The Lost Children By Helen Phifer
“ ‘Alice? Alice?’ Lizzy Hissed.”
Ward thirteen was unusually quiet. In fact it was too quiet, and this was what had disturbed Lizzy… Alice who had been there much longer than Lizzy…was asleep.”
“Lizzy noticed that Tommy’s bed was empty. This afternoon he had gone berserk and he’d been taken away for treatment…Treatment-the very word struck fear into Lizzy’s heart. She was only nine years old, but she knew well enough that if you didn’t behave they would inject all sorts of poison into your veins and call it medicine.”
With such mind numbing fearful words we open the book The Lost Children by Helen Phifer.
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?
In a nutshell this is a story of a child thrown into a mental institution(known as The Moore) for unknowingly killing her baby brother where she had seen and experienced enough trauma to become bitter in her adult life and avenging those who had harmed her. Our fearless Detective Inspector Lucy Harwin takes up the job of solving the murder mysteries and catching the criminal red handed.
- The story showed me a part of surgeries of mental illnesses called Lobotomy. I didn’t know anything about it. But as I Googled about it, I realized I had jumped into a hellhole. How such a brutal procedure can be a cure for an illness?
Also it seems that mostly women were the patients to undergo lobotomy. According to the Wikipedia, “The majority of lobotomies were performed on women; a 1951 study of American hospitals found nearly 60% of lobotomy patients were women.” Seriously??
Although it says that in the 1950s lobotomies were almost eradicated this book’s timeline shoes 1975 and that means the institution were performing it illegally.
- Anyway coming back to the book again, it is a well constructed plot. The authoress has run the past and present events very skillfully, without making her readers confused which actually happens to many books with such plots.
- Another amazing thriller with strong back-boned lady detective. Lucy Harwin is the oxygen of this novel. A woman of blood and flesh, trying to balance the work and family together and failing, Lucy can be interpreted as any working woman. She intakes alcohol too much to keep the nightmares of her job at bay.
The story is same in India now as more and more women are now educated and trying to be financially independent yet have to suffer.
Her husband George should have been more supportive not leaving and having an affair. That was disappointing of him. Her daughter was better than him. Well this is entirely my opinion.
Also I am not at all distressed about the doctor and abusive nurse’s death. They deserved it.
- Diction is not very catchy or compelling yet has enough aura to suck you in. Well suited for such a plot.
- Cover is stunning. Blue and black with the silhouettes of two girl children shows something ominous will happen to the innocence.
Only drawback I felt that the authoress has left many loose ends for us in the earlier chapters to grasp on who is the real killer. Although Lucy is one amazing woman and she has intuition of a detective still it felt as if all the things she guessed about the murders (which were actually right) were too good to be true. How can you grasp all things right at once?
However, those are not enough for me to not enjoy book. It was truly one great experience. 4 stars truly deserved.
Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the authoress Helen Phifer for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. I will be waiting for more Lucy Harwin books from the authoress.
Do you like this review? Have you already read a book, how was your experience? Are you going to pile this book on your ever-growing TBR list? Please comment below.