review and cover mani: the child finder

THE CHILD FINDER is a relatively quiet sort of story; the whisper in a crowded room that inevitably draws all the attention. An extraordinary piece of work—heavy and heartbreaking—Rene Denfeld proved yet again that she stands in a class of her own. So let’s just jump right in, shall we?

The back jacket, from Goodreads:

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?


Rene Denfeld’s shining ability is writing with compassion. It’s the undercurrent in her magnificent storytelling, bubbling to the surface at the most perfect times to bring me to my knees. In fact, due to Denfeld’s remarkable talent to break down my barriers and pry open my rusty heart, I needed a couple of weeks after finishing THE CHILD FINDER in order to draft a review without crying.

Designed by Leah Carlson-Stanisic

Challenging preconceived notions is another one of Denfeld’s gifts, so prepare yourself for an in-depth examination of humanity, folks. The grief, the triumph, the sacrifices one is willing to make to survive—it’s all there, nestled in between the gorgeous teal-to-blue-to-green-to-yellow covers. Because I didn’t just hurt and cheer for Naomi. The Culvers, the police, and just about every character mentioned in the book evoked some kind of reaction, each chapter going deeper into the murky waters of omg what else could possibly happen to these people.

But don’t misunderstand because even with my weeping, THE CHILD FINDER was most definitely a thriller. With a tight pace and ominous memories from the past, I remained on the edge of my seat. The second narrator's dreamy POV was just about flawless, while Naomi’s self-sacrifice for the greater good didn’t enter martyr territory (which is basically impossible to do). There is so much more I want to say about the plot of this incredible novel and I’ve drafted paragraph after paragraph but can’t avoid including spoilers, so all I can say is that you’ll be rocked to your core.

In conclusion, I love, love, love, love, love Rene Denfeld and will devour every novel she releases until the end of my days. They aren’t easy reads, but they’re necessary. The adept way Denfeld weaves compassion into the darkest of story lines brings out my own, and then I feel all the feels—the mark of an excellent novel, imho. So what are you waiting for? THE CHILD FINDER is out now, which means you can cancel your weekend plans and read instead. You’re welcome. ;)

Big thanks to HarperCollins Canada for a review copy!


For this mani, I used:

FingerPaints – Paper Mâché and Black Expressionism

Julep – Courtney

China Glaze – Highlight of My Summer

OPI – Need Sunglasses?, You Are So Outta Lime!, and matte topcoat

Mitty Burns – Minty 0 and Clean Pro Flat nail art brushes

Triangular makeup sponge

1 comment:

  1. Well this sounds lovely! Also, set in the PNW so that's a win. I'll definitely put it on my list. Thanks!


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