“Aptly unclassifiable, Denfeld’s compulsively readable second novel calls on elements of horror, mystery, fairy tales, and even romance to explore legacies of violence and the resilience of the most vulnerable among us.” — Booklist
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.
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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
We were spellbound by The Child Finder, a propulsive thriller about lost and abducted children and the heart-wrenching work of bringing them home. Author Rene Denfield breathes shimmering life into her cast of characters, who are bound together by mystery, loss, and stubborn hope. She paints a vibrant portrait of a damaged yet resilient community of seekers and possible suspects scattered through Oregon's remote mountain towns.
An investigator seeks missing children in the remote reaches of an Oregon forest in this intense novel by Denfeld (The Enchanted). Private investigator Naomi cannot remember anything in her life before running in terror through a dark strawberry field as a child. Now in her late 20s, the titular "child finder" carries the burdens of a solitary career finding missing children. Her newest case the disappearance of five-year-old Madison Culver three years ago somewhere in a glacier-studded national forest in rural Oregon collides with a time of sickness and loneliness within her little remaining family. Her foster brother, Jerome, who suffers from a war injury, must care for the woman who raised them, Mrs. Cottle, while Naomi works. As Naomi follows clues, her lucid dreams become clearer, and the voice of an unnamed child tells her own story as the search for Madison unfolds. Using multiple voices, Denfeld takes an innovative approach to dealing with the pain of trauma, taking moments of darkness and frailty and probing them in heartbreaking, surprising ways. Naomi is a broken but ethical protagonist who always holds out hope: for the children yet to be found, the adults searching for missing loved ones, and herself as she tries to overcome past traumas. The conclusion will leave readers breathless.
The Child Finder
Good, interesting read. A little simple, but enjoyable.
For every horrible thing that has happened to missing children, there is hope, light, and confidence from the one searching for the lost.
Above average author. Story about about a woman that is lost In life but finds solace in helpIng to find lost children. Very woman focused. Not much in twists and turns. Predictable but enjoyable.