Little Darlings by Melanie Golding Review

This book was such a sinister little surprise!

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

Released April 2019

Thriller / Dark Fiction  |  Goodreads | Amazon 

Source: Library Borrow
“Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman and Grimms’ Fairy Tales.

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 our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking―and rechecking―your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.

My 2 Cents For Free!

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 fairy-tale 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-tale 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.

5 out of 5


  1. I do like books that have a dark fairy-tale vibe! I can't wait to give this one a try. :)

    1. I hope you love it. I thought it was super creepy and got the dark fairy-tale/modern day combo just right.

  2. I've seen a couple of glowing reviews for this, and now after reading your review, I'm convinced I need to read it!

  3. Gotta get my hands on this ASAP!

  4. Wow this sounds really good, and freaky too. I may have to give this a shot! :)

    1. Yep, both and you should definitely give it a read!

  5. I've seen this book on a few blogs now. I'm not much for fairy tale inspired books or retellings so it wouldn't be my thing personally but I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  6. Yep, I'm definitely reading this one now!

  7. I just want to say - changelings are scary, and that was what immediately popped into my mind as I read the synopsis. I am always excited to see people find 5-star reads, so YEAH for you!

    1. I wish they were all 5 star reads and you're right, it's so exciting when one turns out to warrant all of the stars!


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