The Child Before

An Absolutely Gripping Detective Thriller

    • 4.0 • 36 Ratings
    • $2.99
    • $2.99

Publisher Description

She began to sing, the girl. Her voice was soft, so soft it was almost of the wind. It was a lullaby. She cradled her arms, rocking them gently back and forth. As if she was holding a baby. But she was not. Her arms were empty.

On a cold morning a cyclist finds the brutally slaughtered body of a woman in her car, on a remote lane leading to the long-abandoned Irish village of Kelly’s Forge. 

But when Detective Finnegan Beck arrives from the nearby town of Cross Beg to investigate he notices there’s a baby’s seat in the back of the car. A bottle of baby’s milk lying in the footwell. And no child.

Little Róisín isn’t the first child to go missing from that same remote location though. There was another baby girl, taken more than fifty years before, who was never found. Has too much time passed for there to be a connection, or does something – or someone – link these two crimes?

Beck claims he does not want to stay in Cross Beg. His heart is back in Dublin, with the woman he loves. But, knowing that a child’s life depends on him changes things. He knows he has to find the missing baby girl. Because if he doesn’t, he fears there’s a chance everyone will give up the baby for dead, just like they did before…

This dark, twisted page turner will keep you up all night. Perfect for fans of LJ Ross, Patricia Gibney, and Rachel Caine.

Readers are loving The Child Before:

So many twists and turns throughout the whole book. You never knew what surprise was going to happen next. This book had me holding my breath up til the end. I would have never guessed who the killer was. I just love books like this.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘An amazing book… Lots of twists and turns… Full of surprises. I thought I knew who the killer was halfway through but I was totally wrong.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

A fast paced thriller with heart wrenching turns!... I went from heartbroken to angry to scared!! What a perfect combination for a thriller!... I would absolutely recommend this book!’ Goodreads reviewer


Wow. This was a great book. Held my attention from the first page. Tons of twists and turns. Can't wait for more’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Gripping to the end. Love the plot twists and turns... Michael Scanlon is one writer to watch for the future.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Inspector Beck is an unforgettable character… A highly entertaining read.’ Goodreads reviewer

Full of twists and dark turns, the author keeps the reader guessing up until the very last page.’ Goodreads reviewer

‘This is my kind of book… kept me guessing and reading until late into the night.’ Goodreads reviewer

Bloody good… I didn’t for a minute spot the culprit.’ Goodreads reviewer

Brilliant. I love the slow unwinding of the different strands in the plot… Great writing… full of atmosphere and suspense. Well deserved five stars.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Praise for Michael Scanlon:

Gripping... Keeps you guessing till the end... Unrelenting pace... excellent writing... The needle of suspicion keeps moving from one suspect to another... If you loved the detective series of Harry Bosch or Cormoran Strike, you will enjoy this one.’ Goodreads reviewer

A page-turning, don't-put-it-down, yes-you-will-be-up-all-night kind of readamazing!SPW Writes, 5 stars

Started with a bang and just kept going!  The twists kept coming... I couldn't put it down.’ Goodreads reviewer

I have never, ever read a whole book in one day… until now.’ Booked Up Girl, 5 stars

‘Bloody brilliant... One seriously, fantastically and brilliantly written book. I was hooked on this book from the first moment. Simply unputdownable... I totally and utterly flipping well loved [it]... Simply outstanding.’ Ginger Book Geek, 5 stars

Mysteries & Thrillers
June 5
StoryFire Ltd

Customer Reviews

Max/ryder ,

A Fine Mystery

Very interesting and satisfactory ending. The characters are engaging and enjoyed the entire story.

Old guy in Fla ,

The Child Before by Michael Scanlon

This book was a page-turning, jaw dropping thriller that I couldn’t put down! Lots of twist & turns to keep you guessing about whodunnit! I like Finnegan Beck as detective inspector, l got a kick out of the medical examiner & Mr. Scanlon’s other very believable characters. The novel is action packed - you will not be bored! One personal request for the author - I’d love for Beck to find an intelligent, beautiful & sweet Irish lass to help him forget what haunts him❣️😍. I’m excited to start reading Where She Lies, the first book in the series! If you are a fan of mysteries & thrillers, you will be a new fan of Michael Scanlon’s novels too!

Carol R.
Florida USA

Mlawyer112 ,


This is the first book I read by this author but it is the second book in the Detective Finnegan Beck Series by this author. This can be read as a stand alone novel and you do not have to read the first book in this series to understand this book.

This book is about a police detective, Beck, battling his own demons within while searching for for a killer who murdered a mother and possibly a baby. I loved how Beck was portrayed in this book. He was an alcoholic searching for a killer and would stop at nothing to find out the truth.

I also liked there were so many twists and turns throughout the whole book. You never knew what surprise was go to happen next. This book had me holding my breathe up til the end. I would have never guessed who the killer was. I just love books like this.

Between the plot, characters and all the twists in this book it made it an easy and fast read. I would definitely recommend it and happily give it 5 Hearts❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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