“Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Grimms’ Fairy Tales, and Aimee Molloy's The Perfect Mother.
Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.
A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley—to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.
Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.
Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some of our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking—and rechecking—your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe. (synopsis from Amazon)
My thoughts....3.5 stars
LITTLE DARLINGS creates a creeping atmosphere of ominous dread while keeping the reader guessing and questioning.
Did Lauren's nightmare delivery, her abandonment by the hospital staff; left alone to care for her twins to care for her twins while being unable to move from the waist down, and the crisis the next day combine to start her descent into psychosis? Or is it a case of "there are more things in heaven and earth"?
I vacillated between the two options as events unfolded and the past events were revealed.
Did she or didn't she? Were the Riley and Morgan switched with changelings?
You'll have to judge that for yourself.
If you enjoy a book that keeps you off balance and builds slowly, LITTLE DARLINGS should be on your to read pile.