Irish detective Finnegan Beck is called in to investigate the murder of a young mother and the disappearance of her baby daughter. A horrific crime but with a strong connection to a deserted village where a baby was murdered in the 1950s. Has this baby met the same fate?
This is the second book to feature Beck and this time it focuses much more on the solving of the crime and police procedure whereas the first book was more connected with Beck’s personal life. Once again though, he is forced to confront his own demons and the lines between personal and professional life are blurred.
I liked the flashback chapters which describe the 1950s and they contrast sharply with the modern day in terms of the attitude of the police and the way that a case is handled. It left lots of mystery as the reader waits to find out how that case relates to the one in the present.
The style of writing is easy to read and I enjoyed the Irish lilt to the dialogue. The chapters are short which makes the book fast paced and suited me perfectly as I could fit a couple of chapters around motherhood and work commitments 🙂
The emotional background of the police detectives is explored to give depth to their characters. The focus isn’t just on the lead detective but also his colleagues who are dealing with personal battles.
I expected there to be more fallout from the previous book but there was little so this book works well as a stand alone read. The character of Beck continues to evoke sympathy in the reader as he fights alcoholism and supports his colleagues.
I wonder what the next book in the series will bring…
Title: THE CHILD BEFORE
Author: Michael Scanlon
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2Hnwtfe
Publication Day: June 5th 2019
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.