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Publisher's Summary

A haunting, richly atmospheric, and deeply suspenseful novel from the acclaimed author of The Enchanted about an investigator who must use her unique insights to find a missing little girl.
"Where are you, Madison Culver? Flying with the angels, a silver speck on a wing? Are you dreaming, buried under snow? Or is it possible you are still alive?"
Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon's Skookum National Forest. She would be eight years old now - if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as "the Child Finder", Naomi is their last hope.
Naomi's methodical search takes her deep into the icy, mysterious forest in the Pacific Northwest and into her own fragmented past. She understands children like Madison because once upon a time, she was a lost girl, too.
As Naomi relentlessly pursues and slowly uncovers the truth behind Madison's disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce the defenses that have protected her, reminding her of a terrible loss she feels but cannot remember. If she finds Madison, will Naomi ultimately unlock the secrets of her own life?
Told in the alternating voices of Naomi and a deeply imaginative child, The Child Finder is a breathtaking, exquisitely rendered literary listen about redemption, the line between reality and memories and dreams, and the human capacity to survive.
©2017 Rene Denfeld (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Marisa on 10-03-17

Beauty and Brutality, Haunting and Healing

I was blown away by this novel. The concept of the Child Finder herself was very unique and captivating, and the story, between different points of view, contained elements of magical realism that I have never experienced before. The writing was lush and exquisite, and the narrator did great justice to the author’s work. I became lost in this icy, haunted landscape as Naomi works in her subtle, quiet way to try to find a little girl who has been lost from the regular world for many years. The descriptive beauty of the words coming together to form such haunting, beautiful writing was brilliant, to me- as if each word carried meaning. The words could be strikingly painful, brutal while also profoundly touching and affecting, and redemptive. I loved this book and give it my highest recommendation!

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

By Mel on 09-11-17

The Strength to Survive

A very good author can tell even the hardest story to hear with merciful skill. Here is a novel, a hard story to participate in, where that admirable talent is wonderfully evident. How else could we endure a story that takes us into such dark places, and not feel overwrought? But Denfield accomplishes that merciful bit of magic and even sends us off into the light with an affirmation of strength and compassion. An author that works professionally with some of the most hardened criminals, Denfield could most likely load her novels with sensational graphic details uglier than even the fiction of Karin Slaughter -- but Denfield is a very intelligent and talented author that works with real human beings in real situations. I learned from reading her previous novel, The Enchanted, that it is not her intent to spare the reader the horrible details, but rather a respect for the victims/survivors and their experience that drives her to elevate a story above cheap exploitation. She avoids the low road of sensationalism by pulling the reader into a story with characters and consequences that feel authentic. She expands the reader's ability to experience their own compassion in this story.

The Child Finder is a heart pounding, painful story beautifully and purposefully told. A little girl disappears in an isolated snowy forest. The distraught parents hire a *child finder* with a good recovery record to find out what might have happened to their little girl. There have been no clues for years, no bones, no signs found by the authorities looking for the child who seems to have just vanished. But the forest is dotted with old miner's encampments, families who have stayed in the area for generations, and former misanthropes that passed away leaving their secrets. The Child Finder has a special knowledge...her own experience of being abducted, her own secrets to atone for. The search is a race to save more than one life.

This is a sophisticated psychological thriller, with beautiful introspection and glimpses of humanity in the most hopeless situations. It will keep you on the edge of your seat, but you may find yourself being choked up as well as coping with a pounding heart. Denfield leads us to challenge our own constructs deeper with every thought. We may not change how we see evil when we finish this story, but we can begin to understand its complexities and how our judgements limit our capacity to understand.

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21 of 24 people found this review helpful

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