The Child Finder

The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld


Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon's Skookum National Forest. She would be eight-years-old now – if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as "the Child Finder," Naomi is their last hope.
Naomi's methodical search takes her deep into the icy, mysterious forest in the Pacific Northwest, and into her own fragmented past. She understands children like Madison because once upon a time, she was a lost girl, too.
As Naomi relentlessly pursues and slowly uncovers the truth behind Madison’s disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce the defenses that have protected her, reminding her of a terrible loss she feels but cannot remember. If she finds Madison, will Naomi ultimately unlock the secrets of her own life?


The world could not stand to lose this child.

The previous book by Rene Denfeld I read was The Enchanted which belongs to the magical realism realm of books and, fittingly, it felt very magical and otherworldly and beautiful no matter how dark the subject was. This one was, in that sense, just the same. It's not magical realism but it feels like it. It's dark but the darkness is beautiful. Like snow in the dark. Also, there is lots of snow in this book. Like, just so much snow.

Once more I went into this book not knowing what it would be about (considering the title I was kind of put-off but I trusted Denfeld and pushed myself beyond that initial scepticism. Totally worth it.) but, for once, I actually think that this is the kind of book where it won't hurt to know a little bit about the premise because nothing much happens, once you think about it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not criticizing lack of plot, on the contrary, I'm congratulating this book on how it manages to state it's objectives and then continues to shed light on these objectives from so many different perspectives and explore its topics and subjects until it concludes in a highly satisfactory manner. There might not be happening a lot but it never feels empty or slow or anything.

Frankly, I was totally engrossed in this story. Denfeld's writing is incredibly captivating and addictive (and beautiful, if you haven't guessed it from what I've written above). Whenever I got the chance to I just kept on reading and reading and reading and when I didn't get the chance to I wished I could. The Child Finder made me feel things right from the very first word just because of the writing, which is a brillant starting point if you ask me.

The only thing I might be able to "criticize" is a personal slight (veeery slight, I'll get to it in a second) lack of emotional impact. The writing was so beautiful that I was sure I'd find myself crying in a corner by the end of the book but then … I didn't? The thing is I was emotionally invested and I felt a little like crying in the end but that's not what I had expected. Thus, I don't think I can actually call it criticism. Moreover, it's not even something that actually bothered me because I loved the ending.

In conclusion, my lacking train of thought should tell you that I loved most aspects of this book and that it was brilliant because I need to try real hard to kind-of-but-not-really think of something I could criticize.  


Strangely, the longer I think about what I want to rate this book the less sure I become of my initial rating (which is 4.5 stars). I think I might give it 4/5 stars? Maybe, in the future, I'll bump it back up to 4.5 stars but I think it'll be 4 for now.


Name: The Child Finder
Series: Apparently this is going to be a series but it doesn't have a title, yet, so ... if I remember I'll include the series' name sometime in the future.
Author: Rene Denfeld
Publisher: Harper
Pages: 288
Where?: Amazon


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