Stolen Children by Michael Wood

Some cases won’t die.

A young boy walks into a police station in France. He claims to be Carl Meagan – a missing child from Sheffield whose name is still whispered as a warning to kids who stay out after dark.

Some children won’t be found.
On her way home from the supermarket, nine-year-old Keeley Armitage vanishes without trace. Her family is overcome with shock and DCI Matilda Darke can’t help but focus on memories of the Carl Meagan case that almost ruined her career.

Some killers won’t be stopped.
As Matilda investigates, she peels back the layers of grief and sadness that surround Keeley’s family. Until she is left with an unimaginable choice: betray those closest to her or let a violent killer walk free…

I love the Matilda Darke series (it’s one of a very few series where I’ve been there from the start and stayed with it) but I have to say that Michael Wood has surpassed my expectations this time as Stolen Children is the best book in the series so far! If you’ve not read any of the series before then I do think you need to and you need to NOW! You’ll certainly get more out of Stolen Children if you know the backstory of Matilda, her team and, ofcourse, the kidnapping of Carl Meagan. We have all been kept on tenterhooks awaiting the outcome of this heinous crime so it looks like, finally, answers are on their way but at what cost and is there a connection with the recent disappearance of a young girl? The answers shocked the hell out of me and gave me goosebumps!

One of the things I love about this series is how Matilda’s team are brought to life with their personal lives taking centre stage as much as the crimes being solved. And the last 20% of this book especially had me on the edge of my seat as more than one of the team members fought for survival! But it was the disappearance of Keeley Armitage, a truly sickening crime, that gripped me from the start and there were some rather difficult to read scenes as Matilda sought to bring justice for Keeley’s family. I honestly struggled to put this book down as all these threads started to knit together but I was NOT expecting that ending!

Matilda is a wonderful character creation and I’ve loved watching her grow and develop throughout the series. And I have a real soft spot for Sian and her “there for everyone” snack drawer (mines a Twirl please Sian) which does come dangerously close to empty this time. I also spotted a very familiar name in there that made me chuckle although the character herself didn’t have much to smile about!

I loved loved LOVED this book and as soon as I finished it I wanted to go back and read the whole thing again! It’s a compelling crime thriller with a dark storyline that will blow your socks off! Absolutely brilliant!

Michael Wood is the pen name (he can’t spell soo-da-nim) for Sheffield based crime writer, Michael Wood. As of 2019 he has written four novels and one prequel novella in the DCI Matilda Darke thriller series which is set in his home city of Sheffield. He is currently writing the fifth and also has other projects up the sleeves of his duffel coat. When he’s not writing, he’s usually moaning about having little sleep and talking about his favourite biscuit on social media. He’s a massive fan of reading crime fiction as he likes to keep an eye on the competition and wondering if he can steal any of their ideas, give the characters a Sheffield accent, and pass them off as his own original creation. For more information you can find him on the book of faces and the one with the blue bird.

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.