Today I am thrilled to be on the blog tour for The Child Before by Michael Scanlon, which is the 2nd instalment in the Detective Finnegan Beck series. This book was released on the 5th of June published by Bookouture.
About the Book:
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…
The Child Before is the second book in the Detective Finnegan series but can be read as a standalone. A police prodecural thriller that will keep you on your toes and will keep you guessing till the final pages.
Detective Finnegan is back, this time to solve the murder of a woman who has been found by a local resident whilst on their morning ride through the abandoned village of Kelly’s Forge. What makes this case even worse, is whilst attending the scene, Detective Finnegan notices a baby seat in the vehicle and a bottle of milk lying in the footwell, but there is no baby to be found! As Detective Finnegan dives deeper into the case, it bears a remarkable resemblance to a case from 50 years previously where another baby girl was taken and never found.
The first few chapters of the book are told from the past set in the 1954 back to the present day. I always go in with trepidation when this occurs as they can cause some confusion but Michael handles the transition between the two well and they are easily followed with the past being an integral part of the story.
Character wise, they were all well written and developed and we are given a good selection as to who the culprit could be. I could not connect with Finnegan though, but this is on me and which is due to not reading the first book in this series. Even though that this can be read as a standalone for me I will need to go back and read the first book to get a better understanding of him. I so vary rarely read a series out of sequence but could not wait as this book appealed to me so much. From my opinion of him though in this book, I think he is a bit rough around the edges with a colourful past but I am sure that I will grow to like him!
The setting of Cross Bag, has the perfect mix of eerie and a haunting vibe which really sets the tone of the book perfectly, and was described so well that I felt I was also in the town mixed up in the case.
This is the first book I have read from Michael. I enjoyed his style of writing and the short snappy chapters that kept the story moving along at the right pace to a thrilling conclusion.
Thank-you to NetGalley, Bookouture and Michael Scanlon for allowing me to read an advanced copy of The Child Before in exchange for an honest review.
Thank-you also to Noelle Holten for the spot on this blog tour.
All opinions are my own and are not biased in any way.
About the Author:
Michael Scanlon is a civilian employee of the An Garda Siochana (the Irish police force), but a life threatening undiagnosed illness that struck while travelling in Spain in 2014 has rendered him on long term sick leave.
He is married to Eileen and has a daughter, Sarah. He lives in the countryside outside the town of Ballina in County Mayo. The town has arguably the best salmon river in Europe, called the Moy.
To keep up to date with Michael’s work you can follow him on Twitter