November 27, 2017

Book Review: A Guide for Murdered Children by Sarah Sparrow

Publication Date: March 20, 2018

Source: Netgalley

We’ve heard it said that there is no justice in this world. But what if there really was? What if the souls of murdered children were able to briefly return, inhabit adult bodies and wreak revenge on the monstrous killers who stole their lives?

Such is the unthinkable mystery confronting ex-NYPD detective Willow Wylde, fresh out of rehab and finally able to find a job running a Cold Case squad in suburban Detroit. When the two rookie cops assigned to him take an obsessive interest in a decades-old disappearance of a brother and sister, Willow begins to suspect something out of the ordinary is afoot. And when he uncovers a series of church basement AA-type meetings made up of the slain innocents, a new way of looking at life, death, murder—and missed opportunities—is revealed to him.

I was immediately drawn to the wild and ingenious premise of this novel, made even more intriguing in contrast to the delightful cover. When I began, I was instantly reminded of Jonathan Lethem in the sharp, shocking writing style and the gritty horror mood. As the novel progressed, the author’s own style emerged distinct. However, I struggled to keep track of the panoply of characters - murdered children, their “landlords”, the rather unsympathetic detective. But there is payoff in the end. There is just something so satisfying about murdered children exacting revenge on their killers/abusers.

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