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The Final Child

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A stunning psychological thriller from the author of After the Eclipse, for readers of Ruth Ware and S.K. Tremeyne. Erin and her brother Alex were the last children abducted by 'the Father', a serial killer who only ever took pairs of siblings. She escaped, but her brother was never seen again. Traumatised, Erin couldn't remember anything about her ordeal, and the Father wa A stunning psychological thriller from the author of After the Eclipse, for readers of Ruth Ware and S.K. Tremeyne. Erin and her brother Alex were the last children abducted by 'the Father', a serial killer who only ever took pairs of siblings. She escaped, but her brother was never seen again. Traumatised, Erin couldn't remember anything about her ordeal, and the Father was never caught. Eighteen years later, Erin has done her best to put the past behind her. But then she meets Harriet. Harriet's young cousins were the Father's first victims and, haunted by their deaths, she is writing a book about the disappearances and is desperate for an interview. At first, Erin wants nothing to do with her. But then she starts receiving sinister gifts, her house is broken into, and she can't shake the feeling that she's being watched. After all these years, Erin believed that the Father was gone, but now she begins to wonder if he was only waiting...


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A stunning psychological thriller from the author of After the Eclipse, for readers of Ruth Ware and S.K. Tremeyne. Erin and her brother Alex were the last children abducted by 'the Father', a serial killer who only ever took pairs of siblings. She escaped, but her brother was never seen again. Traumatised, Erin couldn't remember anything about her ordeal, and the Father wa A stunning psychological thriller from the author of After the Eclipse, for readers of Ruth Ware and S.K. Tremeyne. Erin and her brother Alex were the last children abducted by 'the Father', a serial killer who only ever took pairs of siblings. She escaped, but her brother was never seen again. Traumatised, Erin couldn't remember anything about her ordeal, and the Father was never caught. Eighteen years later, Erin has done her best to put the past behind her. But then she meets Harriet. Harriet's young cousins were the Father's first victims and, haunted by their deaths, she is writing a book about the disappearances and is desperate for an interview. At first, Erin wants nothing to do with her. But then she starts receiving sinister gifts, her house is broken into, and she can't shake the feeling that she's being watched. After all these years, Erin believed that the Father was gone, but now she begins to wonder if he was only waiting...

30 review for The Final Child

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lex Kent

    3.75 Stars. This book took a little time to get going but was worth it in the end. It seems like every book I have been reading lately has either been fantasy or such an emotional drama that I’m going through a box of tissues. While I love those types of books, I really needed to spice things up and go with something completely different, which The Finale Child was. This was a psychological thriller, crime-mystery, with sapphic characters. You can’t really get much different than what I have bee 3.75 Stars. This book took a little time to get going but was worth it in the end. It seems like every book I have been reading lately has either been fantasy or such an emotional drama that I’m going through a box of tissues. While I love those types of books, I really needed to spice things up and go with something completely different, which The Finale Child was. This was a psychological thriller, crime-mystery, with sapphic characters. You can’t really get much different than what I have been reading so I was happy to have this ARC at the perfect time. This book was a bit dark, and the subject sad –a serial killer who kidnaps two siblings at once- but in the end it was a pretty exciting thriller. The story stars two women, one who is writer and the cousin of the first victims taken, and the other woman is the last victim and only one to survive. I don’t want to spoil anything so I’m not going to go into any of the storyline but I was happy about whom the mains were. So many times thriller and crime/mystery books star a private dick, police, FBI, or whatever, so I was happy that this was not the case in this book. A survivor and an author are not pros when is come to solving a crime so when the characters did something stupid, which they did a few times, you believe it more because they are not professionals. When it came to the actually personalities of the characters, I found that I struggled a bit. I liked them enough, but I’m not sure if I connected to them as much as I wanted. I think the author character needed a bit more backstory, and at times I felt like the character voices needed to be more different. Even though the book clearly tells you whose POV we are in, sometimes I would still get mixed up. They were just missing a little bit of character development for my personal tastes. There is a sapphic romance. It’s not a big part of the book, but it was there and it was alright. While there seems to be a decent amount of lesbian and bi women detectives in murder mysteries, there are not many sapphic characters in psychological thrillers so it was a very nice change. What it comes down to is that I would not read this book for the romance, but it was an enjoyable bonus to have. I think my biggest issue with the book ended up being the length. This book was around 400 pages –as far as I can tell- and I think it could easily have been 350 instead. The first third of the book is just slow. Not enough happens and too many things just plod along. I will admit my attention was captured from the beginning because of the premise, but I kept yelling at the book to get moving. I think Dorricott really wanted to set the table for the whole story when all we really needed was a fork to dig in. I didn’t exactly notice when but I think it was around the 40% mark when I realized the book felt different. The pace had finally picked up and I was really absorbed into the story. The whole second half is very exciting and just seemed like one thing after another happened to keep me turning the pages. I’ve read some books lately that had the thriller tag but they fizzled out. This book turned into a real thriller in the second half. I would recommend this book for fans of psychological thrillers and crime/mysteries. While this book had a few issues and wasn’t perfect, it ended being a very entertaining read. There were some good twists and turns in this book. While I did guess some of them, others I missed which makes any mystery book more fun to read. This book does start off slow, but I found it to be worth the time put in since it was exciting in the end. An ARC was given to me for a review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    charlotte,

    this is a lot to process read my full review on reads rainbow! Rep: lesbian mcs CWs: child death, child abduction, gore, amputation, violence, child abuse, past suicide this is a lot to process read my full review on reads rainbow! Rep: lesbian mcs CWs: child death, child abduction, gore, amputation, violence, child abuse, past suicide

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    The Final Child is a terrifying, disturbing and compulsive standalone psychological thriller with an intriguing mystery at its centre, and Dorricott has somehow managed to give it the feel of a real-life true crime case despite it being fictional. Between the years 1994 and 1998, a brutal serial killer was on the loose in the English Midlands; he became known as The Father as his modus operandi was to abduct pairs of young siblings from their beds in the dead of night, and this became something The Final Child is a terrifying, disturbing and compulsive standalone psychological thriller with an intriguing mystery at its centre, and Dorricott has somehow managed to give it the feel of a real-life true crime case despite it being fictional. Between the years 1994 and 1998, a brutal serial killer was on the loose in the English Midlands; he became known as The Father as his modus operandi was to abduct pairs of young siblings from their beds in the dead of night, and this became something that occurred as a spree every few years. We are introduced to Erin (formerly known as Jillian) who was kidnapped by The Father 18 years ago and was the only one out of his 14 victims to escape death at his cruel hand when she was found in dense woodland alive but bedraggled and confused. Unfortunately, she has been beset with fear, guilt and heartbreak ever since, and not only does the trauma of her time spent in captivity play on her mind, but so too does the fact that she was unable to save her brother, Alex, who was taken alongside her. They were the last 2 victims (of 7 pairs) of this sadistic madman before he dropped off the grid and never popped up again. What exactly stopped him from killing, and why? Erin has no recollection of her time being held or even what happened to her during that time which could be seen as both a blessing and a curse, and only some of the deceased bodies of his victims were found with many having still never been recovered almost two decades later. Erin has worked tirelessly to separate and distance herself from the horror that happened even changing her name and appearance to try and move on. It's 2016 and Harriett Murphy whose cousins and 2 brothers were kidnapped and subsequently murdered by The Father, is penning a book about the disappearances and slayings to try and get to the bottom of them. While carrying out her research, she wants to interview Erin about her experiences despite her having little to no memory of what occurred, but Erin is reluctant even though she is really the only hope of anyone ever been brought to justice for these crimes as the only eyewitness. When someone breaks into Erin’s home and a short time later she begins receiving unsolicited gifts that are left both inside and outside her house, she naturally becomes petrified. Is this The Father coming back to finish the job before she can incriminate him or is it someone else entirely? Either way, it's clear that someone is out for blood. This is a riveting, pulse-pounding and compulsively readable cold case thriller full of urgency and fraught with both danger and palpable suspense from the offset. Admittedly retrospectively investigating a gruesome crime spree that swiftly turned into a cold case all those years ago is not a new concept, however, I cannot stress enough just how much better Dorricott’s version is than many others from past experience; it's an astonishingly good yarn that is tautly plotted and scintillating to the point that I found it immensely difficult to put down. From the first few pages, it's deeply unsettling and the oppressive feeling of dread runs throughout the story creating an atmosphere in which the tension can be cut with a knife. It's rapid-fire paced, intensely compelling and thoroughly entertaining with superb characterisation and a conclusion that is not only explosive but earth-shattering, too. It also appears to give rise to the possibility of a sequel which I would certainly reach for. A creepy, engrossing and thought-provoking read I highly recommend.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    This was an interesting and sometimes tense read, focused on Erin (aka Jillian), who escaped a serial killer 18 years prior, and Harriet, a journalist whose cousins were victims of the same killer and who is now writing a book about the families left behind. The chapters alternate between Harriet's and Erin's POVs, and are also interspersed with a 3rd POV from an unknown character. Though I rather liked both main characters, I did feel that the first half of the book was a bit repetitive. I thin This was an interesting and sometimes tense read, focused on Erin (aka Jillian), who escaped a serial killer 18 years prior, and Harriet, a journalist whose cousins were victims of the same killer and who is now writing a book about the families left behind. The chapters alternate between Harriet's and Erin's POVs, and are also interspersed with a 3rd POV from an unknown character. Though I rather liked both main characters, I did feel that the first half of the book was a bit repetitive. I think the author was trying to set the tone but I felt that this part of the book could have been tightened up a bit. As the 2nd half unfolded, the level of action amped up and the story became much faster-paced, culminating in a really interesting twist at the end. I was fascinated by the various things that led to the killings, but wish I could have gotten even more details as to what had happened to some of the characters to make them the way that they were. Overall, interesting book in which the pace of the 2nd half made up for the slowness of the first half, and both main characters were developed pretty well. The storyline was interesting and the twist towards the end was well done. Thanks to Netgalley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

    Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of The Final Child. I'm always up for a serial killer mystery so I was excited when my request was approved. ** Minor spoilers ahead ** Eighteen years ago, Erin escaped the clutches of a serial killer named The Father, leaving her older brother, Alex, behind. Harriet is a reporter whose young cousins were the Father’s first victims. She is writing a book about the kidnapping and victims but is desperate for an interview with the only survivor. Erin has no int Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of The Final Child. I'm always up for a serial killer mystery so I was excited when my request was approved. ** Minor spoilers ahead ** Eighteen years ago, Erin escaped the clutches of a serial killer named The Father, leaving her older brother, Alex, behind. Harriet is a reporter whose young cousins were the Father’s first victims. She is writing a book about the kidnapping and victims but is desperate for an interview with the only survivor. Erin has no intention of revisiting her past and her grief over losing her brother; she's changed her name, her appearance and her mannerisms. But when strange things begin to happen to her and victims' families, she believes The Father has returned and joins forces with Harriet to get to the truth. But the truth may cost both of their lives. I liked Erin and Harriet; they were strong, resilient, relatable characters. I do wish they didn't drink so much. Maybe I only noticed because I'm not a drinker though I'm not a teetotaler either. I did wonder if maybe if one or both of them had a problem with alcohol or that's just what stressed out people do when they're freaked out: drink and then drink some more. The writing was good but the story dragged, especially in the first half. There was a lot of repetition, constant reminders that Erin felt unsafe and why would she since The Father is dead, rehashing the past, her lost memories and the flashbacks. At times, it read as filler. This is never fully explained, why Erin believes The Father is dead. Why make such a huge assumption when there is no evidence to the contrary? Just because the kidnappings stopped doesn't mean the perp is dead. But, Erin kept insisting he was and I felt that was childish and naive considering all she had been through. For a novel about a serial killer, the pacing was slow, the tone lacked urgency and suspense. Overall, I was BORED and kept thinking, "Can we get on with it?" Most of the time, Erin and Harriet were drinking and talking and drinking some more and thinking about their feelings for each other. I'm not against romance in any story, but how does their relationship move the story forward? Why can't they just be good friends and trust each other and look out for one another? Not surprisingly, I guessed the twist at the end since I read a lot of books in this genre and the flashback scenes provided enough clues for me to make a determination. This wasn't bad, but it was nowhere near as suspenseful and engaging as I hoped it would be.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nev

    “The Father” kidnapped pairs of siblings, sometimes their bodies were found and sometimes they were never seen again. Except for Erin, she was the only child to escape from The Father. Years later Erin meets up with Harriet, the cousin of two victims of The Father, who has started her own investigation. While the two of them uncover more information about what happened to Erin as a kid she starts to think she’s being watched by someone… I really enjoyed the concept of this story. The Father was “The Father” kidnapped pairs of siblings, sometimes their bodies were found and sometimes they were never seen again. Except for Erin, she was the only child to escape from The Father. Years later Erin meets up with Harriet, the cousin of two victims of The Father, who has started her own investigation. While the two of them uncover more information about what happened to Erin as a kid she starts to think she’s being watched by someone… I really enjoyed the concept of this story. The Father was an interesting villain and I liked all the different reveals of why he did what he did. People having to go back and solve a mystery from their past is something that I generally gravitate towards in thrillers. How the previous events impacted Erin, Harriet, and the families of all the victims seemed like it was handled really well. Sometimes in thrillers having the character have amnesia or repressed memories can feel like a cheap plot trick in order to have a reveal later on. But here I feel like it made sense because Erin went through something super traumatic as a young child. I will say that the first half of the book felt extremely slow. It took me a long time to get through it. But once things started ramping up in the second half I started to fly through the story. The book switches back and forth between Erin and Harriet’s POVs, both told in first person, and pretty frequently I was getting confused as to which character I was reading from. Their voices sounded very similar and I didn’t have a really strong grasp on their individual characters. I think that led to me not feeling like there was a lot of chemistry between them when it came to their romance. I loved that there was a sapphic relationship at the heart of this story, but it wasn’t something that grabbed me by the heart. Overall this was an enjoyable mystery/thriller, but I do feel like it was a bit too long. Thank you to the publisher for providing an advance copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Fran Dorricott is a bookseller and previous debut author. The Final Child is her second fiction novel and a serial killer noir. ‘The Father’ as he was called, abducted and killed siblings, except for Erin who managed to escape. Eighteen years later, she meets Harriet who is writing a book, as her cousins were the first pair of victims. Whilst each carries the impact of the harrowing crimes, circumstances occur that places each in danger and someone seems to be targeting them. Does ‘The Father’ h Fran Dorricott is a bookseller and previous debut author. The Final Child is her second fiction novel and a serial killer noir. ‘The Father’ as he was called, abducted and killed siblings, except for Erin who managed to escape. Eighteen years later, she meets Harriet who is writing a book, as her cousins were the first pair of victims. Whilst each carries the impact of the harrowing crimes, circumstances occur that places each in danger and someone seems to be targeting them. Does ‘The Father’ have unfinished business? With a disjointed start that begins as a list of dates and children, the narrative is somewhat piecemeal thereafter and the tension fails to rise to any significant level, so only a two-and-a-half-star read rating. With thanks to Titan Books and the author for an uncorrected proof copy for review purposes.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)

    A huge thank you to Titan Books for the review copy and for including me in this blog tour. Where to start talking about The Final Child? I read the synopsis and knew right away that I wanted to read it. Was I expecting it to be as terrifying as it was? Definitely not. The suspense really built up in this book. I could feel it getting more intense with each chapter. More questions kept popping in my head the more I read, I just couldn’t put this book down! The concept of this book is very unique. A huge thank you to Titan Books for the review copy and for including me in this blog tour. Where to start talking about The Final Child? I read the synopsis and knew right away that I wanted to read it. Was I expecting it to be as terrifying as it was? Definitely not. The suspense really built up in this book. I could feel it getting more intense with each chapter. More questions kept popping in my head the more I read, I just couldn’t put this book down! The concept of this book is very unique. I haven’t read that many thrillers but I knew this story would be one of a kind. I’ll be honest with you, I was terrified throughout most of this book. The concept itself is scary and I’m not easily scared when reading books but this did it. I could hear my heart beating in my ears and the same questions kept repeating in my head, what exactly is going on? The first half of the book was interesting if a little on the slow side but I knew it was building up to something big so I eagerly kept reading. I enjoyed that it was told from both Harriet and Erins points of view. It was nice to know what each of them was feeling and thinking, especially when they were apart. I do wish there had been more of a difference in their voices. At times I felt like I was reading from the same person and I got a little confused and had to check whose chapter I was reading. I’ll admit, I was not expecting certain chapters here. I won’t say what I’m talking about to avoid ruining it for anyone but those took me by surprise! It was a nice change. The second half of the book was honestly terrifying. I was so scared about what would be revealed but I also really needed to know. I might have guessed at once of the reveals and finding out I was right was surprising, to say the least. I expected it but I also…didn’t? The last bit of the book was the wildest ride! I was so scared for both of our characters. The end left me with some serious questions. I was expecting closure but damn did the author freak me out with that one! Highly recommend this for the thriller lovers out there! Especially if you’re looking to get scared in between all the guesswork. I truly enjoyed it (is enjoy the right word?) it kept me hooked for the longest time and that’s exactly what I was hoping it would do.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kori Potenzone

    This was my first novel by Fran Dorricott, and i thoroughly enjoyed it! I found this book to be a bit tense at times but the plot was interesting and focused mainly on Erin , formerly Jillian, who 18 years ago escaped a serial killer and a journalist who had cousins also victims to the same killer. This novel has dual narration along with a third narrator that remains a mystery. The characters were well described and I enjoyed each of them. The first half of the book started out slow and a bit r This was my first novel by Fran Dorricott, and i thoroughly enjoyed it! I found this book to be a bit tense at times but the plot was interesting and focused mainly on Erin , formerly Jillian, who 18 years ago escaped a serial killer and a journalist who had cousins also victims to the same killer. This novel has dual narration along with a third narrator that remains a mystery. The characters were well described and I enjoyed each of them. The first half of the book started out slow and a bit repetitive but by the second half I was fully engrossed. The plot twist at the end was definitely unforeseen and made everything come together. I would highly recommend this novel to those who enjoy thrillers.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    New to me author but I will definitely be reading some more books by her. This book had it all--suspense, twist, gasp producing scenes, well developed characters and throughout the whole book the theme of family. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers copy of this book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Collins

    The Final Child is a tense, utterly gripping thriller by Fran Dorricott. I loved Fran’s debut when I read it a couple of years ago which meant her latest book jumped right to the top of my TBR pile. Fran Dorricott doesn’t shy away from the darkness in her writing. Years ago, a serial killer was targeting young siblings, abducting them from their rooms. The person responsible known as ‘The Father’ was never caught. We are introduced to Erin and Harriet. Erin and her brother, Alex, were victims of The Final Child is a tense, utterly gripping thriller by Fran Dorricott. I loved Fran’s debut when I read it a couple of years ago which meant her latest book jumped right to the top of my TBR pile. Fran Dorricott doesn’t shy away from the darkness in her writing. Years ago, a serial killer was targeting young siblings, abducting them from their rooms. The person responsible known as ‘The Father’ was never caught. We are introduced to Erin and Harriet. Erin and her brother, Alex, were victims of a serial killer known as ‘The Father.’ She has tried to forget about what happened, but she soon finds the past calling to her. She’s contacted by Harriet, a journalist writing a book about the case. She is desperate for an interview with Erin. Erin only agrees to help when strange things start happening and she feels she must get to the bottom of what is going on. Has ‘The Father’ come back? Is he out to get Erin even after all these years? The storyline was very tense, I think more so in the second half than in the first, though. I liked both Erin and Hannah. I could see how much of an impact the trauma of what happened in Erin’s childhood has had on her life. I wanted to know if the strange things that were happening to her now was related to what happened in her childhood. I did feel sorry for Erin. Although she has changed her identity, she was previously known as Jillian, she has never been able to escape what happened. Harriet also has a connection to the case. Her cousins were ‘The Father’s’ last victims, so she is invested in getting to the truth of what is going on as well. They are both very strong leads. The tension continues to tick up a notch and there were some very tense final scenes as Erin and Harriet come to realise what is really going on. I was utterly gripped as I read the final devastating chapters. I could not put the book down until I had turned the final page and I couldn’t believe what I was reading. The Final Child is a very dark book, but it captured my interest. I really enjoyed it. If you love dark and gripping crime thrillers, you should add this to your TBR pile. I highly recommend it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ginny

    Creepy, fast paced and a twisted and well planned out plot. The only reason it took me 4 days to read is because I knew it would freak me out reading at night! Though I’m admittedly biased, HIGHLY recommend if you’re into mysteries, thrillers, or queer relationships.

  13. 4 out of 5

    MaxDisaster

    3,5 stars This was good. Kinda predictable, but that didn't lower the creepy atmosphere the author managed to create. All in all a decent serial killer book. 3,5 stars This was good. Kinda predictable, but that didn't lower the creepy atmosphere the author managed to create. All in all a decent serial killer book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Morevna

    4 and a half stars for a solid thriller with a lesbian relationship and a sapphic + a lesbian main character

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chrissie O'Brien

    Always appreciate an ARC from NetGalley! This is one of those books that I am not quite sure how I feel about it. I think I'll give it 3.5 stars. It definitely kept me interested enough to keep reading it; I really liked how the story developed over the course of the book and how it went it a not (for lack of better term) straight forward direction. I enjoyed that the crime was not as simple as it could have been. Overall though I felt that the pacing was a little too even, and a little slow, an Always appreciate an ARC from NetGalley! This is one of those books that I am not quite sure how I feel about it. I think I'll give it 3.5 stars. It definitely kept me interested enough to keep reading it; I really liked how the story developed over the course of the book and how it went it a not (for lack of better term) straight forward direction. I enjoyed that the crime was not as simple as it could have been. Overall though I felt that the pacing was a little too even, and a little slow, and possibly a little longer than it needed to be. I liked how it ended though; I am a sucker for a thriller that has an open ending/is not all neatly tied up in a bow. I really like Erin and Harriet, and I liked them together a lot. That character relationship was one of my favorite parts of the book. I don't think I would buy this book, but I would read more by this author

  16. 5 out of 5

    Domi

    A very well done thriller about Erin, the only survivor of The Father who abducted and killed several children and Harriet, who wants to write a book about the abductions. The book starts off rather slow, but due to the switching POV's it gives you a good insight in the characters of both ladies and the slow start ensures a solid base for a connection with the women when the pace picks up and leads to the rather gripping conclusion. There were some minor issues here and there that bothered me a A very well done thriller about Erin, the only survivor of The Father who abducted and killed several children and Harriet, who wants to write a book about the abductions. The book starts off rather slow, but due to the switching POV's it gives you a good insight in the characters of both ladies and the slow start ensures a solid base for a connection with the women when the pace picks up and leads to the rather gripping conclusion. There were some minor issues here and there that bothered me a little bit, but overall a very strong thriller with a nice sapphic romance thrown in there. I like to read thrillers and the added element of two women who fall in love isn't something I come across a lot in this genre, but it makes a difference since it's easier to relate to the person I am reading about. Fran Dorricott managed to have a good balance with the emphasis on the thriller aspect and the romance is there and is nicely done, but not something that takes up a big part of this book. *** An ARC was provided by Netgalley in exchange for a honest review ***

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Bridgeman

    I liked this book, the hook really grabbed me, and the narrative which sought to frame not only the experiences and names of the children taken, as opposed to defining them by the acts of their killer, is a bold move. By giving the kidnapper/killer the moniker 'The Father', and having 2 relative strangers, bonded by circumstance , investigate his crimes, gave a familiarity with Erin(Jillian as she was known when kidnapped) and Harriet (cousin to the two possible first boys kidnapped, Jem and Mike I liked this book, the hook really grabbed me, and the narrative which sought to frame not only the experiences and names of the children taken, as opposed to defining them by the acts of their killer, is a bold move. By giving the kidnapper/killer the moniker 'The Father', and having 2 relative strangers, bonded by circumstance , investigate his crimes, gave a familiarity with Erin(Jillian as she was known when kidnapped) and Harriet (cousin to the two possible first boys kidnapped, Jem and Mikey) and a distance from the perpetrator who remains faceless and nameless for most of the book. Sadly, this often returned power to him in the vein of 'he who walks behind the rows' or 'he who shall not be named.' When returning the power to the children and the families with repetition of their names is a successful trait in The Final Child, the anonymity of Father gives him a mythological, boogeyman type status which sometimes undermines that effect. It explores the things that most other novels do not-how do those left behind cope? The person shaped hole in their lives....can it ever be filled? And how do we treat the family of the boy and girl taken, Jillian and Alex, of whom only one returns? Are they, as they are often told, 'lucky'? It certainly does not seem lucky, in fact, Jillian has not only adapted her name to her middle one, Erin, she feels she is a no man's land of survivor guilt and inability to move on. Her lack of memories, her brain's way of getting her to cope with the trauma, leaves her with little to no knowledge of their time incarcerated, and she fills it with meaningless sex, destructive relationships, and hiding who she is. Harriet, on the other hand, seeks to turn back the clock and examine, in close detail, the stories of the missing, and focus on the children and the relatives left behind. After the case has been concluded, or gone cold, are the families left in limbo? The scenes where the surviving parents meet up because their shared experience is so unique, that they are trapped in an endless grief with only each other to lean on, are particularly poignant. Especially when Erin relates how she was made to feel almost unwelcome, that 'luck' striking again. Harriet's entire childhood is caught in amber, almost like a snowglobe that she can shake, and recall Jem and Mikey from her fragmented memories. Their kidnap and murder, remaining unsolved, has shown the dark side of childhood danger, the possibility of vanishing, never to be found. It also feels like the children that she knew, belong to the public at large and so, when she finds a crumbled newspaper underneath her mother's lino, a DIY project turns internal as she commits to tackling these stories in the hope of peace for her unquiet mind. In the space between the things which Harriet and Erin have been through, a relationship cautiously builds, Harriet's theory that her cousins were not the first ones chosen, leads her journalist/writer's instinct down some very nasty paths. Erin, who has spent so much time building defences against the past, has found herself trapped within them and with Harriet's support, not only do they realistically chase down ideas, suspects, etc, they can go to the places where people will talk to them, as opposed to the police. Chilling and ominously shadowed by bizarre, yet explainable occurrences-an open window, a moved piece of furniture, a feeling of being followed-the shadows coalesce into a nightmare made real. Father is not only genuinely scary, and here I have to be careful not to give any spoilers away, it throws a sharp relief of the expected gender roles of parents, and how societal constraints on these can go hideously wrong. What I loved about this book so much was Harriet and Erin's narration, their first person voices overlapped a little and sometimes I had to go back to remember who was speaking, but their naturally occurring relationship was lovely to observe unfurling. These are two Sapphic protagonists, and again, I hope this is phrased correctly and inoffensively, they were naturally Sapphic. By that I mean they were characters who were naturally gay they weren't there to serve a plot point, provide titillation or any other function, they just were. A bugbear of mine is when characters are brought in to show how progressive the writer is, you can tell when someone is shoehorned into a story to fit a purpose, here they are just Harriet and Erin, two women who, defined by events on their childhood, come together to tackle, defeat and bring into the light the source of their nightmares. Apart from a couple of niggles regarding plot holes, and slightly too much repetition (you have more than enough reminders of who was taken when and who was affected by what, there is a cohesive timeline of events at the start of the book and I felt it was almost unnecessary to say -paraphrasing here-'Erin, whose brother Alex had been kidnapped with her and never found' or 'Harriet, whose cousins were the first pair taken'. As a mystery, it works, it is a thriller with borderline horror undertones and will definitely appeal to those who read, and enjoyed Fran's first novel,'After The Eclipse', 'The Whisper Man' by Alex North, or any of CJ Tudor's books.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amy Walker - Trans-Scribe Reviews

    The Final Child is a book that surprised me from the very first page. I guess I'm used to reading thriller books that aren't set within the UK, because as soon as I started reading this book and I was presented with a list of child abductions that took place around the area where I lived I had to take a moment to realise what I'd just read. From the first few pages I realised that this was not only going to be a book that felt more at home because it's a British murder mystery, but because I kne The Final Child is a book that surprised me from the very first page. I guess I'm used to reading thriller books that aren't set within the UK, because as soon as I started reading this book and I was presented with a list of child abductions that took place around the area where I lived I had to take a moment to realise what I'd just read. From the first few pages I realised that this was not only going to be a book that felt more at home because it's a British murder mystery, but because I knew some of the places it was going to be happening in. I have to admit, it instantly won me over; and not once did Fran Dorricott let me down as the book went on. The story of The Final Child follows two women, women who begin the story so closely connected even though they've never met before. Harriett is a former journalist who grew up hearing stories about how her cousins were taken by 'The Father', a serial kidnapper and killer of young siblings in the late 1990's. Having grown up knowing that her cousins young lives were brutally cut short, and seeing what this does to a family, Harriet has been working on a book about it. Her book began as a way of her being able to process her own grief and issues with what happened, and slowly evolved into her wanting to tell the stories of not just her cousins, but all of the young victims of 'The Father'. Having seen how so many true crime fanatics and the press focus on the killer, often ignoring the victims, Harriet wanted to create something that celebrates and memorialises those who lost their lives to him. Erin is one of 'The Father's' victims. The only child taken by him to ever be found alive. The final child. Having grown up being unable to remember what happened to her, but knowing that she and her brother were taken by a killer, and that her brother's body will probably never be found, Erin as tried to move, Alex, on with her life. She's tried to distance herself from her past as much as possible, changing her look, and even changing her name from Jilly to Erin. One day, when visiting her mother, Erin meets Harriet, a young woman who has approached her mother wanting to learn more about her and Alex. At first she's pretty hostile towards Harriet, wanting nothing to do with this woman who seems to have barged into her life, wanting to drag up her past. However, strange things start to happen to Erin. She feels like she's being watched, and her house gets broken into. These incidents start to make her think of her past, and as such she agrees to speak to Harriet. Together, the two young women begin to try to figure out what might have happened to 'The Father', if they're really dead, and if perhaps there were more victims of his out there. As their investigation begins to uncover new evidence it becomes clearer that someone's targeting Erin, and the two of them are now in danger. Could 'The Father' be back, or is this a deadly new stalker? So often in stories where characters are looking into old cases, trying to figure out what really happened in the past, there's a lack of urgency to things. People get to spend a lot of time going from place to place, looking around at things, talking to person after person, putting the pieces of the mystery together as they see fit. The Last Child seems to buck this trend, however, as thanks to this shadowy figure that's messing with our two heroines there's a constant sense of danger lurking in the background. You're always waiting for something awful to happen, and it feels like Erin and Harriet have to find answers soon, before something terrible happens. This sense of urgency and danger aren't just great for pacing and keeping the story story moving, but also as a way of pushing the relationship between the two leads. Over the course of the book we switch between narrators, and we get the chance to know Erin and Harriet quite well. At first, they seemed like the kinds of people who wouldn't really get along. Erin is closed off, afraid to let anyone in, and completely opposed to helping Harriet and her investigation; wanting nothing more than to just forget her past and live her life. Harriet also starts off feeling a bit self centred. She wants to finish her book, claiming that it's for all of the victims of 'The Father', but she keeps pushing at Erin, perhaps overstepping the mark a few times; and even refuses to think of her as Erin rather than Jillian, still thinking of her as the victim of 'The Father' rather than her own person. But, this changes as the book goes on, and as the narrative keeps forcing the two of them together. Not only do they become friends, but it also very quickly becomes clear that there's something more to their feelings too. We learn very early on that Erin is attracted to women, but it isn't until she and Harriet begin to get close that we discover Harriet feels a similar attraction to her; though it does seem to be heavily implied that she's never been in any form of romantic situation with a woman before. What begins as a very strained relationship, where they're both keeping each other at arms length soon becomes this wonderful sapphic relationship where they're each trying to find the best way to be close to the other; and it was wonderful. Perhaps it's simply down to the books I've been reading, but this might be the first time that a queer relationship has been given centre stage in a crime thriller book that I've read. And I loved it. Not only was it great to see two women being able to love each other, and come together during such an awful situation, but it made me smile every time they gingerly reached out to hold the others hand, or made to gently kiss the other, almost afraid of what might happen. It gave moments of tenderness and care in what might have otherwise been a brutal and unforgiving narrative. Throughout the course off the book readers also get the chance to see things from the point of view of other characters, brief snippets that begin to shed light on what really happened in the past, and how things led to children being kidnapped and murdered. These moments were really interesting, and definitely expanded the narrative in interesting ways without giving too much away. There were a few times that these flashbacks, in conjunction with things happening in the present, really helped me as a reader to understand things, and I appreciated that Dorricott always held certain information back to keep the mystery going without it feeling forced. The stuff we learnt wasn't being intentionally vague or misleading to keep certain aspects as a surprise, which is an incredibly hard line to walk. But Dorricott did it expertly here. There are some parts of the book that get very disturbing too, with death, torture, mutilation, and child harm being big parts of the book, but it never felt like any off it was being done in a way that was simply to gross out or disturb the reader purely for the sake of it. There are some awful things in this book, but it felt natural, it felt like something that no only is plausible, but something that you'd expect to see on a true crime television show. The book felt very grounded because of that, and there are times where it would make me think of real crimes and real killers because it felt so eerily familiar; and that was possibly the most disturbing aspect of the whole thing. The Final Child is one of those books that I found hard to put down. It's a book where the narrative and the characters were so engrossing that I needed to keep reading to find out what happened next. I loved the people that inhabited the pages, I wanted them to be okay, and I'd love to read more about them, even if it's just their boring mundane lives. I didn't expect to love this book as much as I did when I started, but it's easily become a firm favourite.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Fiction Majorette

    Full thoughts: https://fictionmajorette.blogspot.com... TW/CW: child abduction, death of a child, alcoholism. Overall, I really enjoyed this thriller and would recommend it with the understanding that it does not shy away from the subject matter so it won't be a good fit for all readers. I think having Harriet being the lens that we get most of the backstory through was a great choice. She has a personal connection to the case and says multiple times that she's sick of everyone focusing on The Fat Full thoughts: https://fictionmajorette.blogspot.com... TW/CW: child abduction, death of a child, alcoholism. Overall, I really enjoyed this thriller and would recommend it with the understanding that it does not shy away from the subject matter so it won't be a good fit for all readers. I think having Harriet being the lens that we get most of the backstory through was a great choice. She has a personal connection to the case and says multiple times that she's sick of everyone focusing on The Father instead of the children. I thought the pacing in the story was great and really ramped up from mystery to full blown thriller by the end. The beginning of the story was pretty slow and it took me until maybe 20% to be invested. We're following Harriet and Erin separately as they are both going about their lives. I get that this beginning part is more to show the status quo of their lives and how well (or not well) they're handling things. The two women then meet and Erin is initially hesitant but when strange things start happening, she is more willing to hear Harriet out. This starts a domino effect, of sorts, that it really felt like the two women couldn't stop even if they tried. I really enjoyed the different POV we got throughout the book. We get Harriet, Erin, and then a third POV that only uses nicknames. The third POV was an interesting addition that we don't get right away. I think the choices of when to switch POV were used very effectively to build tension and hint at things to come - especially when we figure out where that third perspective fits into the overall narrative. The main part of the story that fell a little short for me were the characters of Erin and Harriet. To me, they felt a bit underdeveloped to be the main characters. I felt like I knew the same amount of information about them that I knew about the other secondary characters. When we're introduced to them, they are both haunted by The Father in their own way - Harriet is obsessed with the case and using it to work through her memories of her cousins and her grief but Erin is obsessively trying to distance herself from the case. I can understand that, for both women, having something that huge being in your life consistently can leave little room for other hobbies and relationships. However, as a reader, I really wanted both of them to have something else going on in their lives. The plot of the story was very intriguing and I did like how we got a little more history of both women as the story progressed, but as a character-focused reader, I wasn't really attached to or interested in these characters specifically. I really enjoyed the investigation as well as the ending, which I think are key points to hit home when it comes to mystery/thrillers. I thought the investigation path was really well paced and made sense of what led them from one plot point to the next. I also found the path of the investigation to be pretty realistic considering the two women didn't have any sort of extra skills or access to investigate - gotta love a mystery solved by Google and social media sleuthing! The thriller aspect really cranked up in the last 1/3 of the book when the past and the present collide. Overall, I enjoyed this mystery/thriller. I loved the pacing, the investigation, and the ending but found the characters a little underdeveloped for my personal taste. Thanks to NetGalley and Titan Books for the ARC in exchange for review Expected publication date is September 7, 2021.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    All of my reviews can be found at https://damppebbles.com/ I admit it, I’m a HUGE fan of the serial killer thriller. Although that may not come as the biggest surprise if you’re a regular visitor to the blog! I tend to gravitate towards books featuring a serial killer, which meant there was no way I was going to be able to resist The Final Child by Fran Dorricott, with its incredibly intriguing blurb and striking cover. Erin and her brother, Alex, were the last siblings taken by serial killer, the All of my reviews can be found at https://damppebbles.com/ I admit it, I’m a HUGE fan of the serial killer thriller. Although that may not come as the biggest surprise if you’re a regular visitor to the blog! I tend to gravitate towards books featuring a serial killer, which meant there was no way I was going to be able to resist The Final Child by Fran Dorricott, with its incredibly intriguing blurb and striking cover. Erin and her brother, Alex, were the last siblings taken by serial killer, the Father, after his reign of terror over families in the mid to late 90s. Sneaking into their rooms at night, the Father would snatch the children whilst their parents slept soundly in the next room. Some of the children’s bodies were found, others were not, leaving grief stricken parents all over the land. Until Erin escaped the clutches of her captor and the Father was not heard from again. With little to no memory of what happened during the time she was held by a killer, Erin has moved on with her life. Choosing to ignore what happened and hiding from the press. But when Erin returns home and discovers an eerie gift waiting for her, she realises that the Father may only have been biding his time… The Final Child is a gripping, emotive read chock-full of delicious suspense and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Erin is a little stand-offish, a little brusque but I loved her. I think if the same had happened to me, I would also be a little cold. Particularly to the press! Erin is reluctant to talk to anyone about her experience (partly because she remembers so little!) but when writer Harriet, turns up at her mother’s house, with her own personal experience of the Father (her cousins were the first victims) she manages to convince Erin that revisiting the events of 18 years ago may be therapeutic. Fed-up of hiding and avoiding the past, Erin decides to trust Harriet and together, the two of them begin to dig into what really happened the night Erin escaped… The relationship between Erin and Harriet is very well-written with Erin’s gradual thawing towards Harriet and Harriet’s slow dawning realisation that her feelings towards Erin might be more than just friendship. I loved the whole serial killer aspect of the novel but watching Erin and Harriet’s relationship develop over the course of the book was an unexpected bonus. The plot is paced perfectly and I was turning the pages late into the night. The majority of the book is told from either Erin or Harriet’s point of view with occasional chapters from other, undefined voices. These chapters give the reader a wonderful sense of unease. Who are these characters and how do they relate to Erin’s story? They really help add to the all-round tension of the book. Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. The Final Child is a gripping, chilling, psychological crime thriller which I very much enjoyed. The characters are well-written and stand tall from the page. The author does a great job of throwing in a number of clever red herrings along the way to make you think one thing whilst taking you off in a different direction. I really enjoyed the way Dorricott made me doubt myself several times along the way! This is the first book I’ve read by this author but based on my experience of The Final Child, it won’t be the last. All in all, a terrific read. Gripping, emotional and packed full of tension. Recommended.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Read with JD

    The description before reading the book got me really excited to read it. Someone kidnapped sets of siblings in the 90s. Some bodies were found. Some were not. One of the last two siblings made it out alive but does not remember a thing: the final child. A cousin of the two first victims decides to write a book about all of the children that were taken, but she has to get an interview with the final child, who doesn’t much want to cooperate. Of course, this leads to a long journey of discovery c The description before reading the book got me really excited to read it. Someone kidnapped sets of siblings in the 90s. Some bodies were found. Some were not. One of the last two siblings made it out alive but does not remember a thing: the final child. A cousin of the two first victims decides to write a book about all of the children that were taken, but she has to get an interview with the final child, who doesn’t much want to cooperate. Of course, this leads to a long journey of discovery culminating in interesting and unexpected twist. PROS: I love the fact that the relationship featured in this book is queer. It just made me happy. It always makes me feel more normal to read a book that just features a relationship like this but doesn’t make the fact that they are queer some huge thing in the story. I generally enjoyed both Harriet and Erin. I thought there is some good character development, especially with Erin. It was nice to see her go on her journey of realization and understanding. I like how the chapters are written from different perspectives and during different time frames. It helped answer a lot of questions by being able to go from Erin being in the dark about what happened to her to background on who did this and why. I like the element of relationships changing over time with people close to us and the fact that just because someone was our closest support in the past does not mean that it will always look like that. The twist! Personally, I was not expecting it and I think this was probably the best part of the book. CONS: I often found the dialogue to be written in a very amateur style with the to main characters talking to each other in a very basic way, which kind of irked me. I think the story development itself is stronger than the writing. After so much trauma, I felt like sometimes it made it a little inauthentic for Erin to suddenly constantly have the attitude of “I will solve this!” or just not really being all that afraid of going into terrifying situations. It felt like it went so quick from not wanting one little thing to do with what happened to her to wanting to deal with everything. The ending, as in the very last paragraph was so cheesy to me that it did not make me feel super satisfied with the story. I wish it had gone in a slightly different direction. I would be interested in reading more from Fran Dorricott. I think she has a lot of talent, and I am curious to know what would happen to these characters if there were another story. Thank you to Titan, Net Galley and Fran Dorricott for providing a copy of the e-book in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    M. K. French

    The Father was a serial child abductor and killer, taking pairs of siblings right out of their beds and keeping them for a time before killing them. Erin and Alex were the last ones; she managed to escape but Alex was never seen again. Eighteen years later, the cousin of the first pair of known victims is contacting the families and attempting to talk with Erin to write a book honoring the victims rather than discussing the abductor. Erin is reluctant to help Harriet, but she can't shake the fee The Father was a serial child abductor and killer, taking pairs of siblings right out of their beds and keeping them for a time before killing them. Erin and Alex were the last ones; she managed to escape but Alex was never seen again. Eighteen years later, the cousin of the first pair of known victims is contacting the families and attempting to talk with Erin to write a book honoring the victims rather than discussing the abductor. Erin is reluctant to help Harriet, but she can't shake the feeling of being watched. Then odd gifts arrive, making Erin fear that the Father isn't dead after all. I was drawn into Erin's story, as she avoided her past and the gaping holes in her memory that resulted from her trauma. Her survival left its scars on her, so that she didn't have close relationships or friends, was isolated from her mother and the other families that were impacted by the Father, and couldn't trust her own emotions. Harriet's family had pulled together after a fashion, and she wanted to help the families remember their lost and dead children; her manner of being stuck due to trauma was different but no less painful. She respected Erin's need for space, but Erin also had a need for connection, with brought the two of them closer together as the tension ratcheted up. My heart went out to the victims, and the flashes we saw of the past leading up to the terrible summers when victims were abducted. It's a skillful author that makes you feel almost sorry for the child that will be the reason why other children are abducted. I suppose I should have expected the twist that came toward the end, but I didn't! I followed along with the journey that Erin and Harriet took as the "gifts" were laid out, flashes of memory teased Erin, and their sense of safety grew more and more precarious. I was sucked into the story from page one and really felt the panic in the women as they were drawn into the echoes of the past. The conclusion was thrilling, and I had to race to the finish. Even so, I also didn't want it to end, because it's such a good book. This is definitely a great read for anyone that loves thrillers with a strong psychological bent.

  23. 4 out of 5

    tatterpunk

    Oh god what a deeply terrible book. This is heartbreaking! I bought this book new! I had hopes! I really enjoyed After The Eclipse, while admitting to its flaws, and thought: Dorricott's next one has an immediate hook, and now she's got some mileage under her belt. It can only get better, right? Oof. There is just. Nothing really redeeming about this book. I'm trying to think but, no, nothing. Characters flat as paper. An interesting premise executed in the most milquetoast and banal way. If Dorric Oh god what a deeply terrible book. This is heartbreaking! I bought this book new! I had hopes! I really enjoyed After The Eclipse, while admitting to its flaws, and thought: Dorricott's next one has an immediate hook, and now she's got some mileage under her belt. It can only get better, right? Oof. There is just. Nothing really redeeming about this book. I'm trying to think but, no, nothing. Characters flat as paper. An interesting premise executed in the most milquetoast and banal way. If Dorricott was tipping her hat to Donaghue's The Room with After The Eclipse, The Final Child is a bit like Gillian Flynn's Dark Places with all the blood and vitality drained from it. It's supposed to be a psychological thriller, but there is no psychology at work beyond "people bad sometimes!!" The machinations of the plot are so convoluted as to be more akin to B-grade horror than rooted in real-life tragedy... but horror, at least, depends on developing some kind of lore. There's nothing in The Final Child that you haven't seen in a Lifetime movie-of-the-week meant to scare you into locking your doors and windows at night. It's all rank cliches, one after the other. And as for (view spoiler)[the twist, it is... deeply pathetic. After The Eclipse kept me guessing, but this? This I called before the halfway mark. Ugh. (hide spoiler)] The promise is a similar letdown. I called Eclipse workmanlike, but I didn't hold a grudge against it. Final Child is just... banal. It's almost entirely transcribed conversations, except those intrusive chapters where Dorricott decides we need to "understand" the bad guys, and so gives us several reams of insight into their naked thought processes. Infodumping at its finest. And even the conversations we get are just so... predictable? None of it felt real, or insightful. There wasn't a single emotional beat in here you haven't seen done a dozens times before, and better. I struggled to try and give this two stars because at least I managed to power through it to reach the (even more lackluster!) ending. But I can't. It's awful.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Eighteen years ago Erin and her brother, Alex, were abducted by 'the Father', a serial killer who wreaked havoc throughout England taking pairs of siblings from their homes in the night. Erin escaped, but her brother did not. Erin has moved on as best she can and has no memories of her time with the Father. She meets Harriet, a writer whose cousins were the Father's first victims. Harriet is writing a book about the victims and is following a lead that might prove there were victims before her c Eighteen years ago Erin and her brother, Alex, were abducted by 'the Father', a serial killer who wreaked havoc throughout England taking pairs of siblings from their homes in the night. Erin escaped, but her brother did not. Erin has moved on as best she can and has no memories of her time with the Father. She meets Harriet, a writer whose cousins were the Father's first victims. Harriet is writing a book about the victims and is following a lead that might prove there were victims before her cousins. Erin is not interested in talking to Harriet until strange things start to happen...weird gifts, a break in...maybe she does need Harriet's help to put the past behind her for good. I really enjoyed this book. The backstory surrounding the Father was interesting and terribly creepy. The characters of Erin and Harriet were fully developed and diving into their minds was fascinating. The book was well written and well paced. Every time I thought I figured out what was happening there was another layer added to the story that kept me guessing. I'm not sure if the love story element was necessary...it didn't really add much to the story. Overall I thought this was a great read and I would recommend to a thriller lover. I was given this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Thank you to NetGalley and Titan Books for this ARC.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Thesincouch

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really liked this and I'm definitely going to buy AFTER THE ECLIPSE. I curate my reading so I mostly read diverse books because truly I'm not interested in cis, heterosexual, white, middle or upper class experience anymore. I feel I have paid my dues on that regard. For that reason, it's a bit difficult for me to find either thrillers or crime novels that I'm interested in - also I don't spend that much time researching, I'm sure they are there. This one was an excellent start. THE FINAL CHILD I really liked this and I'm definitely going to buy AFTER THE ECLIPSE. I curate my reading so I mostly read diverse books because truly I'm not interested in cis, heterosexual, white, middle or upper class experience anymore. I feel I have paid my dues on that regard. For that reason, it's a bit difficult for me to find either thrillers or crime novels that I'm interested in - also I don't spend that much time researching, I'm sure they are there. This one was an excellent start. THE FINAL CHILD focused a lot on the victims with the serial killer only in the periphery for most of the book, which I loved. It was kind to its character while having them behave as they would after a traumatic event and while not being the nicest people. I truly cared about Harriet and Erin, which I think it's crucial for crime novels where you can just read the last few chapters to know the answer to the whodunit instead of sticking it out and reading the whole thing. Dorricott is so thoughtful during the whole book that I was a bit disappointing about the little compassion the Big Bad receives. He does terrible things, but it seems the reasons why are discarded as having very little significance. If those things hadn't happened to BB he would have had a completely normal life, which the other Baddies cannot say, basically.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Young

    The Final Child by Fran Dorricott was a very good read. Harriett is a writer whose cousins were abducted and murdered by a notorious serial killer called The Father. The Father abducted and killed several pairs of young siblings in the mid to late 90's. The last pair to be abducted was Erin and her brother, Alex. Erin managed to escape but remembers nothing. The Father was never caught but never struck again after Erin escaped. Now 20 years later her and Harriett cross paths because Harriett is The Final Child by Fran Dorricott was a very good read. Harriett is a writer whose cousins were abducted and murdered by a notorious serial killer called The Father. The Father abducted and killed several pairs of young siblings in the mid to late 90's. The last pair to be abducted was Erin and her brother, Alex. Erin managed to escape but remembers nothing. The Father was never caught but never struck again after Erin escaped. Now 20 years later her and Harriett cross paths because Harriett is determined to write a book about the victims of The Father. Weird things are happening to Erin and the families of the other victims. The more Harriett and Erin investigate , the weirder things become. I don't want to say too much more about the plot but just know this is a very chilling thriller. The story is told in alternating chapters by Erin, Harriett, a child named Mouse, and someone known as Mother. Slowly, the story comes together until you reach the astonishing conclusion of what happened to The Father and his victims. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes thrillers and serial killer books. The characters of Harriett and Erin were well developed and likeable. Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for the advance copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Dinan

    Great addition to the thriller genre, The Final Child features a now grown Jillian (hiding as "Erin") as she navigates life as the child who escaped "The Father." A serial kidnapper and killer of siblings nearly 20 years ago. Alternating points of view in the story is Harriet, cousin to two of the never found siblings and trained journalist determined to capture her cousins' lives within a book. An additional POV is added as we learn that The Father, who was thought to be dead, or a copycat may Great addition to the thriller genre, The Final Child features a now grown Jillian (hiding as "Erin") as she navigates life as the child who escaped "The Father." A serial kidnapper and killer of siblings nearly 20 years ago. Alternating points of view in the story is Harriet, cousin to two of the never found siblings and trained journalist determined to capture her cousins' lives within a book. An additional POV is added as we learn that The Father, who was thought to be dead, or a copycat may actually still be around. Will Harriet and Jillian team up and solve the mystery before someone is next? I enjoyed the plot although the first half of the novel was quite slow and lacked tension for me. The second half of the novel took off! The characters were well developed and likeable and reasoning behind the Father's past actions were interesting. The 3rd POV and some short chapters confused me. That being said, I mush prefer this novel to most of the kidnapping/serial killer offerings in the last few years. Thank you to @Netgalley and @Titanbooks for the ARC in exchange for a fair review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Elomina

    An interesting serial killer premise here and definitely a page turner once you get to the halfway point but this mystery felt like it was missing something. The two protagonists feel too similar to me to the point where the flip flop pov style was confusing. And how these two haven’t died from lung cancer or alcohol poisoning I’ll never know. The whole first 1/3 of the book is very repetitive with Erin sulking and Harriet fangirling and everyone drinking themselves to death. I guessed the twist An interesting serial killer premise here and definitely a page turner once you get to the halfway point but this mystery felt like it was missing something. The two protagonists feel too similar to me to the point where the flip flop pov style was confusing. And how these two haven’t died from lung cancer or alcohol poisoning I’ll never know. The whole first 1/3 of the book is very repetitive with Erin sulking and Harriet fangirling and everyone drinking themselves to death. I guessed the twist about halfway through the book, hoping I was wrong. I think getting rid of the non-Erin/Harriet chapters probably would’ve helped this being less obvious. The ending left me unsatisfied and sad so the twist wasn’t really worth it. Overall it got a tentative 3 stars from me. I think more editing would’ve helped this book a lot - cut down on the repetitiveness, fleshing out the characters, maybe don’t call the police so much if they’re not going to do anything? etc. Not sure what changes would save the ending for me though. Also I really cringe when books date themselves with product placements and there’s plenty here. Authors, please stop doing this.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Megan (thebookishtwins)

    rep: lesbian m/c's, f/f romance content warnings: death, child abduction, child abuse, violence, alcoholism I'm a huge fan of Fran Dorricott's work since reading her first novel After the Eclipse, and I've been in such a huge reading slump pretty much all year, so I thought I would try and jump back into reading with a book I thought would be a guaranteed hit, and I was so right. The Final Child follows Harriet, who longs to finish her book into the disappearances of the children kidnapped by The rep: lesbian m/c's, f/f romance content warnings: death, child abduction, child abuse, violence, alcoholism I'm a huge fan of Fran Dorricott's work since reading her first novel After the Eclipse, and I've been in such a huge reading slump pretty much all year, so I thought I would try and jump back into reading with a book I thought would be a guaranteed hit, and I was so right. The Final Child follows Harriet, who longs to finish her book into the disappearances of the children kidnapped by The Father, and Erin, one of The Father's victims - a survivor. The book follows the two as they delve into the mystery of who The Father is, and things start to get dangerous for the two. Like After the Eclipse, The Final Child was an edge-of-your-seat thriller. Both books are slow, and character-driven novels, which works brilliantly and Dorricott is very talented at creating a tense and dark atmosphere. Highly recommend.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Williams

    Thank you to NetGalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review! This book is phenomenal. I was hooked immediately and read almost all of it in one sitting because I was dying to know what happened. I literally couldn’t put it down. The characters were interesting, every scene contributed to the storyline perfectly, and there was a good pace throughout the book, even though it was pretty long. It didn’t feel as long as it was because it was so interesting, I hardly paid attention to how much Thank you to NetGalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review! This book is phenomenal. I was hooked immediately and read almost all of it in one sitting because I was dying to know what happened. I literally couldn’t put it down. The characters were interesting, every scene contributed to the storyline perfectly, and there was a good pace throughout the book, even though it was pretty long. It didn’t feel as long as it was because it was so interesting, I hardly paid attention to how much I had left to read because I was so caught up in the story. It felt as though I was there with the characters, trying to solve the mystery, and I could feel their anxiety. I was so invested in the story from start to finish. I definitely recommend for any fans of thrillers or anybody trying to get into them, like me!

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