A Child Lost Book Review
A spiritualist, an insane asylum, a lost little girl .
About A Child Lost
When Clive, anxious to distract a depressed Henrietta, begs Sergeant Frank Davis for a case, he is assigned to investigating a seemingly boring affair: a spiritualist woman operating in an abandoned schoolhouse on the edge of town who is suspected of robbing people of their valuables. What begins as an open and shut case becomes more complicated, however, when Henrietta―much to Clive’s dismay―begins to believe the spiritualist’s strange ramblings.
Meanwhile, Elsie begs Clive and Henrietta to help her and the object of her budding love, Gunther, locate the whereabouts of one Liesel Klinkhammer, the German woman Gunther has traveled to America to find and the mother of the little girl, Anna, whom he has brought along with him. The search leads them to Dunning Asylum, where they discover some terrible truths about Liesel. When the child, Anna, is herself mistakenly admitted to the asylum after an epileptic fit, Clive and Henrietta return to Dunning to retrieve her. This time, however, Henrietta begins to suspect that something darker may be happening. When Clive doesn’t believe her, she decides to take matters into her own hands . . . with horrifying results.
A Child Lost is an excellent novel from start to finish, I couldn’t stop reading – I had to know what was going to happen and how our mystery would unfold.
This is the fifth book in the installment and we are introduced to Henrietta and Clive just after a miscarriage. Henrietta is very much still hurting and understandably can’t quite seem to shake off her feelings. She has lost her drive and her husband is worried about her. He wants to distract her with a new case, thinking that this will help her to re-focus and heal. To his surprise, his wife had already taken on her own case!
This book has two intriguing cases at the same time – the story of a young girl abandoned overseas, with her caregiver coming to the USA to help find the girl’s Mother and the second a mysterious psychic that has been accused of stealing precious items from unsuspecting victims. We are taken down a dark path – in the first case we see first hand the awful treatment of women, children and men claimed to be “mentally unwell”. We learn of mistreatment, misdiagnosis, death and terrible living conditions (not to mention the stigma). The second is a psychic with an ability to hit so close to home with her predictions that she leaves even the stubborn Clive second guessing himself. The team must work together in order to solve both mysteries – especially when lives are on the line.
Although this is the fifth book, the author does an amazing job with the characters and plot so you don’t feel lost (that being said I am going to look in to ordering the first four books!). I really enjoyed the characters, Henrietta is a strong, determined young woman. I could feel her pain throughout the novel but she kept pushing forward. Her husband was a bit overbearing at times but done so out of worry. He could have saved himself some grief by being open and honest with her!
The book is fast paced but not overwhelming. The author does an amazing job of unraveling the plot that leaves you hooked and craving for more. I was left guessing and to be honest I never saw the twists coming (especially the end). This is a perfect novel for young adults and adults who love a little bit of everything.
About the Author
Michelle Cox is the author of the multiple award-winning Henrietta and Inspector Howard series as well as “Novel Notes of Local Lore,” a weekly blog dedicated to Chicago’s forgotten residents. She suspects she may have once lived in the 1930s and, having yet to discover a handy time machine lying around, has resorted to writing about the era as a way of getting herself back there. Coincidentally, her books have been praised by Kirkus, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist and many others, so she might be on to something. Unbeknownst to most, Michelle hoards board games she doesn’t have time to play and is, not surprisingly, addicted to period dramas and big band music. Also marmalade.
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Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.