It’s a pleasure to review this unexpected little gem and take part in the BlogTour The Replacement by Melanie Golding.
‘Weaving together the trademark folklore inspiration that readers loved in Little Darlings, with the procedural narrative force of a brilliant mystery, this is the excellent and unnerving new novel from Melanie Golding.’
About the Author
Melanie Golding has a master’s in creative writing from Bath Spa University. She has taught writing in prisons and institutions for young offenders, as well as music in a school for boys with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Her novel Little Darlings has been optioned for film. A full-time, registered childminder, Golding splits her time between her childminding duties and her writing.
About the book
When a small child is found wandering alone, the local shopkeepers call the authorities immediately. Twenty minutes later, the girl’s mother turns up, panicked and distraught. It doesn’t take long to clear things up, and mother and daughter are soon reunited and sent on their way.
Miles away, the body of a man is discovered, floating in a bathtub, but the most surprising discovery of all is that he isn’t dead. Despite his injuries, he is very much alive.
Two seemingly unrelated events. But as DS Harper begins to investigate, disturbing truths start to come to light that connect the man to the mother and child, and suddenly it’s not clear where the danger truly lies. Harper must find out, and quickly. Because someone, or something, is closing in and she needs to uncover the truth before it’s too late…
This wasn’t at all what I was expecting. It hooked me, reeled me in, and I loved it.
What kind of mother just leaves her toddler? A desperate one or one that changes her mind and comes back ten minutes later, by which time the police and social are involved. It takes some convincing, but eventually mother and daughter are reunited and allowed to leave.
Elsewhere DS Harper is investigating another crime, which at first glance is completely unrelated, until a connection is made between mother, child and man. A simple mystery and possible crime, becomes a taut psychological read with added element, which absolutely makes the story.
I think this is definitely becoming a trademark style of Golding, the way crime and human nature is merged with folklore and myths to create the kind of read that never quite lets you go. Merging the emotional fragility, the underlying violence, the unconditional love and the instinct for survival with the shimmer of belief we carry in our core – the result is a great story.
This is an author to watch, there is natural knack for creating tension, weaving threads and compelling storytelling.