Little Darlings

Little Darlings

3.66 (7,816 ratings by Goodreads)
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'Atmospheric and very creepy' The Guardian


Woman & Home

'Unforgettable...there is something of Sylvia Plath in Lauren...One suspects that the real sorceress here is Golding, whose writing has given a voice to every wronged mother'

The New York Times

'Chilling story...stunning' Clare Mackintosh

'Taps into every woman's fear that she will not be believed' Mel McGrath, author of The Guilty Party

* * * *





Behind the hospital curtain, someone is waiting . . .

Lauren is alone on the maternity ward with her new-born twins when a terrifying encounter in the middle of the night leaves her convinced someone is trying to steal her children. Lauren, desperate with fear, locks herself and her sons in the bathroom until the police arrive to investigate.

When DS Joanna Harper picks up the list of overnight incidents that have been reported, she expects the usual calls from drunks and wrong numbers. But then a report of an attempted abduction catches her eye. The only thing is that it was flagged as a false alarm just fifteen minutes later.

Harper's superior officer tells her there's no case here, but Harper can't let it go so she visits the hospital anyway. There's nothing on the CCTV. No one believes this woman was ever there. And yet, Lauren claims that she keeps seeing the woman and that her babies are in danger, and soon Harper is sucked into Lauren's spiral of fear. But how far will they go to save children who may not even be in danger?

* * * *

Early readers can't stop raving about Little Darlings:

'Every mother will see themselves in Lauren...taut with suspense'

'You just need to read it and let the creepiness and uneasiness set in'

'A disturbing and spine-chilling tale...This tale will keep readers on the edge of their seat'

'A unique, haunting story that stays with you long after finishing it'
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Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 26mm | 420g
  • HQ
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0008293686
  • 9780008293680
  • 515,798

Review quote

'Atmospheric and very creepy'
The Guardian

'Chilling story, beautiful prose. Little Darlings is stunning'
Clare Mackintosh, number one Sunday Times bestseller

'Dark, richly evocative, tense and thought-provoking. Taps into every woman's fear that she will not be believed'
Mel McGrath, author of Give Me the Child

'Rich and satisfying, this is part who-done-it, part fairy tale, part psychological thriller. It delivers on all fronts and will continue to rattle you, long after you have put it down'
Felicity Everett, author of The People at Number 9

'Deep. Dark. Utterly addictive. I read this extraordinary book in one, breathless gulp...Be warned - you can't unread this story. It will haunt you'
Teresa Driscoll, author of I Am Watching You

'A story that is in turn enthralling, creepy and downright sinister, Melanie Golding turns fairy tales on their heads...A brilliant, heart-pounding read'
Lisa Hall, author of Between You and Me

'Viscerally creepy and compelling - a contemporary dark fairy tale that reeled me in like tales of old'
Angela Clarke, author of Follow Me

'Little Darlings is brilliant - beautifully written, disturbing and deliciously creepy'
Roz Watkins, author of The Devil's Dice

'Riveting, terrifying and at times heartbreaking...Melanie Golding's disturbing portrait of a new mother's paranoia is superbly written, cleverly plotted and gruesomely beautiful in an unforgettable way. A stunning debut and a uniquely creepy premise'
Annie Ward, author of Beautiful Bad

'A changeling-inspired page-turner of note with a highly satisfying ending, it'll stay with you long after you've read it'
Sarah Lotz, author of The Three

'A haunting read'

'Goosebump-inducing . . . Nightmarish and unforgettable'
Woman & Home
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About Melanie Golding

Melanie Golding is a recent graduate of the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, with distinction. Her short stories have been chosen to be recorded as podcasts by the Leicester-based festival Story City in 2015 and 2016, and to be performed at both the regular Stroud Short Stories event and their special 'best of' event at Cheltenham Literature Festival. In 2017 she won the short story prize at the Mid Somerset Festival, as well as the Evelyn Sanford trophy for highest mark in the prose class. She has taught creative writing in prisons and Young Offenders Institutions, as well as teaching music in a school for boys with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. She is now a full-time registered childminder and splits her time between that and writing. Little Darlings is her debut novel and has been optioned for screen by Free Range Films, the team behind the adaptation of My Cousin Rachel.
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Rating details

7,816 ratings
3.66 out of 5 stars
5 18% (1,403)
4 42% (3,286)
3 30% (2,338)
2 8% (623)
1 2% (166)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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