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The Replacement by Melanie Golding

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The Replacement by Melanie Golding
UK Publication: November 2021
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: [★★★]

This ARC was provided by HQ (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

There’s something in the water…

Synopsis from Netgalley: 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.

My Thoughts: This is so difficult to review without giving away any spoilers (hence the synopsis from Netgalley and not GR) so you will just have to bear with me.

I have previously read and loved Golding’s first novel Little Darlings and while this book has a similar feel to it for me it is not quite as well done. The folklore aspects are great and of course require the reader to suspend disbelief while reading. The bit that didn’t work for me was the police procedural side of things. I am no expert but even I have to say there is no way Harper could have done what she did and kept her job. For me this whole storyline detracted from the book as a whole. The murder, mystery, folklore tie in worked perfectly well without the addition of the extra layer.

I enjoyed the book overall and it did pick up pace with the chase at the end enough to keep this reader up until midnight to finish it (I am normally in bed by 21:30 and asleep by 22:00) I just would have appreciate a more believable police aspect to counter/enhance the folklore aspect.

Who would like this? I would recommend this to readers who enjoy fairy tales and folklore and who are not bothered by completely unrealistic police behaviour.

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think? 

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