book cover of Little Darlings
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Little Darlings

(The first book in the DS Harper series)
A novel by

2019 Dragon Award for Best Horror Novel

A Refinery29 Best Summer Thriller  ·  An Amazon Best Book of the Month  

The anxieties of motherhood take center stage in this “atmospheric and very creepy” debut psychological thriller that reinvents the changeling myth with the flair of Angela Carter (

Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own...
creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.

A month passes and one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. When they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley—to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream,
These are not my babies.

Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw...she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.

Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some of our darkest fairy tales,
Little Darlings will have you checking—and rechecking—your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.

“Chilling story, beautiful prose.”

—Clare Mackintosh, New York Times bestselling author of I Let You Go

Genre: Mystery

Praise for this book

"Viscerally creepy and compelling – a contemporary dark fairy tale that reeled me in like tales of old." - Angela Clarke

"Deep. Dark. Utterly addictive. I read this extraordinary book in one, breathless gulp…Be warned – you can't unread this story. It will haunt you." - Teresa Driscoll

"Rich and satisfying, this is part who-done-it, part fairy tale, part psychological thriller. It delivers on all fronts and will continue to rattle you, long after you have put it down." - Felicity Everett

"A story that is in turn enthralling, creepy and downright sinister, Melanie Golding turns fairy tales on their heads…A brilliant, heart-pounding read." - Lisa Hall

"A changeling-inspired page-turner of note with a highly satisfying ending, it’ll stay with you long after you’ve read it." - Sarah Lotz

"Dark, richly evocative, tense and thought-provoking. Taps into every woman's fear that she will not be believed." - Mel McGrath

"Chilling story, beautiful prose. Little Darlings is stunning." - Clare Mackintosh

"Riveting, terrifying and at times heartbreaking…Melanie Golding’s disturbing portrait of a new mother’s paranoia is superbly written, cleverly plotted and gruesomely beautiful in an unforgettable way. A stunning debut and a uniquely creepy premise." - Annie Ward

"Little Darlings is brilliant – beautifully written, disturbing and deliciously creepy." - Roz Watkins

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