The Lost Children by Helen Phifer

I received this novel as an advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really like female detective stories. I like seeing female characters who are giving orders and are smart, brave, and able to stand their ground. I was very excited to give this novel a shot so here is my review:

The Moore Asylum used to be home for many children from the Brooklyn Bay. But when a scandal about the asylum erupted, it closed down and has remained abandoned since…. until now, when an elderly man is found dead, strapped to a gurney and murdered in a most brutal way. Detective Lucy Harwin is called onto the scene and finds herself on the trail of a killer fixated on righting the wrongs of this asylum – one body at a time.

This was a fast-paced story with lots of action. Detective Lucy Harwin is always running around trying to find evidence and talk to forensics and go back to crime scenes. In that aspect, I think the author did a good job in showing the effort and dedication that goes into a career in law enforcement. The chapters switched perspectives, sometimes showcasing the voice of the killer, sometimes taking a flashback to the days when the asylum was still active, even showing the voice of one of the victims! While I found the excerpts from the asylum to be interesting, I found that seeing the perspective of the killer made it really easy to guess who it was. I figured out the identity of the murderer quite early on, which was a bit of a disappointment; I like having that slow thrill and anticipation of finding out who it is at the very end. I also found that everything seemed to happen a bit too easily for Lucy; it was pretty much as if everything fell on her lap and there wasn’t as much real detective work as I would have liked. This was a decent detective fiction that had a really fast pace that kept me gripped – but the overall story itself had its flaws.

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