Review of The Final Child by Fran Dorricott
This book took a little time to get going but was worth it in the end. It seems like every book I have been reading lately has either been fantasy or such an emotional drama that I’m going through a box of tissues. While I love those types of books, I really needed to spice things up and go with something completely different, which The Final Child was. This was a psychological thriller, crime-mystery, with sapphic characters. You can’t really get much different than what I have been reading so I was happy to have this ARC at the perfect time. This book was a bit dark, and the subject sad –a serial killer who kidnaps two siblings at once- but in the end, it was a pretty exciting thriller.
The story stars two women, one who is a writer and the cousin of the first victims taken, and the other woman is the last victim and only one to survive. I don’t want to spoil anything so I’m not going to go into any of the storylines but I was happy about whom the mains were. So many times thriller and crime/mystery books star a private dick, police, FBI, or whatever, so I was happy that this was not the case in this book. A survivor and an author are not pros when it comes to solving a crime so when the characters did something stupid, which they did a few times, you believe it more because they are not professionals.
When it came to the actual personalities of the characters, I found that I struggled a bit. I liked them enough, but I’m not sure if I connected to them as much as I wanted. I think the author character needed a bit more backstory, and at times I felt like the character voices needed to be more different. Even though the book clearly tells you whose POV we are in, sometimes I would still get mixed up. They were just missing a little bit of character development for my personal tastes.
There is a sapphic romance. It’s not a big part of the book, but it was there and it was alright. While there seems to be a decent amount of lesbian and bi women detectives in murder mysteries, there are not many sapphic characters in psychological thrillers so it was a very nice change. What it comes down to is that I would not read this book for the romance, but it was an enjoyable bonus to have.
I think my biggest issue with the book ended up being the length. This book was around 400 pages –as far as I can tell- and I think it could easily have been 350 instead. The first third of the book is just slow. Not enough happens and too many things just plod along. I will admit my attention was captured from the beginning because of the premise, but I kept yelling at the book to get moving. I think Dorricott really wanted to set the table for the whole story when all we really needed was a fork to dig in. I didn’t exactly notice when but I think it was around the 40% mark when I realized the book felt different. The pace had finally picked up and I was really absorbed into the story. The whole second half is very exciting and just seemed like one thing after another happened to keep me turning the pages. I’ve read some books lately that had the thriller tag but they fizzled out. This book turned into a real thriller in the second half.
I would recommend this book for fans of psychological thrillers and crime/mysteries. While this book had a few issues and wasn’t perfect, it ended being a very entertaining read. There were some good twists and turns in this book. While I did guess some of them, others I missed which makes any mystery book more fun to read. This book does start off slow, but I found it to be worth the time put in since it was exciting in the end. 3.75 Stars.
An ARC was given to me for a review.