The Forgotten Child

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Member Reviews

The Forgotten Child by author Melissa Erin Jackson is a creepy, intense read! Perfect for October, the book is thick with plot and character!
Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of The Forgotten Child in exchange for an honest review.
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Riley Thomas has spent her life avoiding supernatural events. Having been through a traumatic experience involving a ghost toddler and a Ouija Board in the past, the last thing she wants is to mess with spirits ever again.

Which is why she didn't want to go on that trip to the haunted  farm. And she should have stayed away.

Her friends convince her to spend a weekend on a notorious farm, where malicious serial killer Orin Jacobs spent years capturing and torturing young women. Now, his spirit haunts the place, and spirit-sensitive Riley has woken him from his slumber.

But that's not everything.

The spirit of a young boy appears to Riley. But Orin Jacobs was known for capturing only young women. So who killed Pete, and why is his spirit haunting the farm?

Determined to help Pete move from this world to the next one, Riley will decide to use her medium powers once again. But someone desperately tries to keep Orin Jacob's secrets buried. Someone from this story is still alive - and Riley is in grave danger.

Intelligent and thrilling, The Forgotten child has a very promising concept that doesn't disappoint. The author delivers exactly as promised, and the plot is full of twists and turns, keeping the reader alert throughout the book. Mixing supernatural elements with ordinary crime stories, Melissa Erin Jackson has managed to create a blend that is definitely interesting to read. 

Along the way, we get to know our heroine, Riley in-depth, and she is a character both well constructed and someone you can highly empathize with. It's obvious that the author has put great efforts in making this a well-constructed, plot hole-free story, and the result is very good, indeed!

Strongly recommended to the fans of the genre.
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The Forgotten Child by Melissa Erin Jackson is a great debut novel. I found it hard to go to sleep after reading it. It contains some truly disturbing scenes so it’s not for the faint-hearted. 

The book is a ghost story with some murder investigation thrown in. The plot was well thought out, enjoyable. The point wasn’t who did the murdering but how to prove it. I really liked the story, it kept me interested.

As for the characters, we have Riley. She is a psyhcic, sorry medium. She is afraid of this ability at first - we get to know why - but as the story goes on she realizes that it is a useful one. That she needs to explore every angle. I liked her very much. And Michael. He is a funny, sweet guy. And my personal favourite Jade. I hope she’ll be in future books. 

 Last but not least, I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this book.
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3.5 stars

First I think is important to mention that this book contains rape and also sex (not very graphic scenes but they were there), so if you aren't comfortable with these topics I wouldn't recommend you to read it.

Otherwise, this book was quite entertaining and fascinating! I do have to admit I wanted to read horror and although this book has ghosts, it wasn't exactly scary, which was a little bit disappointing. The main reason for me being the romance, before it I felt creeped out by some of the scenes but after it I couldn't connect with the horror side of things :/

Talking about the romance, I loved both of the characters involved individually because they were sweet and charming but together I couldn't see their chemistry. It was a little bit of insta-love and I think they would have been better of as friends but, at the same time, it was kind of nice to see them protect each other.

Now, the main character, Riley, made a 180 degree change that came out of nowhere. At first she was a shy girl, struggling to do small talk but then when the love interest shows up she masters talking to a stranger and seems very approchable, after this she continues being this way thoughout the book. Although, she was really relatable during the story, it was a bit strange to see that change in her personality.

One of the things I loved was that we get to see how a lot of different stories come together thanks to Riley, there were a couple of characters that represented each story but at the same time there weren't so many people that you would start to get confused. My favorite one was Walter Reene's father I almost cried with the chapter that contains his life, so sweet and sad.

Another thing was Riley's relationship with her best friend, Jade. How I loved those two, they were really supportive to each other and it felt so deeply the love they had for one another. I do wish we would have been able to see them together more often but I still was reading their scenes with hearts in my eyes.

The ending was more than I was expecting it to be! I liked how I couldn't even see it coming, I'm pretty good at discovering endings before they happen (that's why I don't read many thrillers) but I couldn't do it with this one. I had some ideas but at the end none of them were true and I love when that happens :P
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The Forgotten Child by Melissa Erin Jackson
A Riley Thomas Mystery #1

Excellent debut novel that was a joy to read! This book was a delight from beginning to end with just enough creepiness and horror without being over the top. With a reluctant medium hiding from her talent and ghosts that want to and do contact her she begins to realize that she might have a gift that will help rather than harm. With one small boy ghost to find peace for, a malevolent serial killer ghost on the prowl, good friends to support her, a creepy stalker, a victim of the serial killer – one that got away and a romance that was normal and healthy and fun to watch develop…well…I have to say this is an author and series I am really looking forward to reading more of! 

Thank you to NetGalley and Ringtail Press for the ARC – This is my honest review. 

5 Stars
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The Forgotten Child was an enjoyable mystery/horror book. Riley Thomas has been dragged to spend the weekend on Jordanville Ranch, home of the infamous serial killer Orin Jacobs, for a paranormal activity weekend with her closest friends. Riley, who has been hiding her medium abilities, is contacted by multiple spirits at the ranch and becomes involved solving a 40 year old mystery, 

I loved the atmosphere of the beginning of this book.  The time at the Ranch was easily the best part of the book. It was creepy with the best kind of tension. I liked how the suspense slowly built, while we got  to know the characters and their relationships, both the friendships and the adorable love interest. For me the boo slowed down a little in the middle during some of the investigative part of the story. It didn't hold my interest in the same way. However, the ending ratcheted up again, with a return to the creepiest parts of the book. It was a wild ride of the ending and I really enjoyed this book. I will definitely be reading more books in this series if it continues. Great paranormal mystery!!
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The Forgotten Child is an intriguing Paranormal Mystery and notable debut novel. The description caught my eye because it sounded different and refreshing. And this definitely lived up to my expectations. 

The story is about twenty-five-year-old Riley Thomas who has strong abilities as a psychic medium but suppresses her gift because a bad experience when she was young. But after years of avoiding anywhere there might be dead people, Riley’s friends talk her into going to an allegedly haunted ranch. In the seventies and eighties, a serial killer used Jordanville Ranch as his base of operation for abducting, mutilating, and murdering girls. But what really happened all those years ago? And did they really find all the victims?

The story is told in third person, past tense around Riley with a few flashback intervals to the killer. It mostly takes place in Albuquerque, New Mexico and the Gila National Forest. The setting could have used a bit more description. I couldn’t tell where it was set until it was spelled out. And more description of the Gila National Forest would have amplified the atmosphere because that is definitely a spooky looking place.

The investigation of the mystery took on a broader scope than I expected, but that kept it from just being a haunted house story. Although the plot is slow burning at times, I was interested the entire time and read most of the book in one day. 

Riley is an intriguing character. She is strongly gifted at seeing the dead, but is terrified of them. She’s a little awkward at times and inconsistently suffers from social anxiety. But she is an open-hearted and determined. The cast of characters was diverse and interesting. I wasn’t expecting there to be a romance subplot, but I enjoyed it. It was cute without suffocating the rest of the story. And there was a little steaminess thrown in.

The story does have some dark themes since it revolves around the torture and murders committed by the serial killer. It isn’t salaciously graphic, but there was some violent content. The spooky parts were well done. The only bits that occasionally sounded borderline cheesy were where the characters discussed psychic abilities. But it wasn’t too bad. Obviously a story about psychic mediums requires some suspension of belief. But I thoroughly enjoyed The Forgotten Child. It definitely left things open for sequels, and this is intended to be the first in a series. I look forward to reading more of the series and seeing the author grow.
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Thank you NetGalley and Ringtail Press for this arc.

I enjoyed this read...  just as I enjoyed the tv program "The Medium".   From the blurb, I thought this might be a more comedic / YA kind of book and while it had some of those elements, it really was more.  There really was a serious crime here with a lot of loose ends.  Riley's "girl gang" may have been a bit over the top, but they seemed like great good friends.  Her "romance" with Michael felt a little rushed in the beginning, a little "too magic", but they did have fun (and sex).  The first half of the book was a little slow, but that was mostly because of all the introductions to the various characters.  The pace picked up steam about half way through and action was fairly non-stop through the end.    

I see where this is subtitled A Riley Thomas Mystery # 1 and do hope it's the beginning of a series!
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I absolutely LOVED this book!  It is set to be a first in a new series titled “A Riley Thomas Mystery” and I tell you what, I am hooked! This is the first book that I’ve read by the author, Melissa Erin Jackson and I was not disappointed.  I tore thru this story, couldn’t put it down.  

The plot, fantastic.  Riley Thomas can connect with the dead.  However it is not something she enjoys in the least after a bad experience, one of her first, when she was a young girl.  Ever since that situation, she has kept people at a distance, not venturing out too far, being a home body.  Until her dear friend, Jade, convinces her to join in a girls weekend excursion, to none other than an alleged haunted ranch.  All hell breaks loose....

I highly recommend that you add this book to your list.  Publication date scheduled for October 10th, 2018.  For being the first in a series, I personally felt this was a well written story, containing strong characters, a great ending and everything in between was pretty amazing as well!  Job well done Ms. Jackson!  

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this book!
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Thank you Netgally . I just finished The Forgotten Child. IN this book I met   Riley Thomas.. She is a Medium   who  is a bit in denial. She  goes with her friends to a haunted tour where she runs into a little ghost boy who needs help. She also meets a handsome and sweet guy  Michael  ,a scary  ghost  Orin who murdered  bunches  of girls and a few little boys. .  The rest I will let you read but It is a very good book.
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THE FORGOTTEN CHILD is the debut book of Melissa Erin Jackson’s and begins the Riley Thomas Mystery series.

As the book starts we meet Riley Thomas, a reluctant medium who has become pretty sheltered. She doesn’t use her gift, frightened of what could happen, but when her best friend drags her along on a paranormal ghost hunting weekend adventure, she has no choice but to go. While there she opens herself up to the spirits, even bringing one home with her, and from there on she finds herself on the case of trying to figure out the mystery of what occurred 30 years earlier in the home of the serial killer she stayed at while trying to figure out how to release a spirit.

From the very first page of The Forgotten Child, I was drawn into the world of Riley Thomas. Filled with the right amounts of humor, mystery, paranormal and suspense, Jackson has thrown a little bit of everything into this book and it combines perfectly to create a story that will leave you hooked. I was so engrossed in what was going on, I read this book in one morning while my son was at school.

I loved the flashbacks from Orin’s point of view and how it all connected to Riley’s investigation into a little boy named Pete. Jackson builds the story up for readers with the flashbacks to present writing, the suspense that she creates and the twisted mystery of it all as she gives us one piece of the story at a time.

Combining the supernatural with serial killers, crime, romance and psychics, Jackson has made her debut with a bang and has left me anxiously awaiting the next book in the series.
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The Forgotten Child follows Riley (a reluctant psychic) as she visits a haunted house, that was once owned by a serial killer.  She experiences paranormal activity and as a result, she is thrown into an investigation that will not only put her life at risk her life but those of her friends.

Melissa Jackson has created a story that is fast-paced, easy to read and wonderfully creepy.  It is atmospheric from the start, starting with some background information on the villain of the piece.  We then meet Riley and her group of friends and the story just takes off from there.  What follows is a really intriguing story, where we are rooting for the main character throughout, and easily one of the strongest (and scary) endings I have read this year.

It was refreshing to see a female main character who doesn't hate on her female friends and in fact embraces them.  There was no girl hate throughout which this story could have easily done due to the content.   The love story was lovely to read (if a bit sudden) and I loved that the male character took more of a back seat as Riley tries to make sense of what is going on.

There are definitely some creepy moments, especially when Riley get her dreams and visions, not just relying on blood and gore but a well crafted atmospheric situation  which leaves the reader holding their breath.  

I loved this book and look forward to more in this series.  Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for  an advanced copy in exchange for a fair review.
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I received this book as an advanced readers copy,I loved this book so much. I could not help but to be hooked and there is a new plot in every chapter which made it such an enjoyable read.
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This is the debut novel for Melissa Erin Jackson, and it is a fun novel, marginally a mystery story and more a paranormal novel with seances and spirits and a murder or two thrown in.  I enjoyed this novel and recommend it as a light book for bedtime reading.

Riley Thomas is a waitress in Albuquerque, New Mexico and has a history as a 10-year-old of being a medium for spirits that want to manifest themselves.  She is invited to go spend a weekend at a ranch where a series of gruesome murders occurred in the 1980s, and where there is a history of paranormal events.  She doesn't want to go, afraid that the spirits will manifest themselves through her, and that is exactly what happens.  During the manifestations, she realizes that she has information that can solve several of the ranch's unsolved murders.  How can she use her ability as a medium to solve decades-old murders?

Riley is a pretty good supernatural sleuth and, with the help of her newly-discovered boyfriend Michael, gradually sets about solving the cold-case murders.  Riley as a character is believable as a medium.  Although I am sure such things do not happen in life, I was able to suspend disbelief and immerse myself in her seance and visitations by spirits, who often give her the next clue to solve the murders.  Although the novel reads like a first novel, I enjoyed it and I think you will too.  Recommended.  4/5 stars. Read this and other reviews of upcoming novels at
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This was a good story.  I liked the characters and the dialogue, it felt real. The concept was great and the character of Riley was a good one. Her friendships and developing relationship added depth to the story. 

It was definitely creepy. Depending on how you feel about mediums, you will either be totally into it or turned off. I was the former, loved it! The story was a bit long but it all came together with a fantastic ending! I would recommend and read more by this author. 

Thanks to NetGalley, the author, and Xpersso Book Tours for a copy in exchange for a review.
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I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  

The premise of this book is an interesting one.  The main character has paranormal gifts that she doesn't want but can't avoid.  Overall, this book was a good read.  In the beginning it reminded me of the Harper Connelly series by Charlaine Harris.  It started out rather slow but as the book went on it got more exciting.  There was a bit of a lag right before the excitement of the end of the book but the suspense kept me reading.  The romance part of the book was a bit forced.  I couldn't really figure out how they connected so quickly and actually thought he might be a bad guy because he was so interested in her even though they hardly knew each other.  If you like Charlaine Harris, books about the paranormal, or romance novels you would enjoy this book.
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If you're looking for a spooky book for this Halloween season, this book is for you! I'm just hoping I'll be able to sleep tonight but it was such a great book!

Here's a quick synopsis: 
Riley Thomas released an evil spirit from a Ouija board when she was thirteen and ever since, she has avoided anything related to spirits. When her best friend Jade pressures her to spend a paranormal activity weekend at a the infamous Jordanville Ranch where deceased serial killer Orin Jacobs lived, Riley relunctantly agrees. Shortly after their arrival at the ranch, the spirit of a little boy, Pete, contacts Riley. He was reported missing in 1973 and was never found. In order to put the little boy's spirit to rest, she must come to terms with her ability. How can she solve a crime that happened decades before she was even born? Especially since someone who knows Orin's secrets wants to keep the truth buried.

Like I've said, I'm not brave when it comes to paranormal activity but this book had just enough creepiness for me to keep going. I loved how Orin's spirit showed himself to Riley when she first entered the cellar, aka his torture territory. I had goose bumps for hours! She was brave enough to return a few weeks after to finally uncover what truly happened. I would have run for my life and never returned! 

Apart from the paranormal activity, I loved the love story between Riley and Michael. They seemed perfect for each other, in their own weird ways. 

Overall, the book had everything from horror to romance, ghosts and paranormal. I loved it! It's a perfect read for October! It will be available on October 10th. 

Thank you NetGalley, Ringtail Press and Melissa Jackson for my copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This is an excellently creepy, really well told story about a young woman (Riley) who is living with a bad experience in childhood that has left her in fear of the paranormal and with a sneaking suspicion that she has a gift as a medium. This scares and intrigues her in equal measure.
Then, her best friend invites her and a few others to a ghost weekend at a ranch, that's got a scary, murderous past and it's not long before Riley begins to experience visions....

I loved the excellent writing that manages to balance the murder elements with the fabulous relationships between Riley, Michael (someone she meets at the weekend) and her girlfriends.
The tree outline drawings that intersperse the chapters and just 'fit' the topic and the flow of the story. I was hooked from the first chapter and it was one of those reads where I so wanted to sit and read in one sitting, but, also (just as badly) really, really didn't want it to end!

Thanks so much to Xpresso Book Tours, NetGalley and Melissa Erin Jackson and I wish you all every success with this really great YA thriller, which, for me can be read and enjoyed by anyone who loves a good, suspense filled story.

Please let this be the first in a series of Riley,  Michael (and the team) adventures.

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I would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book ahead of schedule but unfortunately I couldn't get into it.
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This was a fun read.  I liked the mystery. It had some supernatural thrown in, which I was on the fence about going in, but ended up liking it.  I would of given it 5 stars but I wanted a little bit more back story and meatier character development, otherwise it was a page turner.  I liked how it flashed back to the 80's and the contrast to today.  This book had adventure and humor.  It was also sad, poor little Pete.  I hope he is happy on the other side:) I would definitely read another book in this series.
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