I received The Child Finder in exchange for an honest review
This was a surprise gem of a book. At first glance, I took it for a regular missing child mystery – a plot which has been covered many times – and I nearly passed it up. I’m so glad I didn’t because this is an elegant, atmospheric novel which tells a fairly unoriginal story in a unique, creative way.
Set in the heart of an Oregon forest, where it seems to always always be snowing, this is a beautifully atmospheric tale – you can almost see the snow topped mountains and feel the bitter cold. Denfeld makes the missing child story her own, bringing her setting and characters to life with rich, almost lyrical prose, interweaving fairy tales and magical realism with dark reality.
Madison has been missing for three years. After frustrating failed attempts to find their baby, her parents call in the Child Finder, Naomi. Naomi is an intriguing character who is passionate about her work, but she’s got her own secrets and answers to find. She’s been in the child finding profession since she was young, and she’s driven by a deep-seated obsession because she was once a lost child herself.
The story is told from alternating points of view between Naomi and ‘The Snow Girl’ until gradually the stories come together in a stunning tapestry set against the snowy backdrop. It isn’t your typical mystery thriller; in fact the majority of it is more a psychological drama. Denfeld deftly explores the psyche of a child, the effects of abuse and the power of a child’s imagination in a quietly powerful story. A perfect winter read which will make you think.