Review by Anniek
What goes around comes around. Sometimes it just takes a little longer than it should.
The Moore house once was a thriving asylum, filled with people who were not supposed to be part of society. In the end only ward number 13, the children's ward, remained. The Moore was a horrific place where lobotomies were given on a regular basis. The nurses were cruel and harsh, which made the children long for the day their parents would come back for them, but what if no one would ever come to pick them up? What kind of person will they become when all they've ever known is hate?
Lucy Harwin was forced to take time off when a case she was working on ended with a brutal murder. She needs to accept that what happened isn't her fault. She did everything she could, but it wasn't enough. On her first day back a body is found in the asylum that has been closed off for a long time. The dead body is mutilated in a way that is typical for the horrific lobotomies that they'd executed there in the past. A race against the clock begins and Lucy wants nothing more than to catch this killer. Will she be able to discover the person who's behind this on time? What if the killer might be closer than she thinks?
The children of The Moore were labeled as insane, while some of them just couldn't read or write. Most of these children should have stayed at home with their parents, but instead of helping their child the parents sent them off to an asylum, away from society. Most of the parents never looked back. Being a mother myself my heart broke when I read about these young kids who had no one to look out for them, nobody who loved them. This made me tear up more than once. I can't believe that someone would leave their child in such a bad place when things get a little rough. While I was reading I just wanted to hug the children and let them know that everything would be alright.
Lucy has been through a difficult time. Her husband left her, her daughter has chosen to live with her father and her boss forces her to attend therapy sessions. Lucy is a workaholic, she's a well respected officer and she'll work all hours if she has to and will do anything to catch a killer. Lucy doesn't have the best relationship with her daughter, but she's trying hard to get close to her again. Her daughter is a typical teenager, they don't always see eye to eye and this causes a lot of issues. I liked the fact that Lucy never gives up on her daughter, she loves her very much and she's doing everything she can to fix their bond. Lucy is smart and easily sees connections and patterns in the information she receives. She's a person every criminal would fear and I admired that about her.
The Lost Children is a gripping and dark story about how children can be changed through hate. I believe every person is born good and that it's the circumstances that form a person when they grow up. This made The Lost Children so much more intense for me. I loved how Helen Phifer goes back and forth between the asylum, to when it was still open, and the present day. While reading I think my heart actually skipped a beat a few times. The Lost Children has a lot of interesting twists and turns that made me want to keep reading. This was my first book by Helen Phifer, but one book was all it took to lure me in hook, line and sinker.
If you like to read bone chilling thrillers with a strong female main character I would absolutely recommend you to pick up The Lost Children.
About Helen Phifer
I was a member of the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers Scheme in 2012 and it is brilliant. If you are an unpublished writer on a quest for publication I cannot recommend it enough. I met my lovely editor Anna at my first RNA conference in July of the same year for a ten minute appointment which changed my life. I am very proud to say that I am now a full member of the RNA and I am very excited to have been able to join the Crime Writers Association and The Society of Authors.
I have been reading and writing since I was very young, devouring every book in school and at home that I could get my hands on. I loved Enid Blyton and the Famous Five in my pre-teen years and spent many a Sunday afternoon whisked away to somewhere far more exciting than my small bedroom. In my teenage years I progressed to Stephen King who would scare the living daylights out of me and I could never get enough. I devoured everything he wrote along with James Herbert, Dean Koontz, Graham Masterton and many more.
I love to read books which are page turners and make the hair on the back of my neck stand on end, unfortunately these books seem a lot harder to find than when I was a teenager so I set about writing my own. The Ghost House has taken about eight years from start to finish and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it. The Secrets of the Shadows was written in just six months and I enjoyed writing that even more. I have the most amazing readers who take the time to Tweet and Facebook me to tell me how much they have enjoyed reading both books and it's fabulous. They tell me how they couldn't go to bed because they had to finish the chapter they were reading and that is exactly what I hoped for.
One very lucky reader of With Love For Books will receive a signed copy of The Lost Children by Helen Phifer and a beautiful book cover necklace. One runner up will get a digital copy of The Lost Children.
The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.