The Lost Children (Detective Lucy Harwin, #1)The Lost Children by Helen Phifer

Amazon.co.uk    Amazon.com

Lizzy pulled the covers over her head. Then she realised what was being dragged behind the person with the torch. She rammed her fist into her mouth to stop herself from screaming…

For decades, The Moore Asylum was home to the forgotten children of Brooklyn Bay. But ever since a scandal forced its closure, the abandoned building has cast an imposing shadow. Until now – when an elderly man is found dead, his body strapped to an ancient gurney…

Detective Lucy Harwin, still reeling from a previous case that ended in the devastating murder of a mother and her child, finds herself on the trail of a killer ruthlessly fixated on avenging the asylum’s wrongs.

What disturbing secrets lie within the asylum’s walls? Together with her partner Detective Mattie Jackson, Lucy begins to unearth its terrible history, and the horrors endured by the vulnerable children.

As the attacks escalate and a woman is murdered on her own doorstep, Lucy is forced into a terrifying game of cat and mouse with a twisted individual. But can Lucy stop a murderer with nothing left to lose?

An absolutely terrifying and gripping thriller that will chill readers of MJ Arlidge, Angela Marsons and Rachel Abbott to the bone.


My Review

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the first book by Helen Phifer that I have read so was unsure what to expect but loved the synopsis so was very optimistic. The book far exceeded my expectations and I found it totally gripping from the first page. Luckily it has short chapters so I was able to read ‘just one more’.

The story focusses around an Asylum, in particulaur Ward 13 where the children were ill-treated by a sadistic nurse and a doctor who was bullied by her. It was in the period when lobotomies were regularly performed on the mentally ill along with other controversial treatments.

Lucy is a tragic character who has just returned to work after a particularly harrowing case which, along with problems with her home life, resulted in her being signed off work. She is thrown in at the deep end as soon as she returns to work with the first dead body and they keep stacking up. She is a complex character that develops well throughout the book as she struggles to keep on top of everything.

Mattie is Lucy’s partner and is in a relationship with an older woman that he tries to keep secret from Lucy with almost tragic consequences. The relationship between the two is excellent and really fits in with the story. There are many different and unusual twists and turns throughout the story that keeps the reader totally gripped.

I absolutely love the ending where the loose ends are all tied up very nicely with many shockers thrown in. I especially love the way the relationship between Lucy and Browning develops. It is a very gripping story with realistic characters and I am hoping for many more books in the series.

Well worth the 5 stars.

Thank you to Netgalley who provided me with a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.

#netgalley #thankspublishers #bookouture #5stars #psychologicalthriller

View all my reviews


About the Author

Helen Phifer was a member of the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers Scheme in 2012.  She met editor Anna at her first RNA conference in July of the same year for a ten minute appointment which changed her life. She is  very proud to say that she is now a full member of the RNA and  very excited to have been able to join the Crime Writers Association and The Society of Authors.

She has been reading and writing since she was very young, devouring every book in school and at home that she could get her hands on. She loved Enid Blyton and the Famous Five in her pre-teen years and spent many a Sunday afternoon whisked away to somewhere far more exciting than her small bedroom. In her teenage years she progressed to Stephen King who would scare the living daylights out of her and  could never get enough. She devoured everything he wrote along with James Herbert, Dean Koontz, Graham Masterton and many more.

She loves to read books which are page turners and make the hair on the back of her neck stand on end, unfortunately these books seem a lot harder to find than when she was a teenager so  she set about writing her own. She has the most amazing readers who take the time to Tweet and Facebook her to tell her how much they have enjoyed reading her books, 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 she hoped for.

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