Monday, March 27, 2017

Review: The Lost Children by Helen Phifer (audio)

Title: The Lost Children
Author: Helen Phifer
Series: Detective Lucy Harwin, #1
Narrator: Alison Campbell
Published: March 2017, Bookouture
Length: 9 hours 46 minutes / 320 pages
Source: Personal copy via Audible/ Netgalley via Bookouture
Lizzy pulled the covers over her head. Then she realised what was being dragged behind the person with the torch. She rammed her fist into her mouth to stop herself from screaming…

For decades, The Moore Asylum was home to the forgotten children of Brooklyn Bay. But ever since a scandal forced its closure, the abandoned building has cast an imposing shadow. Until now – when an elderly man is found dead, his body strapped to an ancient gurney...

Detective Lucy Harwin, still reeling from a previous case that ended in the devastating murder of a mother and her child, finds herself on the trail of a killer ruthlessly fixated on avenging the asylum’s wrongs.

What disturbing secrets lie within the asylum’s walls? Together with her partner Detective Mattie Jackson, Lucy begins to unearth its terrible history, and the horrors endured by the vulnerable children.

As the attacks escalate and a woman is murdered on her own doorstep, Lucy is forced into a terrifying game of cat and mouse with a twisted individual. But can Lucy stop a murderer with nothing left to lose?

An absolutely terrifying and gripping thriller that will chill readers of MJ Arlidge, Angela Marsons and Rachel Abbott to the bone.

My thoughts: This is the first book in Helen Phifer's new police procedural series and I absolutely loved it! It's dark, twisty and has a kick-ass lead female character that has tattoos, wears converse sneakers and dyes her hair bright, crazy colors - what's not to love? 

Detective Inspector Lucy Harwin is one tough, complicated gal. She's just back on the force after a previous case put her on leave and she has a ton of baggage that at times weighs her down. But I find her fascinating! I think she is going to be a great character study as this series progresses. And her side-kick, Mattie - he's harboring some feelings for her, but won't fess up and I definitely feel this will at some point be explored - at least I hope so! They make a good team, professionally, have each other's backs and when danger comes around, really worry about each other.

The case they are working on is a tough one to swallow. This book is dark and deals with some heavy, disturbing topics. The action is fast-paced and the characters are all intriguing - you want to know more about them all, especially the villian! While I had figured out who was behind things fairly early on, it in no way detracted from my enjoyment of this book - I wanted to know how they were going to get caught and what their ultimate motivations and goals were. 

This book kept me engaged and on the edge of my seat the entire time. I loved the way every once in a while we got flashbacks to the past - just nuggets of what really happened at the asylum. Even just thinking about it now gives me the chills! I can't wait to see how this series progresses and where our characters go next!    

Audio thoughts: I love listening to series on audio - especially when I find a good narrator. Alison Campbell is a new-to-me narrator, which can be a good thing as she doesn't already have any set voices in my head, if that makes sense? I thought she did a great job with this audio production. She gave all the characters distinct, unique voices, and kept the pacing just right, infusing just the right amount of tension and suspense in her voice as necessary. I do hope she continues to keep narrating this series for as long as it continues!

Books in this series:
  1. The Lost Children



  1. This one had me holding my breath just reading the blurb so I imagine the book itself is impossible to put down! This sounds good though seriously disturbing. I think I need to have a light fluffy book to mix in with this one!

  2. Kristin, I'm glad you loved this book! I am seeing it on the blogs as I make my rounds today.


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