by Melanie Golding
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Pub Date 11 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 21 Dec 2021
‘A modern spin on a folk tale where the improbable can happen … deftly spun … the twists are lovely; dark and deep’ The Times
‘Golding folds together a folklore-inspired plot with the modern twists and tension of a police procedural novel to create a bitingly unnerving story’ Adele Parks, Platinum
‘Sewing together the many threads of the case, there is the added folklore that seeps into an atmospheric, mysterious and horror-struck storyline. Powerful imagery and captivating characters, this a grabbing book’ Magic Radio Book Club
‘The most original book you’ll read this year … Full of twists, turns and atmosphere, make sure you don’t accidentally stay up all night devouring it’ Crime Monthly
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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…
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.
* * *
Readers are captivated by The Replacement!
‘A book with so many twists and unexpected outcomes. So unusual but totally gripping. I wanted the book to last forever’ NetGalley reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘This book is brilliant . . . I love psychological thrillers and stories with myths and folklore [and Melanie] blends the two together [to] create the perfect book in my eyes’ NetGalley reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 244 members
I loved Melanie Golding's first novel, Little Darlings - its blend of folklore elements with psychological thriller felt genuinely original. So, I was very excited to get my hands on her new book, The Replacement (also called The Hidden). (Thinking about it, The Replacement is an interesting title and can refer to more than one character.)
Again, Golding has taken a piece of folklore - selkies, in this case - and incorporated it into a more traditional crime story which revisits the character of police officer Jo Harper from the first book. It's best not to know too much in advance - but the story opens arrestingly (no pun intended) with a young child, toddler Leonie, left alone on a seafront street. The child's mother, Constance, has gone, but another young woman, Ruby - someone Jo knows very well - is soon there to step into the role. What has really happened, though, and what is the connection to the body of a man, found floating in a bathtub?
The Replacement is an engrossing read which lived up to my expectations, though I'm not sure it had quite the haunting quality of Little Darlings (there seemed to be just slightly less of the ambiguity which was a feature of that story). The villain here is perhaps a little *too* evil, really ramping it up towards the end. I loved the characters of Jo and Ruby though, and Leonie, the adorable almost-two-year-old at the centre of things. And the ending is genuinely satisfying. I'm really looking forward to seeing what Melanie Golding does next.
Psychological thriller at its best.
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
While reading this book, I was constantly asking one question "who's she really?" And when I got my answer, I was shocked. This novel has that much impact on me.
I loved all the characters and how they have changed throughout the novel.
Thanks to NetGalley and HQ for giving me an advance copy.
Oh my,,what a cracking read 5⭐️
It’s a page turning book full of twists and turns. It’s written in such a way that has you absorbed from the moment you meet Ruby and Leonie.
Ruby is a little late to pick up Leonie from Constance. Whom has to leave in a hurry to return to her own inhabitant. Only the delay in picking her up leads to a 999 call and social services becoming involved. But all has been a mistake and Ruby leaves with Leonie.
Miles away DS Joanna Harper (Ruby’s Mother) has been called to a possible murder. A murder that didn’t quite succeed of Gregor. But as the story unravels and fluctuates from the present and the past we learn quickly of connection between all the key characters.
It’s a book that needs a “clear the decks” warning. Once you start reading you can’t put it down!
An easy read, all key characters have their own stories, absorbing page Turner that transports you to feel as though you are watching a play.
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