Cover Image: From the Cradle

From the Cradle

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Member Reviews

Page turner to say the least!  This book is well written and easy to finish in one night just from all the twist that it takes!
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"From the cradle" is my first novel by this duo of authors and I was very impressed. I am always amazed at how two people can write one story and make it seem so 'seamless'.  It shouldn't have been surprising though, as the Goodreads rating is very high with over four thousand people having a say. Also, it is a British police procedural, which is a favourite sub-genre of mine.

This is the first novel in a series which features Detective Inspector Patrick Lennon who works in the South West London/Richmond-Upon-Thames area. The book starts strong (the prologue actually made me gasp while simultaneously giving me shivers) and doesn't let up in quality the whole way through.

Patrick Lennon is not your usual police DI. Now in his mid-thirties, in his earlier days he was a 'goth' musician. He still bears the tattoos and piercings that went with that persona.  Also, he suffers from tinnitus from his years listening to overly loud music. Now, he is living with his parents due to the fact that he needs childcare for his two year-old daughter, Bonnie. He is working long and irregular hours because there has been a spate of child abductions in the area. Three toddlers have been snatched and their parents are desperate to be re-united with them.  It is assumed that the three children have been taken by the same person(s), as the abductions have occurred in such a tight time span.

The latest abduction was that of  Frankie Philips. Her parents, Helen and Sean Philips, had left Frankie in the care of her teenage stepsister, Alice, while they walked to a nearby restaurant for a meal out. When they returned, Alice was asleep on the living-room couch and little Frankie was missing from her cot.

Patrick Lennon and his partner DS Carmella Masiello are tasked with the case of finding all three children. The case is frustrating and disturbing. Although all three children were taken from affluent neighbourhoods, there has been no ransom demands. The media have coined the kidnapper "The Child Catcher".

The case escalates when one of the little girls is found...

Leaving no stone unturned, Patrick and his team investigate with little success. Another DI on the team, jealous of Patrick who is a favourite of their boss, thwarts every effort they make in the attempt to make Patrick look bad so he can take over as lead investigating officer.

Feeling stressed about this difficult case and worrying about his elderly mother who is getting tired from chasing his rambunctious two-year old daughter all day, Patrick is nearing the end of his rope.

I would term this a high-octane police procedural.  It combines rich characterization with a fast pace. The plot holds surprises and several unexpected twists and turns.  The desperation and panic of the parents is described in such a way that the reader feels their desolation.

Patrick's unique and troubled character was one that I would like to read more of. I enjoyed his rapport/working relationship with his lesbian partner, Carmella. The Philips' family's anxiety and anguish were palpable. Their family dynamic was well described: the mixed race wife, the racist mother-in-law, the teenage stepdaughter...  The teenage characters were well wrought with the contrast between the affluent homes and the impoverished housing estates jarring - and, at times, shocking. The ending of the novel was adrenaline-filled and contained a moral dilemma.

This novel is the first in the DI Patrick Lennon series. You can be sure that I will read the rest of the novels in this series. "From the cradle" started strong and kept the pace throughout.  Though a crime novel, it was also a novel about parents and parenting. About good people who find themselves in dire and desperate situations. About how one mistake can impact a whole life. Highly recommended!
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This book has been on my TBR pile for far too long, so when the chance to listen to the audiobook arose I was delighted.

This is a kidnap tale – three toddlers have been stolen away from their families by person or persons unknown.  DI Patrick Lennon is leading the investigation and he has his own family problems bubbling in the background – his wife is (shockingly) out of the picture and he is reliant upon his retired parents to help look after his young daughter.

A quick look at these lines from the description of the book:

The first child was taken from her house.
The second from his mother’s car.
The third from her own bedroom…

The third kidnap is the point where the reader joins the story. Helen and Sean Phillips are enjoying a comfortable life but everything is about to come crashing down around them, returning home from a romantic dinner they find their young daughter’s bed empty. Her big sister is sleeping on the couch but she is unusually drowsy and the backdoor (which was to be kept locked) is very much unlocked.

Most of the narrative will follow either the kidnap investigation or events in the Phillips house where tensions are as high as you may expect.  There are some additional players who will play key roles in the hunt for the missing children – but their involvement represent spoilers so you will have to find out about the delightful extra details for yourself.

For the audiobook – James Clamp narrates brilliantly and his skills at presenting multiple characters gives From The Cradle a boost above other books I have listened to – easier to enjoy a listen when the narrator is so good.
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Thank you for this book,  but it was just not my cup of tea.  I think some people will enjoy it, but I am not the right audience for it.  I won't post a negative review.
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I really liked this mystery featuring DI Patrick Lennon. It was a great start to a series. Patrick was a great character, and I enjoyed seeing him solve the abductions. I'm looking forward to more!
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FROM THE CRADLE by Mark Edwards and Louise Voss is a suspenseful psychological thriller and police procedural read and keeps you entertained from start to finish. I normally am not a fan of joint authors, but in this case, it works well. 

The first child was taken from her house.
The second from his mother's car. 
The third from her own bedroom...

Children were being abducted. Every parent’s nightmare!

When Helen and Sean Philips go out for the evening, leaving their teenage daughter babysitting little Frankie, they have no idea that they are about to face every parent's greatest fear.

Detective Inspector Patrick Lennon is hopeful that the three children who have been abducted in this patch of south-west London will be returned safe and well. But when a body is found in a local park, Lennon realizes that time is running out—and that nothing in this case is as it seems...

This is a well-developed book, and the characters come alive as you read each small detail unfolding. The writing is strong with believable characters and a steady plot. The only fault I personally had with this novel was that I would have liked more “WOW” or “THRILL” incorporated in the plot.

Now on to Book 2 in this series, The Blissfully Dead.

Many thanks to NetGalley , Amazon Publishing Thomas & Mercer for the ARC.
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I enjoyed this book, Mark and Louise has written this perfectly together!
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