Little Darlings by Melanie Golding
This book was so unexpectedly creepy! I tend to put any thriller and secret twist looking book that I find available on Overdrive on hold and then wait in line for weeks and weeks and by the time my turn comes around I have no idea what the thing is about. This is often the best thing to do with “twisty” books so wasn’t I surprised in the best way imaginable when I started this one and realized it was a creepy, modern day dark fairytale with horror underpinnings! I LOVED it from sinister beginning to sinister end.
The story starts off with the arrival of the Little Darlings. Lauren gives birth to two beautiful identical twin boys. The delivery is exhausting and once they arrive she feels a little twinge of guilt because she isn’t drowning in overwhelming feelings of love for them - this fleeting thought causes her much grief and anxiety later on. Lauren is tired, she’s sore, her belly is mushy and she feels sad and then a bedraggled woman shows up in the hospital and whispers strange things and demands she hand over one of the boys as “justice done” or she'll take them both and replace them with the dirty shape-shifting creatures she's holding in a filthy basket! Lauren calls the police but they convince her that she imagined it all. Her husband isn’t exactly the caregiver type, so as the days pass she doesn’t begin to feel any better and struggles to simply get out of bed. She has fallen in love with her little boys though and she will do anything to protect them. . .
I don’t want to spoil the story so I’ll only say that it may or may not be about changelings, old fables and that it gave me a major The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman vibe only re-imagined for modern times. There is some scary shit happening in this story! The atmosphere and characters are crafted with care. You’ll feel for Lauren and for police officer Jo Harper who doggedly pursues the case for Lauren and does some questionable things because she has a gut feeling and she goes with it no matter the risk to her own career. I loved that her character was so multi-faceted and that she wasn’t just plunked down into the story to get things done.
If you like stories with a dark fairy feel and horror-ish undertones, I cannot recommend this addictive and creeptastic book highly enough! It is the best of the best, in my opinion. All the stars.