A creepy tale to read late at night with the lights out! Plus, it just might inspire you to pick up some fairy tales and folklore as the passages used were quite brilliant!Thank you to Melanie Golding, Crooked Lane books and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.Read more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com
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  • Dorie - Traveling Sister :)
    January 1, 1970
    ***NOW AVAILABLE***Well this one is going to be difficult to write. I would have to classify this as a psychological thriller with the addition of folklore or the supernatural. At any rate it was a truly creepy, turn the pages quickly read. While at first I thought it would be something that wouldn’t be believable, by the first third of the book I was truly scared at what the outcome of this story would be.As a mom of four I remember the sleep deprived feelings, forgetting what day it even is, ***NOW AVAILABLE***Well this one is going to be difficult to write. I would have to classify this as a psychological thriller with the addition of folklore or the supernatural. At any rate it was a truly creepy, turn the pages quickly read. While at first I thought it would be something that wouldn’t be believable, by the first third of the book I was truly scared at what the outcome of this story would be.As a mom of four I remember the sleep deprived feelings, forgetting what day it even is, never having time for a shower or to read even a magazine or newspaper and the constant needs of a newborn. I can’t even imagine the exhaustion of this new mother of twins.The story begins shortly after a very traumatic delivery of twin boys to Lauren Tranter. During her hospitalization Lauren is sure that she sees and hears a dirty, rag covered woman showing her a basket of what looked like baby rats and singing an unusual song. After a bit of talk the woman says, “Let’s deal, Let’s change one for another”. “Give me one of yours and I’ll take care of it, You have one of mine and treat it like your own” The woman grasps Lauren’s arm and she struggles to get away, Choose one, said the woman, “choose one of I’ll take them both. You’ll never know the difference, I can make sure they look just the same”. What could be more horrific, she grabs the twins trolley and locks herself in the bathroom and calls the police. The hospital security and police arrive only to find just a very scared woman locked in the bathroom with her babies.Well that is the set up for the rest of the story which I found to be engrossing. No one believes Lauren, they just chalk it up to exhaustion and sleep deprivation, plus the difficult delivery and medications. After she returns home, she refuses to leave the babies alone for even a few minutes. Finally her husband urges her to go outside. She is finally out in the park with the babies and falls asleep on a bench only to have someone or something take the twins. When they are found and returned to her she is certain that they are not her babies but something other, more sinister, a changeling perhaps?There is only one person, DS Jo Harper, who believes her and even goes so far as to look up the history of the small town and folklore attached to another incident which sounds a lot like what is happening to Lauren. To quote the publisher of Crooked Lane Books “I bet you’ll delight in this sinister supernatural thriller that challenges our understanding of modern motherhood and the myths that shape our lives. Folktales do not spring from whimsy, they serve as a warning.”I had so many ideas of what was truly happening, who was behind the kidnapping, etc. but in the end I was wrong. At least I think I was wrong, because the ending leaves one guessing!It’s amazing that this is a debut novel. While thinking about this book again and realizing how much of the story has stuck with me over the last few days I’ve decided to change my rating to 4 ½ rounded up to a 5. This was a Traveling Sister read with Mary Beth and Heidi.I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Let me begin this review with saying that I have absolutely no business reviewing an ARC that doesn't even publish until April 2019 when I have so many ARC's pending soon or better yet the ones I'm behind on BUT the synopsis for this is beyond intriguing and it's October when it's time for all things creepy and spooky and this one seemed a perfect choice for the season. And I was right! <--- it does happen once in awhile! ;) Whoa! Little Darlings was an absolute delight to read. "The child i Let me begin this review with saying that I have absolutely no business reviewing an ARC that doesn't even publish until April 2019 when I have so many ARC's pending soon or better yet the ones I'm behind on BUT the synopsis for this is beyond intriguing and it's October when it's time for all things creepy and spooky and this one seemed a perfect choice for the season. And I was right! <--- it does happen once in awhile! ;) Whoa! Little Darlings was an absolute delight to read. "The child is not mine as the first was, I cannot sing it to rest, I cannot lift it up fatherly and bliss it upon my breast; Yet it lies in my little one's cradle, And sits in my little one's chair, And the light of the heaven she's gone to transfigures its golden hair." ~ From The Changeling by James Russell Lowell Imagine giving birth to a set of lovely twin boys. Imagine in the middle of the night on the very day of their birth a vile woman invades your hospital room and insists on swapping your babies for hers. Imagine that no one, not even your own husband, believes you. Now you've returned home with your babies and the mother in you wants to protect them fiercely from the outside evil you know exists. After spending a month locked behind closed doors your husband decides it's time you venture out for a walk. Get some fresh air. So you take his advice to avoid an argument and think to yourself maybe he's right. Maybe it is all in my head. You stroll through the park, the sun on your shoulders and crisp leaves crunching underfoot, when a coming bench is all too tempting to take a little rest with your boys. Now imagine this: you awake, startled on the bench, not knowing how long you've been asleep only to see that the stroller and your precious babies are no longer there. Not all is lost though and after a brief search the beautiful babies are found and returned to you. You look upon the lovely boys only to realize they aren't your babies at all. "I told you, that wasn't them," said Lauren, "whatever was in that stroller. They've been swapped. They're evil those things, they're not my babies." I could not put this one down! If you want a creepy read then this is a MUST READ! On a side note, this has been optioned to film and I hope with all my heart that this happens. This would be perfect on the big screen. An easy 5 Stars! Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Norma * Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    Creepy, gripping, & atmospheric!The story is inspired by some deliciously creepy dark fairy tales that adds an extra layer to the sinister, menacing and eerie feel of the book. I absolutely love these types of tales and found myself devouring this one!LITTLE DARLINGS by MELANIE GOLDING is an unsettling, compulsive and mysterious tale that had me constantly wavering between believing Lauren’s story and thinking maybe she really is just imagining it all. The feelings that I had for Lauren thro Creepy, gripping, & atmospheric!The story is inspired by some deliciously creepy dark fairy tales that adds an extra layer to the sinister, menacing and eerie feel of the book. I absolutely love these types of tales and found myself devouring this one!LITTLE DARLINGS by MELANIE GOLDING is an unsettling, compulsive and mysterious tale that had me constantly wavering between believing Lauren’s story and thinking maybe she really is just imagining it all. The feelings that I had for Lauren throughout were quite intense and had me feeling her fear. I wanted to believe her! MELANIE GOLDING delivers an atmospheric and well-written read here and does a great job with slowly building up the tension and making me believe in those dark folktales. I absolutely loved how the folklore was integrated into the storyline and how plot points were addressed quickly and flowed nicely into the next chapter. Not having to wait and leaving us hanging added some suspense to the actual storyline for me, that I really appreciated.I think there were some characters and scenes that weren’t necessary though but all in all I thought this was a very good, entertaining and enjoyable read. Expected Publishing Date: April 30, 2019 *Traveling Sisters Read*Norma’s Stats:Cover: I got a chance to vote on this cover and mine wasn’t chosen. To be honest I didn’t really care for any of the covers. Title: A fitting and good representation to storyline.Writing/Prose: Well-written, impressive debut, descriptive and absorbing.Plot: Gripping, intriguing, engrossing, fascinating, sinister, steadily-paced, and entertaining.Ending: An ending that left us with a little bit of mystery to ponder that I was totally satisfied with interpreting on my own. Overall: Dare I say, just a little more creepy though! Would recommend!Thank you so much to Sarah at Crooked Lane Books for providing me with an Advanced Reader’s E-Proof in exchange for a review!Review can also be found on our Two Sisters Lost in a Coulee Reading book blog:https://twosisterslostinacoulee.com/
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  • (Bern) Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
    January 1, 1970
    4 Creepy, Grimm-esque Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ for Melanie Golding's Little DarlingsLittle Darlings is inspired by those dark and creepy fairytales that I love to be scared by! The idea of changelings, a child secretly substituted by fairies in infancy, has always fascinated me. I knew I had to read this book as soon as I heard what it was about and it definitely did not disappoint! Golding did an amazing job setting the scene in this thriller. It was creepy, dark and suspenseful and kept me furiously turning 4 Creepy, Grimm-esque Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for Melanie Golding's Little DarlingsLittle Darlings is inspired by those dark and creepy fairytales that I love to be scared by! The idea of changelings, a child secretly substituted by fairies in infancy, has always fascinated me. I knew I had to read this book as soon as I heard what it was about and it definitely did not disappoint! Golding did an amazing job setting the scene in this thriller. It was creepy, dark and suspenseful and kept me furiously turning the pages. Lauren gives birth to twins Morgan and Riley and like all new mothers finds herself barely able to cope. It's an endless routine of feeding, changing, soothing and lulling to sleep only to have the cycle repeat again as soon as she thinks she will have a moment to rest. Exhausted and overwhelmed, Lauren soon finds herself also in a desperate fight to save her babies from a woman who wants to take them. Only, no one else sees this woman and soon Lauren is also fighting for her sanity. What I loved was how Golding keeps the reader guessing throughout the book. Is there truly evil, dark magic at play or is Lauren herself mentally unstable and dangerous? I thought the ending was well done, clever and satisfying! I enjoyed the excerpts throughout - they added valuable insight to the fairy tale angle and definitely upped the creepy factor. This was a wonderful debut novel and I look forward to seeing what Melanie Golding's imaginative mind comes up with next! Thank you Melanie Golding, Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review an arc of this book.
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  • j e w e l s
    January 1, 1970
    FOUR STARSLittle Darlings has caused quite a buzz in the literary world. I read where the UK publisher snatched up the manuscript within 48 hours of submission! A six-figure sum for the book and now news of the movie rights being sold—wowzah, great news for a debut author.So, what’s the big deal, you say?As in most psyche suspense novels, we have the requisite unreliable female narrator, her highly sketch husband and an instinctual police detective as the main characters. Lauren wakes up in the FOUR STARSLittle Darlings has caused quite a buzz in the literary world. I read where the UK publisher snatched up the manuscript within 48 hours of submission! A six-figure sum for the book and now news of the movie rights being sold—wowzah, great news for a debut author.So, what’s the big deal, you say?As in most psyche suspense novels, we have the requisite unreliable female narrator, her highly sketch husband and an instinctual police detective as the main characters. Lauren wakes up in the hospital after a traumatic childbirth and finds an old woman trying to snatch her newborn twins. While most everyone in Lauren’s life writes off this attempted abduction as some sort of postpartum psychosis, our intrepid detective has a gut feeling this may be a real-life crime.Where Little Darlings breaks away from the same old/same old is in the gorgeously stylized horror factor. At one point in the story, Lauren believes the babies have been switched and are not hers. I promise-- you will never look at anyone’s baby the same again after reading the passages about these changelings! Golding’s vivid descriptions of the babies singing eerie songs at night or talking to each other is SOOOOO SCARY!!! Movie? Yes, please. (Insert creepy CG faces onto little baby bundles here).Heavily borrowed from fables and fairy tales, Little Darlings skillfully walks the line between psychological and supernatural horror. Ingeniously, the reader is left to decide how much to believe when it comes to the ghost stuff. I’m not a big supernatural fan, but little bits injected into a familiar story is perfect and adds a great deal to the already tense atmosphere.Despite a slow start, I enjoyed this novel very much. I especially liked the police procedural part of the story. I was always questioning how many of the events had actually happened or were just imagined by Lauren. Detective Sergeant Harper brought a welcome dose of earthy realism. A true modern nightmare—creepy and compelling. WARNING: New mothers should NOT read it!Thanks to Netgalley and the author for my advanced copy. All opinions are my own. The novel is due to be released on April 30, 2019 .
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  • Lindsay - Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    4 stars! Creepy, haunting, addictive and atmospheric!Lauren Tranter is a new mother to twin boys. As many new moms do, Lauren struggles upon her return home from the hospital after giving birth. She is exhausted, she is constantly feeding her babies, she can’t find time for a shower, she can’t possibly think of finding a way to venture out of the house with the boys to get groceries. Her husband works a lot and pushes Lauren to get out of the house with the twins to refresh and reacquaint hersel 4 stars! Creepy, haunting, addictive and atmospheric!Lauren Tranter is a new mother to twin boys. As many new moms do, Lauren struggles upon her return home from the hospital after giving birth. She is exhausted, she is constantly feeding her babies, she can’t find time for a shower, she can’t possibly think of finding a way to venture out of the house with the boys to get groceries. Her husband works a lot and pushes Lauren to get out of the house with the twins to refresh and reacquaint herself with society. Lauren’s first venture outside ends with a traumatic afternoon that changes her family forever.I was immediately drawn into this story and felt a strong connection throughout. The author, Melanie Golding, does a brilliant job building suspense, keeping the intensity of the intrigue engrossing throughout the entire story. The characters were fantastic – I loved the two main characters, Lauren and DS Jo Harper. I could strongly relate to Lauren – Golding did an exceptional job capturing the chaos and exhaustion of a new mom.This novel has supernatural aspects that were handled skillfully and believably. Supernatural elements are usually a turn-off for me, but they were presented in such an intriguing and fascinating way, that I was completely drawn into the plot and invested in the characters.This was a Traveling Sister read that we enjoyed discussing. A big thank you to Brenda and Norma for offering the Traveling Sisters the exciting opportunity to read this title. It is not a book that I would have been drawn to on my own but am so happy I tried it out! To find this review, along with the other Traveling Sister reviews, please visit our blog at:https://twosisterslostinacoulee.com/2...Thank you to Sarah at Crooked Lane Books and Melanie Golding for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Holly B
    January 1, 1970
    An ominous and beautifully written fairy tale filled with touches of mythology and folklore.  Two little darling twin boys and mother who loves them immensely.Everything else I was reading took a backseat to this scrumptious tale. I just couldn't stop reading it. It has an addictive quality and the author's skillful writing and magical descriptions pulled me right into the heart of the story. And it does have heart! The mother has so much love for her babies. The mom of newborn twins, Lauren' An ominous and beautifully written fairy tale filled with touches of mythology and folklore.  Two little darling twin boys and mother who loves them immensely.Everything else I was reading took a backseat to this scrumptious tale. I just couldn't stop reading it. It has an addictive quality and the author's skillful writing and magical descriptions pulled me right into the heart of the story. And it does have heart! The mother has so much love for her babies. The mom of newborn twins, Lauren's intense love for her boys shines throughout the book. She took me through many emotions and while she was surrounded by a cloud of mystery. I wanted to believe her.  Real or imagined ? This is what I kept asking myself.I also enjoyed the police-procedural side of the story. The clues, the investigation and a determined officer added to the tension and intrigue. An intoxicating and atmospheric journey. Are these little darlings her babies?   Thanks to NG/ Crooked Lane for my review copy. Out April 30, 2019.  Blog review closer to PD. 
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  • Felicia
    January 1, 1970
    If Grimms' Fairy Tales and The Changeling had a twin babies, Little Darlings would be those babies.An unsettling tale of a new mother, Lauren, of twin boys, who finds herself terrorized by a macabre woman attempting to abduct Lauren's babies and replace them with her own. Her account is dismissed by hospital staff, the police, and even her husband as a hallucination attributed to exhaustion, even Lauren herself begins to question her own sanity. The only person that is unconvinced that Lauren ha If Grimms' Fairy Tales and The Changeling had a twin babies, Little Darlings would be those babies.An unsettling tale of a new mother, Lauren, of twin boys, who finds herself terrorized by a macabre woman attempting to abduct Lauren's babies and replace them with her own. Her account is dismissed by hospital staff, the police, and even her husband as a hallucination attributed to exhaustion, even Lauren herself begins to question her own sanity. The only person that is unconvinced that Lauren has simply snapped is the investigator that responded to her call for help, Detective Harper.Upon returning home from the hospital, Lauren quickly descends into a waking nightmare that she cannot escape from, leaving her more and more desperate and going to extreme lengths to protect her infants.If I had one con to point out in this story it would be with the narrative for Detective Harper. Her personal relationship with the reporter is distracting and adds nothing towards advancement of the plot.This story is framed with dark history and and even darker folklore that adds an eerie depth to the book. This is a foreboding and unnerving spine-chiller that leaves the reader questioning if it's possible for fable to turn into reality. I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kaceey
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my goodness! This book rolled out as a truly creepy read that had me keeping several lights in the house shining bright as I huddled in the corner of my sofa, shaking while I read on.Lauren Tranter has just given birth to twins, exhausted from a prolonged labor and delivery. Curiously, she keeps over-hearing another woman behind the curtain in the next bed singing to her twins. Lauren can’t believe it! Two sets of twins in one night? What are the odds? Things take a strange turn however, when Oh my goodness! This book rolled out as a truly creepy read that had me keeping several lights in the house shining bright as I huddled in the corner of my sofa, shaking while I read on.Lauren Tranter has just given birth to twins, exhausted from a prolonged labor and delivery. Curiously, she keeps over-hearing another woman behind the curtain in the next bed singing to her twins. Lauren can’t believe it! Two sets of twins in one night? What are the odds? Things take a strange turn however, when the other woman asks Lauren to swap babies. WHAT!? Terrified, she immediately locks herself in the bathroom and calls the police.When Lauren discharges home from the hospital, fear for her babies keeps her firmly locked in her home. Can Lauren save her babies from this strange, other woman? Or is it too late?Melanie Golding writes an atmospheric and creepy tale that will leave you wondering what’s real and what’s not! Normally I avoid anything remotely supernatural but in this case it worked. I was actually left wanting more of that aspect!A fabulously chilling buddy read with Susanne!Thank you to NetGalley, Sarah Poppe at Crooked Lane Books and Melanie Golding for an ARC to read and review!
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  • Carol (Bookaria)
    January 1, 1970
    A truly haunting story. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since I finished it.Lauren gives birth to twins and taking care of them without any help has been exhausting. Taking her husband's advice she decides to get out of the house and take them for a stroll in the park. She dozes off for a moment and when she wakes up they're gone! The police is called and luckily they are found nearby, however, even though these babies look exactly like hers she knows they're not her children. From A truly haunting story. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since I finished it.Lauren gives birth to twins and taking care of them without any help has been exhausting. Taking her husband's advice she decides to get out of the house and take them for a stroll in the park. She dozes off for a moment and when she wakes up they're gone! The police is called and luckily they are found nearby, however, even though these babies look exactly like hers she knows they're not her children. From here on the novel takes an even more sinister turn.I found the novel to be creepy and strange but at the same time I could not stop reading. There were short sections with traditional folktales that gave the novel a darker tone. Overall, I enjoyed it and recommend it.Received ARC from the publisher * I read this book with the Traveling Sisters. Our discussions made my experience more enriching and interesting*
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  • Beata
    January 1, 1970
    I rarely request and read horror novels but I decided that I might try Little Darlings even though the Author was unknown to me. And it was a good choice! The city of Sheffield with its rivers makes a perfect setting for the plot. The story revolves around an alleged kidnapping of infant twin brothers.Their mother, Lorraine Trantner, is convinced some evil power threatens the lives of her newly-born sons but it seems she is unable to prove ther fears. Some personal problems from the past also ma I rarely request and read horror novels but I decided that I might try Little Darlings even though the Author was unknown to me. And it was a good choice! The city of Sheffield with its rivers makes a perfect setting for the plot. The story revolves around an alleged kidnapping of infant twin brothers.Their mother, Lorraine Trantner, is convinced some evil power threatens the lives of her newly-born sons but it seems she is unable to prove ther fears. Some personal problems from the past also make her an unreliable witness. The only person who gradually begins to believe her is a female detective and who acts in order to try to reveal the truth. The atmosphere in this horror novel is well presented and original passages from folk stories and tales add to it. The story develops at a pace which I found satisfying even though it was not a real page-turner for me.*Many thanks to Makeanie Golding, Crooked Lane Books and Netgalley for providing me with ARC in exchange for my honest review.*
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  • Susanne Strong
    January 1, 1970
    3.75 Stars.* (rounded up)Fairy Tales and Folklore, what a combination! Imagine being Lauren Tranter, mother to newborn twins, Morgan and Riley. She is excited and nervous to take her babies home and then she get visited by a disheveled, dirty and smelly woman who threatens to steal her babies and replace them with her own “changelings.” Then it happens and Lauren Tranter is beside herself. Detective Jo Harper investigates and is the only one who believes her. The babies don’t just coo and smile 3.75 Stars.* (rounded up)Fairy Tales and Folklore, what a combination! Imagine being Lauren Tranter, mother to newborn twins, Morgan and Riley. She is excited and nervous to take her babies home and then she get visited by a disheveled, dirty and smelly woman who threatens to steal her babies and replace them with her own “changelings.” Then it happens and Lauren Tranter is beside herself. Detective Jo Harper investigates and is the only one who believes her. The babies don’t just coo and smile - they imitate an adults’ behavior. Could it be possible?Lauren swears these are not her babies! How far will she go to get them back? There are fairy tales, there is dark lore and then there is “Little Darlings.” Is your heart in your throat? Do you have the chills? Admittedly, I will say that this is one strange tale and it took some very odd turns and yet I was glued to the pages like there was no tomorrow. With “Little Darlings,” Melanie Golding weaved a sinister tale that is sure to capture your attention in the wickedest of ways. This was a buddy read with Kaceey and both of us were absolutely fascinated.A huge thank you to Sarah at Crooked Lane Books, NetGalley and Melanie Golden for a galley of this novel to read and review. Published on Goodreads on on 3.17.19.Will be published on Amazon and Twitter on the release date of 4.30.19.
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  • Fran
    January 1, 1970
    Lauren Tranter had just given birth to identical twin boys, Riley and Morgan. She was worried. She was "still waiting for the rush of love. That one you feel, at once the second they're born..." She felt that she might be "...trapped in her little family unit...". After all, husband Patrick was unwilling to help. He felt Lauren alone must sacrifice and embrace "parenthood". Caring for the twins wasn't actual work, he said.Lauren is panic stricken upon seeing a grimy faced, dark haired, seemingly Lauren Tranter had just given birth to identical twin boys, Riley and Morgan. She was worried. She was "still waiting for the rush of love. That one you feel, at once the second they're born..." She felt that she might be "...trapped in her little family unit...". After all, husband Patrick was unwilling to help. He felt Lauren alone must sacrifice and embrace "parenthood". Caring for the twins wasn't actual work, he said.Lauren is panic stricken upon seeing a grimy faced, dark haired, seemingly toothless woman enter her room in the maternity ward. The ghastly woman told Lauren that she had twins as well, but her twins were cursed. She wanted to make a deal with Lauren because she felt that Lauren had been given "everything" while she had "everything taken". She wanted to change babies, one for another. Lauren grabbed Riley and Morgan, ran into the bathroom, locked the door, and dialed the police to report an attempted child abduction.Detective Sergeant Joanne Harper routinely checked overnight incident reports and happened upon an attempted child abduction at the Royal Infirmary Hospital. The incident was considered a false alarm. It was noted that MHS ( Mental Health Services) was involved. Jo had a "gut feeling of dread". Lauren must be terrified. Jo requested a copy of the CCTV hospital disc despite her superior DI Thrupp's insistence that the case was closed.Lauren and Patrick Tranter are home from the hospital with the twins. Convincing his wife to leave the safety of their home, Lauren's first outing will have a devastating outcome. Sleep deprived Lauren falls asleep while resting in the park, awakening to a missing double stroller. Where are the babies? When they are found, Lauren screams that they are not her babies! Are they changelings?DS Harper vacillates between belief and disbelief in Lauren's insistence that these "creatures" are not hers. Is the "kidnapping" a hallucination? How will Jo separate shadowy, inconclusive data from reality? Both Lauren Tranter and DS Jo Harper are truly unsettled by the disturbing events surrounding Morgan and Riley. Has Lauren experienced postpartum psychosis, a "temporary impairment of her mental health"? In true fairy tale style, each reader's interpretation will be his (her) own."Little Darlings" by Melanie Golding was a unsettling, eerie fantasy wrought with much uncertainty. It is a dark fairy tale-like read that will have the reader intent on separating fantasy from reality. An excellent debut novel I highly recommend.Thank you Crooked Lane Books and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review "Little Darlings".
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  • marilyn
    January 1, 1970
    The book is told from the point of view of Lauren Tranter, an exhausted new mother of twins and Jo Harper a detective who investigates the events that take place concerning Lauren and her twins. The story starts towards the end of Lauren's long labor and the baby boys are named Morgan and Riley. Lauren spends several days in the hospital with them, wondering when her "love" for her babies will appear. Lauren is exhausted, inexperienced, and gets no real support from her husband Ben, at any time The book is told from the point of view of Lauren Tranter, an exhausted new mother of twins and Jo Harper a detective who investigates the events that take place concerning Lauren and her twins. The story starts towards the end of Lauren's long labor and the baby boys are named Morgan and Riley. Lauren spends several days in the hospital with them, wondering when her "love" for her babies will appear. Lauren is exhausted, inexperienced, and gets no real support from her husband Ben, at any time in the story. The first night of her babies' birth, she hears and sees a dirty woman in the area next to hers, singing a horrid song, while a basket with the woman's "twins" surrounded by rags, sits at the woman's feet. As the woman tries to trade babies with Lauren, she is able to call 999 to get help and Det. Jo Harper's intuition drives her to want to know more about what is happening to Lauren. Once home, Lauren grows to love her baby boys and will do anything for them. The doctors, nurses, and Lauren's husband think that Lauren was hallucinating in the hospital and when she sees the woman in front of her home, Ben is upset that Jo Harper would even consider what Lauren saw as real. Lauren continues to see the dirty woman over the next month as she learns from fairy tales about changelings, and knows she must do everything she can to keep this woman from swapping twins with her. Lauren doesn't even leave the house until the twins are 5 weeks old. This is Grimms Fairy Tales come to life for Lauren and Jo Harper is the only person who believes something is really happening to Lauren...that Lauren isn't just hallucinating everything she sees. The book had me hooked from the beginning and I felt so much compassion for Lauren and a lot of disgust for her husband, who knew his wife was exhausted but insisted the twins, the house, the chores, were all her responsibility. Ben wasn't willing to help Lauren in any way and wanted life to go back to how it was before they were born, with his only responsibility being his job during the day and going to the bar to "network" in the evenings. What is real and what is a figment of Lauren's imagination? Many things point either direction and even Lauren doubts herself at times. Jo Harper works to find out what exactly is going on, with the help of Amy, a journalist that Jo fancies. The 'maybe' romance between Jo and Amy detracted from the book for me. It just didn't fit into the story and was unnecessary, in my opinion. Otherwise this book entranced me, even with an ending that may leave some readers questioning just what was real.Thank to Crooked Lane books and NetGalley for this ARC.
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  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    Happy Publication Day to Little Darlings and Melanie Golding!I can't believe I have had this for months now and haven't read it yet.What is with my life?
  • James
    January 1, 1970
    Little Darlings by Melanie Golding is a story about pain, hope, psychosis, fairy tales, motherhood, lies, and drama. It is the type of book where you do not get all the answers and must interpret for yourself what actually happened in the final pages. For some, this will be a great opportunity to decide what is fantasy and what is real. For others, it's a foray into an unknown world of uncertainty. Whether you lean in either direction, one thing's for sure, it's good writing.Lauren Tranter just Little Darlings by Melanie Golding is a story about pain, hope, psychosis, fairy tales, motherhood, lies, and drama. It is the type of book where you do not get all the answers and must interpret for yourself what actually happened in the final pages. For some, this will be a great opportunity to decide what is fantasy and what is real. For others, it's a foray into an unknown world of uncertainty. Whether you lean in either direction, one thing's for sure, it's good writing.Lauren Tranter just gave birth to twin boys. Her husband, Patrick, is committed and loving, but there's something slightly off about him. There are no grandparents or siblings involved (okay, a minor scene with Patrick's sibling later on, but it doesn't impact the plot). Lauren doesn't work outside the home. They seem to have little to no friends except a soon-to-be mother's group who drops off peculiar gifts. When this happens, who do you turn to?For Lauren, she's happy in her cocoon until the birth is way more difficult than she expected. The doctors almost lose her to excessive blood loss at one point, but she bounces back and begins to care for the little tykes perfectly. Except during the first overnight in the hospital, a weird witch-like woman threatens to swap the babies because hers are bad and Lauren's are good. Maybe they each keep one good and one bad, she suggests?How would you handle the situation? Lock yourself in a bathroom to avoid anyone trying to steal them? Good plan, except on video tape, there's no one attacking you. Was it real? Was it supernatural fantasy thing? The fairy tales tell a very different story... one about a woman who demands you drown your children in order to save them. Lauren is trapped. If she does nothing, the woman comes nightly to haunt her. If she does something, the cops and/or hospital threaten to commit her. What a paradox! To love, you must hurt. How would you handle the situation?Golding tells a wicked story with heart. Readers will be uncertain where to lend their loyalties as a few twists and turns convince you Lauren is crazy, but then easily show you she's not seeing things. For me, it drove me nuts! I like clarity, but I appreciate the variables at play here enough to indicate this book is a challenging read in a good a way. As a side story, one of the cops struggles to believe Lauren. Through research, she finds something that might confirm who kidnaps the kids, but in the end, all is not what it seems.A psychological thriller, readers have a chance to determine how to interpret a story that can be told in many ways. Golding's talent sits in the ability to walk a fine line of confusion and power. We will all feel differently, yet it's the same words and story. Which part will you connect to? Definitely worth a read, you'll find hidden gems in the life lessons and fairy tale history we learn along the path. I recommend it for those looking for something a little different than the normal family drama.Many thanks to the author and Crooked Lane for the chance to read this book. I voluntarily participated on the blog tour and am excited to spread the word about this novel.
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  • Carolyn
    January 1, 1970
    Lauren Tranter, exhausted after the difficult birth of twin boys is lying in her hospital bed when she thinks she sees and hears a dirty, dishevelled woman try to swap one of her babies for one of Lauren's boys. However, the the police and the hospital can't find any evidence of an intruder, so she is forced to believe that she has imagined the woman but is nevertheless relieved to take her boys home where she can keep them safe. Once at home, with little help from her selfish husband, Lauren be Lauren Tranter, exhausted after the difficult birth of twin boys is lying in her hospital bed when she thinks she sees and hears a dirty, dishevelled woman try to swap one of her babies for one of Lauren's boys. However, the the police and the hospital can't find any evidence of an intruder, so she is forced to believe that she has imagined the woman but is nevertheless relieved to take her boys home where she can keep them safe. Once at home, with little help from her selfish husband, Lauren becomes even more exhausted, so that when she does finally get out of the house to meet some friends when the babies are four weeks old, she falls asleep sitting on a park bench and the babies are snatched from her side. Although safely found, Lauren becomes convinced that they are not her babies but changelings and so begins a nightmare for Lauren trying to convince those around her that she needs to get her boys back. Melanie Golding's debut thriller is sinister and creepy and demands to be read quickly to find out whether Lauren is a psychotic new mother or the victim of an evil faery plot. The writing and pacing of the plot were excellent, although I think the creep factor could have been ramped up a bit more, especially during Lauren's sightings and interactions with the faery woman for a bit more tension. Lauren and police sergeant Jo Harper are well developed characters. Ms Golding really painted an excellent picture of what sleep deprivation can do to a new mother (especially one with twins and an unengaged husband) and Jo with her intuition is the just the sort of policewoman you'd want on your side when facing the rest of the world. I didn't care much for Amy, the journalist and thought she was a bit too flaky for someone like Jo to like and trust (and I really would have liked to see Lauren's husband suffer more for his neglect of his wife and twins!). Overall, an enjoyable thriller with a sprinkling of fairy tales and the supernatural to give it an unusual twist. With thanks to Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for a digital ARC to read.
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  • Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
    January 1, 1970
    What a despairingly creepy novel. Highly readable and full of raw emotional content. Truly heart-shattering!Lauren Tanter is exhausted after the birth of her twin boys Morgan and Riley. Overjoyed at her bundles, she is dealing with complications after birth and adjusting to the around the clock feedings during her hospital stay, while her husband gets to go home and rest up every night. She is sore, tired and over-flooded emotionally. She loves those boys so much, they are just perfect. One of t What a despairingly creepy novel. Highly readable and full of raw emotional content. Truly heart-shattering!Lauren Tanter is exhausted after the birth of her twin boys Morgan and Riley. Overjoyed at her bundles, she is dealing with complications after birth and adjusting to the around the clock feedings during her hospital stay, while her husband gets to go home and rest up every night. She is sore, tired and over-flooded emotionally. She loves those boys so much, they are just perfect. One of those short times when Lauren is able to get some shut-eye, she hears there are other new mothers and babies added to the room, separated by curtains. In the night, one of them is singing to her babies, also twins and Lauren asks her politely to stop. When she opens the curtains to speak to the mother, the scene reveals an eerie situation. Joanna Harper is the police detective working a 911 call received from the maternity ward of the local hospital. A woman has locked herself into a bathroom with her newborn twins in fear of someone wanting to abduct her babies. Although the security guard at the hospital has not found an intruder in the ward, Harper makes it a personal mission to solve the case of this frightened mother.Tinged with imperfect characters and dark lore of old folktales, this novel is charismatic and a page-turner. The combination of contemporary fiction with creepy elements was such a suspenseful and interesting read. If you have any idea about childbirth and the adjustment period after then you can relate to the raw and tiresome moments of Lauren Turner in this novel. Motherhood and caring for infants is tough, hard work, and Golding did an amazing job sticking to how it really is without sugar coating it. Adding the grief of mental illness, convoluted with illusions of sinister tales and old town history, it had me question the outcome of this novel so much. Will it be a fairy tale ending or a more logical but sad conclusion to Little Darlings?The elements and excerpts of grim fairytales in the chapters with the suspenseful plot made me a fan. I absolutely recommend this book and will be looking out for more upcoming novels by Melanie Golding. I received an ARC of this novel from Crooked Lane Books in exchange of an honest review. All opinion are my own. Thank you.More of my reviews here:https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/
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  • Selena
    January 1, 1970
    Little Darlings is a creepy psychological thriller that is the perfect read for Halloween.I received a free e-copy of Little Darlings by Melanie Golding from NetGalley for my honest review.Lauren, who is eight months pregnant with twins is absolutely exhausted. Finally, the day comes when the twins (Riley and Morgan) are born. Someone has tried to kidnap her twins and replace them with look a likes. Lauren alerts people for help but she has vanished. No one believes her either. They think Lauren Little Darlings is a creepy psychological thriller that is the perfect read for Halloween.I received a free e-copy of Little Darlings by Melanie Golding from NetGalley for my honest review.Lauren, who is eight months pregnant with twins is absolutely exhausted. Finally, the day comes when the twins (Riley and Morgan) are born. Someone has tried to kidnap her twins and replace them with look a likes. Lauren alerts people for help but she has vanished. No one believes her either. They think Lauren has postpartum. Then when Lauren gets home with the babies, her nightmare continues. Another incident and yet no one believes her. Lauren starts to go down a deep hole and is sleep deprived and very depressed. Lauren's husband tells her she should get some air and take a walk with the twins. She is sitting on a bench and dozes off. When she wakes, the twins are missing. The twins are found in a short amount of time but Lauren is convinced that they are not her babies, but creatures that look like her babies. Is Lauren loosing her mind? Is there someone out there who has really taken her babies and replaced them with something supernatural? Will Lauren ever get anyone to believe her?
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  • Theresa Alan
    January 1, 1970
    My first thought is that though this is billed as a thriller/mystery, maybe it’s also a bit horror/paranormal. Whatever it is, it’s super creepy, and it will not make you envy the life of a new mother of twins.It starts with a well-written but harrowing account of natural child birth. Utterly exhausted and now alone in the middle of the night at the hospital, Lauren is certain she sees a bedraggled homeless woman telling her that she must choose only one of her twin boys. Her claims are quickly My first thought is that though this is billed as a thriller/mystery, maybe it’s also a bit horror/paranormal. Whatever it is, it’s super creepy, and it will not make you envy the life of a new mother of twins.It starts with a well-written but harrowing account of natural child birth. Utterly exhausted and now alone in the middle of the night at the hospital, Lauren is certain she sees a bedraggled homeless woman telling her that she must choose only one of her twin boys. Her claims are quickly dismissed as exhaustion. I’ve never had kids, but I do understand depression and how it’s exacerbated by extreme fatigue, so I readily believe new mothers when they talk about post-partum depression. After going home, Lauren never wants to leave the house again. She finally ventures outside when the twins are four-weeks old. When she falls asleep in the park, she awakes to find that her twins have been taken from her. After they are discovered by a diligent police officer, they look like Riley and Morgan to everyone else, but Lauren knows that they are creatures imitating her boys. You spend the novel wondering if this is an X-File-type unexplained phenomenon or whether Lauren is just in an exhausted post-partum psychosis. Officer Joanna Harper seems to be the only one to give any credence to Lauren’s claims and works tirelessly to get to the truth.This is well-written but not exactly what I’d describe as a fun read unless you really enjoy being creeped out for 300 pages. Thanks so much to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book, which RELEASES APRIL 30, 2019. For more reviews, please visit http://www.theresaalan.net/blog
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  • Louise Wilson
    January 1, 1970
    Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs a rest. And they're right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she's never neen more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own.... creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her Doctor to her husband, thinks she's imagining things. But is she?The story is told by Lauren Tranter, an exhausted new mother of tw Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs a rest. And they're right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she's never neen more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own.... creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her Doctor to her husband, thinks she's imagining things. But is she?The story is told by Lauren Tranter, an exhausted new mother of twins, and Jo Harper, the detective who investigates, point of views. After giving birth to the twins, Lauren stats seeing this raggedy old woman who wants to swap her twins for Lauren's. This is quite a creepy and disturbing read. It's based on old fairy stories of changelings - fairy children who,are left in place of human children. I liked the characters, Lauren and Jo, and trying to work out if it was all in Lauren's imagination or not. Jo has her own reasons for investigating this case. I was gripped from the start of this book.I would like to thank NetGalley, HQ and the author Melanie Golding for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Book of Secrets
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars → LITTLE DARLINGS is a creepy and addictive psychological thriller about a new mother of twins who fears her babies are changelings. Was this brought on by postpartum psychosis, or is there something sinister going on?What a nightmare to think your babies were swapped with strange river creatures, yet they look the same on the outside...and no one believes you.I enjoyed this modern dark fairy tale very much. Lauren, the mother, was a compelling character, and her whole situation gave m 4.5 Stars → LITTLE DARLINGS is a creepy and addictive psychological thriller about a new mother of twins who fears her babies are changelings. Was this brought on by postpartum psychosis, or is there something sinister going on?What a nightmare to think your babies were swapped with strange river creatures, yet they look the same on the outside...and no one believes you.I enjoyed this modern dark fairy tale very much. Lauren, the mother, was a compelling character, and her whole situation gave me a terrible feeling of dread. I also loved Jo Harper, the detective investigating the case, and her complicated relationship with a journalist covering the story. LITTLE DARLINGS is a chilling and suspenseful debut novel that perfectly blends folklore and domestic thriller. Unique! Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪 | Instagram | Pinterest | ✿
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  • NZLisaM
    January 1, 1970
    A psychologically disturbing and suspenseful, creepy modern folklore story, with a fairy tale feel!Lauren Tranter gives birth to two healthy twin boys, Riley and Morgan. Her first night on the maternity ward, sore and exhausted from a tough labour, she hears, from the bed next door to hers. another new mother whispering to her own twin babies. The next morning a nurse informs Lauren that no one's sleeping there, and that hers are the only multiple births currently in the hospital. Night two, the A psychologically disturbing and suspenseful, creepy modern folklore story, with a fairy tale feel!Lauren Tranter gives birth to two healthy twin boys, Riley and Morgan. Her first night on the maternity ward, sore and exhausted from a tough labour, she hears, from the bed next door to hers. another new mother whispering to her own twin babies. The next morning a nurse informs Lauren that no one's sleeping there, and that hers are the only multiple births currently in the hospital. Night two, the sound of a horrible lullaby drifts through the dividing curtain, and getting up to investigate, Lauren finds an old woman, dressed in rags, a basket of what appears to be babies (although Lauren can't see them, can only hear them breathing and snuffling) at her feet. Before Lauren knows what's happening the woman tries to convince her to swap babies. ‘”I'll take yours and you can have mine. You'll never know the difference.”’ She then attempts to grab Riley and Morgan, but Lauren manages to escape, locking herself and her babies in the bathroom. But, when hospital security arrive on the scene, there's no sign of any intruder, and they don't believe her. Nor do the nurses, the police, not even her own husband.Then, the woman follows her home...Dark and absolutely thrilling, this story quickly captured my imagination and attention. Fairy tales, cartoons, Disney movies, and children's stories like Spike Milligan's, Bad Jelly the Witch teach us early on that the face of evil often belongs to an old women, and generally a little bit of that fear carries over into adulthood. So, I have to admit that the vile, hag-like, reeks of decay, dark magic casting, baby-stealing villain in this story scared the bejeezers out of me. And of course, I loved every minute of it. The folk tales, superstitions, and excerpts relating to changelings, twins, and babies, preceding chapters, upped the spooky ante. Throughout the novel we're never quite sure whether Lauren has postpartum/postnatal depression combined with lack of sleep, or if her babies are really being threatened by a supernatural being, only visible to her, and the argument is strong for either. Embracing and adjusting to new motherhood was a prominent theme. Lauren's strength, fragility and love for her children shone through the pages, and it was clear that she would go to any lengths to protect her twin boys from anything or anyone, and when she thought her children were stolen away, would sacrifice herself, and her freedom, at any cost to get them back.For a debut novel, this one really impressed me, and I can't wait to read whatever Melanie Golding writes next.I'd like to thank Netgalley, Crooked Lane Books, and Melanie Golding for the e-ARC.Release Date: 30th April, 2019.
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  • Sarah Joint
    January 1, 1970
    This was a perfect Halloween read for me. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for something just a bit creepy and unnerving. It never crosses into completely terrifying, it's more of a slow unraveling that keeps you on edge, starting to question everything. Chilling and atmospheric, this book features snippets of old folk tales... each having to do with twins. We now of course understand how twins come to be, but there's still something just a bit mysterious and intriguing about them. Many years This was a perfect Halloween read for me. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for something just a bit creepy and unnerving. It never crosses into completely terrifying, it's more of a slow unraveling that keeps you on edge, starting to question everything. Chilling and atmospheric, this book features snippets of old folk tales... each having to do with twins. We now of course understand how twins come to be, but there's still something just a bit mysterious and intriguing about them. Many years ago when their origin was an enigma, it only makes sense that people would come up with some pretty interesting ideas. The folk tales give this book just a touch of an old world feel in a modern time. Even as our lives have changed and in many ways improved, a lot still remains the same: the joy of children, the stress of responsibility, the frustration when your spouse isn't pulling their own weight... the animal need you feel to protect your offspring. Lauren has not one new baby, but two. Two beautiful little boys who already seem to have their own personality and of course, require constant care. Her husband isn't nearly as helpful as she was expecting, and she's started to isolate herself from her family and friends. She had a scary experience at the hospital after they were born, where she was convinced a strange woman was after her children. It's just easier to stay inside, not worry about anyone judging her disheveled appearance and keeping her boys safe. Her new hermit- like tendencies finally start to concern those closest to her, and her husband encourages her to get the boys out of the house. Maybe giving mama a break for awhile would also be helpful, but I digress. She meets friends and takes them for a walk, finally stopping for a moment to rest. She must have only fallen asleep for a few moments... but when she wakes up, she's alone. The boys are gone. The children are quickly recovered, but to Lauren, they are not the same. These boys are not HER boys. They may look the same, to everyone else there's no doubt they are the same, but she knows. These aren't her children. The stranger from the hospital switched them. But how will she get hers back? I read this book with the lovely Traveling Sisters. We were each given a copy by Sarah from Crooked Lane Books. Thank you! This in no way affects my honest review of the story.
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