‘Atmospheric and very creepy’ The Guardian ‘Goosebump-inducing…Unforgettable’ Woman & Home
‘Unforgettable…there is something of Sylvia Plath in Lauren…One suspects that the real sorceress here is Golding, whose writing has given a voice to every wronged mother’ The New York Times
‘Chilling story…stunning’ Clare Mackintosh
‘Taps into every woman’s fear that she will not be believed’ Mel McGrath, author of The Guilty Party
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THE TWINS ARE CRYING.
THE TWINS ARE HUNGRY.
LAUREN IS CRYING.
LAUREN IS EXHAUSTED.
Behind the hospital curtain, someone is waiting . . .
Lauren is alone on the maternity ward with her new-born twins when a terrifying encounter in the middle of the night leaves her convinced someone is trying to steal her children. Lauren, desperate with fear, locks herself and her sons in the bathroom until the police arrive to investigate.
When DS Joanna Harper picks up the list of overnight incidents that have been reported, she expects the usual calls from drunks and wrong numbers. But then a report of an attempted abduction catches her eye. The only thing is that it was flagged as a false alarm just fifteen minutes later.
Harper's superior officer tells her there's no case here, but Harper can’t let it go so she visits the hospital anyway. There's nothing on the CCTV. No one believes this woman was ever there. And yet, Lauren claims that she keeps seeing the woman and that her babies are in danger, and soon Harper is sucked into Lauren's spiral of fear. But how far will they go to save children who may not even be in danger?
* * * *
Early readers can’t stop raving about Little Darlings:
‘Every mother will see themselves in Lauren…taut with suspense’
‘You just need to read it and let the creepiness and uneasiness set in’
‘A disturbing and spine-chilling tale…This tale will keep readers on the edge of their seat’
‘A unique, haunting story that stays with you long after finishing it’
About the author
Melanie Golding is a recent graduate of the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, with distinction. Her short stories have been chosen to be recorded as podcasts by the Leicester-based festival Story City in 2015 and 2016, and to be performed at both the regular Stroud Short Stories event and their special ‘best of’ event at Cheltenham Literature Festival. In 2017 she won the short story prize at the Mid Somerset Festival, as well as the Evelyn Sanford trophy for highest mark in the prose class. She has taught creative writing in prisons and Young Offenders Institutions, as well as teaching music in a school for boys with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. She is now a full-time registered childminder and splits her time between that and writing. Little Darlings is her debut novel and has been optioned for screen by Free Range Films, the team behind the adaptation of My Cousin Rachel.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Strap yourselves in for one of 2019’s most unsettling thrillers. Little Darlings is relentless in its desire to keep you guessing as it details a woman’s very worst fear: not being believed. Lauren is a new mother to twin boys, and convinced someone is trying to abduct them. No-one but DS Joanna Harper believes her, ramping up the paranoia across each new page. Melanie Golding writes with a spine-tingling eeriness that few writers capture, and while it sounds clichéd: we’re still reeling from that one final, shocking twist.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A chilling, thrilling & gloriously dark tale
Melanie Golding’s beautifully written first novel weaves a story set in present-day Sheffield Into the dark folk heart of ancient times. But someone, or something, takes Lauren to the edge of madness. The fear of losing her babies keeps Lauren trapped indoors until the fateful day when she takes the babies outside…
Detective Sergeant Jo Harper is the only one who really listens to Lauren. But the evidence is elusive, the leads tail off, other work must be prioritised. Yet Jo knows she must use all her skills to investigate what really happened on that terrible day.
Finally, when the book ends, you, the reader, are still gripped inside the story. Inside a world where the old folk tales and fables and nightmares are real, and they’re here. Now.