The Child Finder: A Novel by Rene DenfeldThe Child Finder: A Novel by Rene Denfeld

The Child Finder: A Novel

byRene Denfeld

Paperback | September 5, 2017

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A haunting, richly atmospheric, and deeply suspenseful novel from the acclaimed author of The Enchanted about an investigator who must use her unique insights to find a missing little girl.

"Where are you, Madison Culver? Flying with the angels, a silver speck on a wing? Are you dreaming, buried under snow? Or—is it possible—you are still alive?"

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?

Told in the alternating voices of Naomi and a deeply imaginative child, The Child Finder is a breathtaking, exquisitely rendered literary page-turner about redemption, the line between reality and memories and dreams, and the human capacity to survive.

Rene Denfeld is an American author, based in Oregon. Her essays have been published in the New York Times and other publication. She is the author of two novels, The Enchanted, which received the Prix du Premier Roman Etranger in France, and The Child Finder, which has become an international bestseller. In addition to writing, she was...
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Title:The Child Finder: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.72 inPublished:September 5, 2017Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062692690

ISBN - 13:9780062692696

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from I Could Not Put it Down! This book was a real page turner. It also gave insight into the devastating effects of child abduction.
Date published: 2018-09-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from good one-time read A good story, simple but effective. Not something I'll pick up from my shelf to re-read.
Date published: 2018-08-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful, lyrical writing; disturbing plot There is both magic and evil in the world and Denfeld brings them together in this novel. This will not be for everyone - the subject matter is disturbing - but the beautiful, lyrical writing, true observations of characters and the glimmer of light and hope keeps you reading
Date published: 2018-08-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easy Read Loved the straight to the point type of writing in this novel! Once you start you just cant stop yourself! I was down south when i started reading this book and ended up finishing it in 2 or 3 days!. Loved EVERY page!
Date published: 2018-08-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from So so I found this book to be just okay. The writing style was choppy and hard to keep track of what was happening. I wish the author had made more chapters rather than switch from different plots within the same chapter. Not a bad read but it could've been better.
Date published: 2018-08-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An absolute must read! Picked this book up thinking it was another typical thriller, found out it was much much more! Definitely would recommend this to anyone!
Date published: 2018-08-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favorite novels I bought this a while back love this. It is a must read
Date published: 2018-07-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fav I loved this book. It was well written and entertaining. Great mystery
Date published: 2018-07-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Psychological Mystery Naomi is known as 'The Child Finder' because of her investigative work in finding lost children. As she herself was once "found" at the age of 9, running from what she can only remember as "monsters", Naomi's search for missing children is also a search for herself and for the buried memories of her traumatic past. The Child Finder is a fast read and while it's described as a mystery/thriller, it's not as suspenseful, scary or action-packed as you might imagine - but that doesn't mean it's any less good! The book is more psychological, with a bit of magical realism and fairy tale mixed in. Aspects of the book deal with child abuse, a tough topic to read about, but Denfeld doesn't go into the gory details. Instead, she approaches it from the perspective of a child who lacks the maturity and language to understand and express what is happening. I was really drawn to Naomi's backstory, which we only see glimpses of in The Child Finder and I'm excited to see that Rene Denfeld is expected to write a sequel, called The Strawberry Palace.
Date published: 2018-07-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A page turner! This novel was both disturbing and endearing at the same time. It is a must read! The character development is both real and multi-layered.
Date published: 2018-06-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Child Finder a solid read, a bit slow at the beginning but overall very enjoyable
Date published: 2018-06-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good read Like a couple of other people, this book took me awhile to get into, but it was a satisfying read in the end!
Date published: 2018-06-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't Put This Down If you love a thrilling (sometimes dark and haunting) story, that is beautifully written, buy this book. Loved it, could not put it down!
Date published: 2018-06-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thoroughly Enjoyed! I really, really enjoyed this book! I have recommended it to people already. It is a very quick and easy read. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was because I would have preferred more information at the ending. That is just my personal preference.
Date published: 2018-06-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from O.K Took me a while to get into it. But once I was into the story it got interesting. All together it was an O.K book to read.
Date published: 2018-05-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Child Finder Easy read and entertaining enough. I was hoping for a better ending
Date published: 2018-05-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I couldn't put it down. Ms. Denfeld has a real knack for shining a light into the darkest of subject matters. Dark and haunting but full of hope and redemption. I felt the same way about The Enchanted.
Date published: 2018-04-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Atmospheric, gripping, moving, and so much more. This was my favourite read of 2017. It's a thriller, yes, but it went above and beyond expectations. First of all, the setting was described so beautifully that it was as if it was alive (without getting bogged down with too much detail). The story was dark, a bit whimsical, and gripping. The characters were unique, believable, and intriguing. Overall I was left feeling as if the story had whisked me away from start to end, and, once finished, I was left wanting to go back there.
Date published: 2018-04-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Quick read Maybe 3 1/2 stars. This was okay--I have an almost disappointing skill at guessing how a book is going to end up (and I mean who dunnit; who is who; what happened when) impossibly early in a story. Sometimes I really just want to be surprised. Sadly, this was another of these books and by literally page 19 I basically knew how it was all going to turn out. I think it was perhaps a big part of the author just making (to me) a lot of the clues way too obvious to the reader; it didn't help that she wrote part of the novel from the captive girl and captors' points of view. There were some weird plot holes and unanswered questions that seemed obvious to need answering; some characters or scenes or information that seemed obligatory rather than for the sake of the story, and a number of things about the protagonist that felt exceedingly unrealistic and had me rolling my eyes a few times. I think the author should have focused more seriously on a couple of traits about this characters. She felt a bit out of touch or unrelatable because of some vagueness. I didn't have a connection or investment with her, anyway. This follows Naomi, the 'child finder', who is so adept at locating missing children, both living and dead, because she was once a missing child. This part would seem important but is poorly developed, in my opinion. She is asked to come and locate a little girl, Madison, who went missing in the Oregon Woods when she was five, and if living, would now be eight. I think there were aspects of the story the author thought were truly gasp-worthy twists but meh. Not really at all. Again maybe it's just my ability at guessing what's going to happen but it didn't seem that shocking. This was okay. Easy read and very quick to get through. A good summertime mystery I suppose?
Date published: 2018-04-23
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Hated it I was so disappointed with this book after so many people recommended it. I may be the minority here but this book did nothing for me. I hated the transition between characters and time, it was terribly confusing to me.
Date published: 2018-04-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best book in a long time I really enjoyed this book, it was the best one I've read in a long time. It had suspense, emotion, and was a page turner. Would recommend!
Date published: 2018-04-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Intriguing plot, serious subject material I found the premise of the Child Finder herself to be very interesting, and I really enjoyed reading small glimpses into her past life and the reason why she follows this line of work today. The main case that the story focuses on is written from a different perspective than usual, which was nice because it made you think about how the 2 character might interpret what is going on, but I also found them a bit too like-able at times, considering the seriousness of the subject matter.
Date published: 2018-04-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Brilliant Well written - a tough read a times - but magnificent- stays with you. (It takes a long to get me into a book, a lot!)
Date published: 2018-04-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Engaging and Enjoyable I had been looking at "The Child Finder" in my local Indigo for weeks before I finally bought it while it was on sale 50% off. It was an amazing read, eery and unsettling at times, but an amazing read with an interesting outcome. I do wish that there was a bit more of a back story as to where Naomi had come from before she was found. Hopefully we can expect a follow up book!
Date published: 2018-03-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great setting and writing! I tore through this short mystery novel in 2 days. The Child Finder tells the story of Naomi, a private investigator who specializes in lost children and has gained a reputation as the ‘Child Finder’. She’s been hired by a couple in Oregon whose daughter disappeared 3 years ago into a snowy forest and was never found. Naomi grew up in Oregon and the return to the woods reminds her of her own upbringing with her foster mom and foster brother, as well as the dark past she has blocked from her memory. As she searches for Madison and her foster mom’s health declines, she must face her own past and relationships in order to ever be whole. Setting and atmosphere are key in this novel and I loved them both. The story takes place deep in Oregon’s wilderness and in a land of perpetual winter. Denfeld integrates fairy tales into the story and I thought they worked so well against the backdrop of the snowy forest. Everything is so secluded within the park that you feel transported back in time to when trappers still ran the land and lived in their log cabins in the woods, living off the land. Naomi is very much an island herself and the setting mirrored her struggle to build relationships and set down roots. She is always on the move from one missing child case to the next, always running from her past. I liked this as both a mystery novel and a character study. I really liked Naomi and I’d be interested in reading a sequel to see her deal with her own ghosts and guilt. She was complex, yet simple. I was impressed with how well the author crafted her character in such a short book. I love when characters are so well crafted that they take on a life of their own and you can almost anticipate how they will react because you feel you’ve come to know them so well. I felt this way about Naomi and as much as I wanted her to settle down, I understood why she always had to keep moving. I don’t have a whole lot to say about the plot. It’s a pretty simple story overall and it felt more about Naomi’s growth than the actual mystery. I liked that the author included two missing children cases, as well as snippets of Naomi’s back story, because it added a bit more intrigue to the book. I quite liked the writing. It was simple but it also had this dreamy quality to it which I thought flowed well throughout the story and is what really helped to create the atmosphere. Disclaimer, this book does have some disturbing content, but I thought it was actually handled really well by the author. Some books are needlessly gratuitous about physical and sexual violence, and while this book has both, I thought it was well written. It offers some interesting insight into the cycle of abuse and how isolation and never knowing love can impact children and the people they grow up to be.
Date published: 2018-03-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Story was interesting I enjoyed the story but didn't find it very suspenseful.
Date published: 2018-03-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Pick a side My major complain with this novel was that the author sort of danced around the terminology when it came to what happened to the little girl. I understand not wanting to be gruesome in detail, but being a bit more straightforward (at least at the end) would have been more effective than making it so flowery and fairytale-esque. I also thought the main character's relationship with her adopted brother was awkward and clumsy, not to mention somewhat creepy, and seemed rather forced. The man seemed to be this perfect idea of a man for her and was presented with few flaws. Overall the concept of the novel was better than its execution.
Date published: 2018-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from SO so good! I loved this book. I bought it because the cover was my favourite colour, TO BE HONEST (after reading the inner flap synopsis thing) - probably the best book I read so far this year. Such a page turner. Would recommend.
Date published: 2018-03-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Page Turner! This book was such a page turner. As a mom of a young child it did give me a bit of anxiety but I truly feel that that just goes to show how the author made the characters and plot so believable and gripping. I could not put this book down.
Date published: 2018-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book I couldn't put this book down. It was a well written, suspense filled book right up until the end. The author did a wonderful job of making us care for the characters and did a great job of keeping us hooked. I am looking forward to reading more of this authors books when they come out. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So Good!!! I loved this book! I couldn't put it down! highly recommend!
Date published: 2018-03-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Page turner! The book is very well written with suspense and mystery throughout. The author does an excellent job in transitioning between characters and scenes without loosing the reader interest or focus. Although the book is dark at times the authors tastefully writes about the characters and scenes. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.
Date published: 2018-03-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't Put it Down! Disturbing yet captivating. Slow during some parts but it really picked up at the end and I loved all the twists.
Date published: 2018-03-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read. This one disturbed me a little. Not my favorite subject to read about, but was well written. I read this one quickly, because I had to know how it ended.
Date published: 2018-03-05
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Couldn't make it through Started this book with high hopes. Was slow and dragged and I couldn't finish it
Date published: 2018-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from *Spoiler Alert* I like the ending of the book where Ellie finds out that her father is Ronnie.
Date published: 2018-02-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stays with you This book stayed with me after I had finished it. Well written, multi-faceted and complicated characters drive this book forward. I feel like this could be the beginning of a series but that's most likely wishful thinking as I wasn't ready to say good bye to the characters.
Date published: 2018-02-24
Rated 2 out of 5 by from just couldn't connect to it Dark, suspenseful, mysterious, and heart wrenching story. I just could not connect ot he main character at all and wasn't a fan of the writing style.
Date published: 2018-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good story The story is really interesting. Its like as if you are watching a movie. Readers get chance to take their imagination to a wider level. Writer has made transitions from one scene to other scene very cleverly without affecting reader's interest.
Date published: 2018-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent A fantastic story, excellent character, plot and setting. Well worth the read!
Date published: 2018-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great thriller I liked how such a scary and unthinkable story also examined human character, with the good and the bad.
Date published: 2018-02-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful Twists Very well written, suspenseful and hoping for a sequel.
Date published: 2018-02-04
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Just wasn't for me I couldn't connect to the characters or the writing so most of the book was a bit of a bore for me. I've heard amazing things though so I would probably still recommend people try it out.
Date published: 2018-02-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from well written I enjoyed this book. The author makes the characters come alive and manage to find even some humanity in the worst of people.
Date published: 2018-02-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great quick read This was an easy read with excellent characters and story line. Not really any twists or a surprise ending, but captivating none the less.
Date published: 2018-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from SO good Could not put it down. I like the way this mystery is written from 2 perspectives.. it is at time disturbing (the abducted child's story) but well worth the read. I found it an easy read and enjoyed every minute.
Date published: 2018-01-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read I enjoyed this book, found at times it was a little dull. Dragged on for longer than it needed. Overall, though was quick read, easy read, good story.
Date published: 2018-01-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really enjoyed it Very happy with this book! Maybe not a "thriller" but definitely worth the read. Loved the over all story and the style of writing, characters will stay with you once you are finished. Would recommend.
Date published: 2018-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this book I was hooked from the first few pages. I read this book in just a few days. I couldn't put it down. I highly recommend this book.
Date published: 2018-01-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Easy Read. Quick read but not near as exciting as I thought it would have been.
Date published: 2018-01-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not Great This was not really a thriller. There were no twists and turns that you would expect from a book advertised as such. The story was kind of dull and read really quickly. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-01-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Quick read I read this book in no time- good read. Very quick
Date published: 2018-01-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I loved it I highly recommend this book!
Date published: 2018-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic story Loved the imagery...read in one sitting. Beautiful writing. I went back to find other titles by the author.
Date published: 2018-01-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A bit flat I found this novel a bit underdeveloped and flat. The storyline holds your interest however, there seems to be not much character development to really make this novel an amazing read.
Date published: 2018-01-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly recommend I really loved this book. Beautifully written. It was dark, and at times heartbreaking, but managed to convey a message of hope. A really deep look into the human condition and what our minds are capable of doing in order to survive. If you're looking for an easy read that will make you feel and think a little more than your average novel then I recommend this book.
Date published: 2018-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such a good read ! I read this in one day, just couldn't put it down ! Definitely recommend for anyone who loves a good mystery!
Date published: 2018-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing this is one of the best books I've read in a long time and i couldn't put it down ! i definitely recommend
Date published: 2018-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this book! This is one of the best books I have read for a long time (even if the end is a bit predictable). This book has a beautiful element to it and it's written in a more eloquent style than many of the current mystery books out there.
Date published: 2018-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put this book down! Read the entire book in 2 days, it was so gripping and exciting, I could not put it down! Tough subject matter, yet the author describes everything so beautifully. Absolutely loved this book, can't in good conscience give it anything less than 5 stars!
Date published: 2018-01-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good read for some! Just finished this book, and I did enjoy it. The subject matter is tough as it deals with kidnapping and child abuse, so I can understand that not everyone will enjoy it. The author has an interesting writing style ... kind of spiritual in her many descriptions. The plot as kind of predictive though, and yet you still want to keep reading.
Date published: 2018-01-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Oh boy A littl cliche, and hard to get into as it talks about child abuse. But well written
Date published: 2018-01-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok I was a little disappointed with the ending
Date published: 2017-12-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok I was a little disappointed with the ending
Date published: 2017-12-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok Was in denial throughout the book
Date published: 2017-12-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok Was in denial throughout the book
Date published: 2017-12-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good read This was just ok to me. I expected more out of it and was always waiting for something more.
Date published: 2017-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it Great book! Would read again :)
Date published: 2017-12-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok the whole story is ok but the ending is bit disappointing
Date published: 2017-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this book it was different, unexpected, poignant. I enjoyed it very much.
Date published: 2017-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from cool the ending was great but they could have more developed characters.
Date published: 2017-12-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok This book was really good. I was in a really bad book hangover and this was perfect. The world building and the world in general was amazing
Date published: 2017-12-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok I loved it to the ending. The ending was a bit too much, but I have hope that the series will be redeemed
Date published: 2017-12-24
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Went exactly the way I thought it would, and hoped it wouldn't. This is a story that has been told a million times before: woman with sad/traumatic past tries to help other kids with sad/traumatic stories, peppered with plain old child abuse just for fun. I was really hoping the mystery would take a more unique, less cliche and exploitative route but it did not. The saving grace was the writing and pace, which were excellent. However, the story itself is beyond overdone, right down to the main character being named Madison.
Date published: 2017-12-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from distrubing but a good read This story won't make you feel comfortable - it is about child kidnapping and abuse and no one should feel comfortable reading it. however, the characters are well written and the little girl lost is amazing.
Date published: 2017-12-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Incredible! A tough read but a rewarding one!
Date published: 2017-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down until I finished! I read this book in just a few hours. It discusses the subjects of missing children, abuse and it might not be for everyone, but ultimately it is a book of hope. this is something I know: no matter how far you have run, no matter how long you have been lost, it is never too late to be found. Naomi is a private investigator, nicknamed the child finder. She was a missing child. Her earliest memory is of her running in the forest at night. She has no memory of why or what happened before the day she ran away. Naomi was told she blocked it out because it was too traumatic. She found migrants who took her to the sheriff's station where Mrs. Cottle, a foster parent took her in and cared for her. Naomi became a child finder. She has found about 30 children. She finds children after who've been missing for a few years. Her latest case is of Madison Culver. A five year old girl who went missing three years ago in rural Oregon. She would be eight today, if she survived. Concurrently, there is the life of "The Snow Girl". This is Madison. She immerses herself in her favourite fairy tale character to cope with her captivity. She was found in the snow and is now in the cellar of a man - Mr. B - who saved her. We learn about her life since Mr. B saved her. Since then he has kept her underground and over the three years taught her to hunt and trap the wild animals in the forest. She becomes Mr. B's friend. She tells herself stories about a girl named Madison. She spends her time in her room drawing and writing shapes, memories of her past life. She believes she was created by Mr. B out of snow to help him. She learns Mr. B was also kept here. While working on these cases, we learn Mrs. Cottle took care of Naomi and another boy, her foster brother Jerome. His previous home was abusive and he thought that is how people treated each other. When she took them both in, Mrs. Cottle who made them part of her family. She loved them as her own. As Naomi learns all she can about Madison, the day she went missing, her interests, she meets people in the small town and learns about other people who've gone missing in the same area. Uncharacteristically, Naomi takes on Danita's case. She is a young mother who lost her newborn baby. Usually Naomi works on one case at a time. As Naomi uncovers what happened to Madison, she starts having dreams, dreams that become more and more vivid about her past and starts remembering the events she's repressed. This is the first Rene Denfeld book I've read. She captures the torment and pain Naomi is feeling, her fear and her tenacity parallel to a young girl who has become a fairy tale character and tries to understand her surroundings. It is hauntingly beautiful. Her style of writing is poetic.
Date published: 2017-12-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Would recommend Although the plot was somewhat predictable I loved the different perspectives. This was a satisfying and quick read.
Date published: 2017-12-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Mysterious An amazing read from an amazing writer. The story is told from the perspective of two readers. A mysterious read. Keeps you on your toes.
Date published: 2017-12-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A really good read Although the subject matter is difficult it was a great read. Love the connection between Naomi and Madison and that the story is told by both characters.
Date published: 2017-12-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very good book I read this last month and although I did not like the subject matter, I was able to go beyond that and really enjoy the main character. It is a great read!
Date published: 2017-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent read This book had me hook, line and sinker from the very first page. Hearing the story from two different angles, that of the missing child and that of "The Child Finder" really gave this novel depth and made you feel so many things. I would recommend this book to everybody.
Date published: 2017-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it This book made me feel things. My stomach ached while reading about the lost children and Naomi’s brutal past. My heart raced when Mr. B was near. I was fearful and skeptical of every new character introduced. Although the mystery reveals itself almost right away, I still felt on edge until the end of the book. No spoilers.. read it for yourself!
Date published: 2017-12-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good read While not as quick a read as I anticipated, The Child Finder kept me sitting and reading more.
Date published: 2017-12-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read, but hard on a mom's heart This book was good, but it was also very hard to read as a mother. I could not deal with the disappearance of my child. Devastating, yet interesting twists and turns.
Date published: 2017-11-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Very descriptive Pro:The author did a great job of painting the picture. Throughout the whole novel, you feel as if you are there. Con: The plot was somewhat predictive.
Date published: 2017-11-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not my favourite There was a lot of hype around this one, which was the reason why I decided to buy it. It had been one of Indigo's top 10 of 2017. Unfortunately, it fell flat for me and it does not enter into my top 10! It was okay but did not have me hooked like I had anticipated it would. At times, I found it boring and I wanted more mystery/suspense from it. I would simply recommend this book due to the fact that I would like to have conversations with those who read it. I'm eager to see what others thought!
Date published: 2017-11-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok I absolutely loved this story.
Date published: 2017-11-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not great Her writing style felt very disjointed and the plot was very linear, no surprises or twists. What happened is exactly what you thought would happen.
Date published: 2017-11-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from good read it was a good story with suspense in it, but not really something that made me absolutely love it and want me to read it.
Date published: 2017-11-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok Can't wait for the next one.
Date published: 2017-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Spellbinding A true literary psychological thriller. The writing in this book is simple but absolutely spellbinding. Naomi is The Child Finder...she has a gift for finding lost children having been one herself. Her latest case is Madison, missing for 3 years, but her parents won’t give up hope that she will still be found. Naomi is determined to leave no stone unturned in her quest. As Naomi circles closer and closer to finding out what happened to Madison, she also circles closer to finding out just what happened to her. Mrs. Cottle, Jerome and The Snow Girl are heartbreakingly perfect. Overall, this book is a step above most in this genre. I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another one by this author, in fact I plan to read The Enchanted at my first opportunity. 5 stars.
Date published: 2017-11-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Just okay for me I read a lot of mystery/suspense books and I didn't find that this one stacked up to the rest. It was a very interesting concept though. I think the author could have added some more details to captivate the reader a bit more.
Date published: 2017-11-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it! Kept me up all night! I couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2017-11-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was ok... Bought this and thought the synopsis was so cool, but I couldn't get through it.... I don't know what it was, but I just didn't like her writing style. Willing to give the author another chance though
Date published: 2017-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Five stars! This was an excellent book and I highly recommend it. I couldn't put it down. I love Rene Denfeld's writing style!
Date published: 2017-11-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! I read this in one day. Quick read. Really good! Highly recommend
Date published: 2017-11-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good read. This is a good read, It is a bit slow to get in to, but overall I really enjoyed it!
Date published: 2017-11-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from No faults! I give this 4.5 stars as I simply cannot find any faults in this book. The only reason I deducted half a star is that I reserve 5 star ratings for the kind of books I'd pass on to my children one day. This is not one of those books. This is more of a lighter read, despite it's heavy topic matter. It is mesmerizing, yet not overly wordy. It's believable and the characters all feel very real. The book is well written and well organized, all the subplots make sense and are tied together neatly. It's very atmospheric with the whole fairy tale aspect. It's chilling and brings out all the emotions, mostly the nature trauma and resilience and how it effects people in different ways. The author seems to write from a place of knowing, as she is an investigative reporter and adopted parent of fostered children. She does not disclose anything more than this, but considering she specializes in death penalty work I'm sure she's come face to face with a lot of horrible things.
Date published: 2017-11-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Chilling Nicely written but chilling, every time I read Snow Girls perspective I'd get a shiver because of how she was coping
Date published: 2017-11-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok It takes along time to finish
Date published: 2017-11-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting read It was an interesting read. A little hard to follow at times as it changed often in a chapter who was telling the story, and that took some getting send to.
Date published: 2017-11-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Good read, dark subject, enjoyed overall
Date published: 2017-11-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read for the winter This novel is a mix of suspenseful thriller and fairy tale set in the cold and seemingly endless woods of Oregon. The main character, although an unsual personality, is highly relatable. The flashbacks into her own past create a story within a story and add to the layers of mystery. I really enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2017-11-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting read Overall, I enjoyed this book; however, it was a little hard to get into for me, but that was probably due to the subject matter.#plumreview
Date published: 2017-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Touches the Soul This book is absolutely amazing. From the standpoint of a domestic violence survivor who still has PTSD, I can honestly say this book touched parts of my soul that I had long hidden away. It takes a lot for words on a page to resonate so deeply. I really hope that Denfeld follows us through Naomi's journey in remembering where she came from. Rarely do we get to see a child perspective in the situation and a grown survivors perspective, in one book. Denfeld IMO knows her stuff. The emotional display in this book really makes it "my story", one that serves all victims in finding understanding.
Date published: 2017-11-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Compelling Take on the 'Twist Novel' It seems that there has been a trend in literature recently to write novels with a 'twist' at the end, since Gone Girl was so popular. At first, I assumed that this novel would follow the trend. However, it is a surprisingly literary read - it balances an almost magical realist atmosphere with very dark plot material (which of course, follows the magical realism tradition of giving you stark reality with a spoonful of sugar). It was beautifully written, and I found myself very invested in the characters, particularly the female characters. They are nicely fleshed out, complex and strong in a way that is not easily found these days. I have thoroughly recommended the novel to several friends.
Date published: 2017-11-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was interesting It kept my interest and I wanted to see what happen it got a little slow in the middle and then picked up again.
Date published: 2017-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating This book had me hooked from the first page and never let go. It was truly warm and chilling at the same time. Will recommend to everyone I know
Date published: 2017-11-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from intense a great read, completely captivating.
Date published: 2017-10-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Read Enchanted I have read Enchanted and I couldn't put it down.... so when I saw another book come out I knew I had to grab it... and I have not been disappointed.... once again a book I couldn't put down, you'll enjoy this one!
Date published: 2017-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great novel Best I've read of its kind in a long time. It felt real, gripping, intense. Well worth the read!
Date published: 2017-10-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A gripping read From the start I was hooked. Couldn't put it down. At the end of each chapter I wanted more. Kept me hooked right til the last chapter with it's revealing sub plot. Good read folks!
Date published: 2017-10-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Bought this book two weeks ago and just found the story intriguing. A missing child that needs to be found. The story-just captivated me from the first page. It’s a not to be missed story by a first time author for me.
Date published: 2017-10-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! Very exciting! Great book! Very exciting!
Date published: 2017-10-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok caught my attention almost immediately and I could not put it down. Great read
Date published: 2017-10-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Incredible plot from start to end. Had me hooked the entire time.
Date published: 2017-10-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow! Just reading the summary makes me want to buy it on the spot! Very interesting!
Date published: 2017-10-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Story of Sorrow, Survival & Hope Three years ago, on a cold winter's day, five-year old Madison Culver disappeared into the woods on a trip with her family. Naomi, a woman known to be the best at finding missing children, is hired by Madison's parents to locate her. She believes it unlikely the girl is still alive. Shortly after their daughter vanished, there had been heavy snow and blizzards. Search parties had been unable to find any trace of her. But her mother insists she was taken and has survived. Naomi begins to track down what happened to Madison, unravelling each small piece of the mystery via very few clues. She has always been able to connect with the children she looks for, as she herself was once missing. As a child she escaped from what she had called 'monsters', but otherwise has no recollection of her life prior to when she was found. The book alternates between Naomi's investigation and the voice of the 'snow girl', aka Madison, who speaks of being held captive in a cave-type cellar by a man known only as Mr. B. Can Naomi discover where she is with enough time to save her? Naomi is a complex and utterly fascinating character. She considers her work as an investigator to be a calling and her cases are the most important thing in her life. Extremely cautious of others, she prefers working by herself which can put her in some dangerous situations. She has a strong intuition and an unusual understanding of mysterious and natural environments. She feels safe and secure while alone in the forest, which is almost like a living being to her. I was transfixed wanting to know what compelled her. The Child Finder is an emotional, yet suspenseful novel. Rene Denfeld's descriptions of the wilderness with it's quiet stillness and hidden depths are dreamlike and lyrical. Intensely dark and atmospheric, this is a beautifully written story of sorrow, survival and hope which kept me spellbound.
Date published: 2017-10-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really good! An Interesting read! I enjoyed the story. Very different than anything I have read until now.
Date published: 2017-10-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Breathtakingly unforgettable The Child Finder is #IndigoBestOf2017's #9 pick! You know that moment of finishing a breathtaking book and having no words to describe it? I had that experience with The Enchanted and thought to myself, "man, this Rene Denfeld is going to have a career to watch." The Child Finder is that, and one that further cements that fact. In many ways, her sophomore effort is very similar to The Enchanted. Thematically, it deals with love and loss, how one copes in the face of despair and moves on from the haunting trauma. It structures around various sub-stories that ladder up to a chilling plot, one that engages and challenges the reader emotionally. Heart-breaking in its gritty portrayal of missing persons cases yet ethereal and spiritual in its touch, The Child Finder is truly magical, and it screams out to be made into a miniseries, a la True Detective. I cannot wait to see what Denfeld comes up with next.
Date published: 2017-10-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really good! Great plot and character developkment!
Date published: 2017-10-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok I will admit, I initially thought to myself "this is a 4.5 star book," but I just couldn't do it. The more I think about it the better it gets
Date published: 2017-10-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Flying through the pages ........ Midway through, can't get enough..........
Date published: 2017-10-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from MUST READ! You will be blessed and glad you did! My daughter brought it home, not knowing I was trying to wait my turn to get it from the library. OMG! Couldn't and wouldn't put this book down. Extremely well thought out, transporting the reader into the story. Found myself trying to brainstorm options for the characters, as if I was there with them. The realism of what could and does happen is beautifully illustrated in this story. Both sad, glad, mad, terrifying, suspenseful, love, hope, dread. This story is worth all the stars in the universe.
Date published: 2017-10-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Quick pace a good plot line with a fast pace, worth the time to read it
Date published: 2017-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely reocommended Rene Denfeld's newest novel, The Child Finder, simply would not let me put it down. I was entranced from the opening pages and devoured it in a day. Naomi is a private investigator with a specialty - she finds children - lost, stolen, missing and kidnapped. The police and her clients know her as the child finder. She seems to have an uncanny ability to ferret out clues and traces of a child's passing or presence. That ability is honed from experience - she too was a lost child. She escaped, but has no memory of what came before that time. Madison Culver disappeared three years ago in Oregon's massive Skookum Forest. If still alive, she would be eight years old. Her parents hire Naomi in one last ditch effort to find her. Denfeld's thoughtful, measured prose and passages often beg to be read again and savored for their images and ideas. Naomi's thoughts and manner are also unhurried and I found my reading slowing down to match her pacing. Well, up to a certain point. Denfeld's tale is a page turner and I desperately wanted to peek ahead at the last chapters. I didn't though - it would have spoiled an absolutely thrilling tale. There is a child alive in the forest. That child has a voice in alternating chapters with Naomi. The child's chapters are heartbreaking, frightening and yet hopeful. This latest search has stirred something in Naomi's memory as well. Her nightmares and memories bring her ever closer to remembering what came before. The supporting cast including Naomi's foster brother and mother were also well drawn and the relationships between the three were so eloquently depicted. Love, loss, redemption and the power of the human spirit are all are magically woven through The Child Finder. Absolutely, positively recommended.
Date published: 2017-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Liked it A page turner that moves swiftly through a fascinating plot
Date published: 2017-09-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing read! Keeps you on your toes, you want to know the ending, felt so attached to the characters, their needs to be a second book!
Date published: 2017-09-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing read! Well written, great story, what else can you ask for?
Date published: 2017-09-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved this I picked up this book because it compared it to the novel "Room" and the HBO series True Detective, both of which I loved. Couldn't put this down, it's haunting...
Date published: 2017-09-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Child Finder Not a horrible book, but it did get a little slow at times. I felt that the ending was a little rushed and the author just threw in a quick ending to wrap it up. Could've been a little better.
Date published: 2017-09-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully written Another beautifully written novel by the author of the Enchanted.
Date published: 2017-09-24
Rated 2 out of 5 by from ok read I bought this book with high hopes as it was the staff pick of the month. However, I found it unrealistic, and it's not much of a page turner.
Date published: 2017-09-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Slow pacing at times but good Other than the boring pace at select moments, it was a suspenseful read
Date published: 2017-09-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome read Great plot full of suspense and solid characters.
Date published: 2017-09-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Child Finder I love standalone mysteries/thrillers and this was a good one. One I'd recommend.
Date published: 2017-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from enjoyable I really enjoyed, “The Enchanted,” by Rene Denfeld, so was delighted to receive, “The Child Finder,” to review. Naomi Cottle is an investigator, known as ‘the Child Finder,’ due to her success is tracking down missing children. The statistics are overwhelming – with over one thousand children reported missing each year in the United States; but every case that Naomi takes on is personal for her, because she was a missing child herself and can remember nothing of the time before she was found. This book sees her investigating the case of Madison Culver, who went missing three years earlier when she was five, and also a missing baby, belonging to a young woman named Danita Danworth, who has been jailed since claiming her baby was stolen from her crib. As the novel unfolds, we hear from many different characters, with Denfeld deftly weaving all the different strands of the storyline. This is a moving,and wonderfully written book, with very sensitive issues handled with confident ease and sympathy. This story will really tear at your heartstrings and would make an excellent choice for book clubs, with so much to discuss. Naomi was a brilliant character and I really hope that the author puts her centre stage in a further book, as there is definitely the possibility of a sequel featuring the Child Finder.
Date published: 2017-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from good a good read though a bit slow at times. nevertheless, it's worth it
Date published: 2017-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Liked it Fours days out and I finished this book. A very fast and very good read.
Date published: 2017-09-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from amazing keeps you on the edge of your seat
Date published: 2017-09-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Must Read Fall 2017 Such a chilling read. So many scenes in here I will be haunted by for a long time. Cannot think of another book quite like it, though the atmosphere, characters & tension of season 1 of True Detective continuously came to mind. Bring this to your book club!
Date published: 2017-09-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Interesting book. I recommend to read this book.
Date published: 2017-09-05

Editorial Reviews

“Rene Denfeld’s novel The Child Finder renders atrocity with depth and heart—a compassion made even more credible by her career as an investigator in death-penalty cases... The Child Finder‘s moral lesson is not new—that hope and humanity can be found in even the darkest places. But the extent to which Denfeld practices that belief is deeply touching, if not even remarkable.”