I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the second book in the DI Amy Winter series by Caroline Mitchell, The Secret Child today on my blog.
DI Amy Winter knows evil. She’s lived through it.
Four-year-old Ellen is snatched by a stranger in the dead of night. Her devastated mother, Nicole, receives four identical phials and a threatening note in a familiar scrawl that chills her to the bone. But she always knew this would happen. She’s been expecting it for years . . .
According to the note, one of the phials is poisoned. Nicole is given a deadly challenge: if she drinks one, the sadistic kidnapper will notify the police of Ellen’s location. The sender claims to be Luka Volkov but Luka is supposed to be dead, killed long ago in a fire that haunts all those involved.
DI Amy Winter is still reeling from the discovery that she is the daughter of a serial killer, and her childhood trauma only makes her more determined to bring Ellen home. When another child is taken, Amy finds herself in a race against time. To rescue the children, must she seek help from the one person she wants to forget?
Caroline Mitchell’s latest book in the DI Amy Winter series, The Secret Child is an exhilarating read right from the get-go. Caroline Mitchell opens the book with a chilling scene when a man gains access to the room of a young girl. He gains her trust, and she follows him outside. But what are the man’s intentions? It becomes clear that he is a man intent on revenge, but what is it that her family has done? Why has he taken an innocent young girl?
Caroline Mitchell keeps you thinking and guessing right throughout this book. As the investigation into the young girl’s disappearance begins, the suspect is identified, but there’s a problem. The man who claims to be behind the girl’s disappearance is dead, so who is the person who is claiming to be him? Are they really who they say they are?
The writing keeps you utterly gripped to the page. For Amy and her team, the investigation soon turns into a game of cat and mouse when they receive contact from the kidnapper. He is willing to reveal the location of the girl, but he has a string of demands, and he wants a secret that has been kept buried for decades to finally be revealed. This is what made the book really tense. Amy knows that she has to play her cards right; otherwise, it could mean devastation for the young girl and her family.
What follows on from the previous book is Amy’s horrific new reality, after she received contact from her birth mother, who is in prison for a string of murders. Amy’s parents were known as ‘the beasts of Brentwood,’ and it is a scar she has had to carry. She desperately hopes that the secret won’t get out amongst her team; she fears this as she wonders if it will make them view her differently. This is a really fascinating part of Amy’s life, and it is going to be interesting to see how this develops from here.
The secrets that have been kept for decades are horrific. I could see why the suspect wanted to carry out what he was doing. There are some devastating reveals as the book reached its conclusion. After reading the first two books in this series back-to-back, I can’t wait to see what Caroline Mitchell has install for us next. If you’re a crime fiction lover, you need to read these books.
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication date: 7th March 2019
Print length: 330 pages
The Secret Child is available to buy: