The Lost Children by Michael Wood

5 Stars from me

I was going to start by saying ‘this is a gritty one’ but OF COURSE it is, it’s written by Michael Wood. I suspect even his Christmas cards are a bit dark and frankly I live for the day that he writes a children’s book…

Anyway, somewhat bruised and battle scarred, Matilda and the team are back in action and ready to fight another day.

In The Lost Children there are references, alongside the haunting tale of historic child abuse, of the coronavirus which is about to strike. This is the first book I have read which has referenced the pandemic in this way and it added an extra layer of suspense to the book for me, knowing what was coming before the characters did.

In book 9 of the series, Matilda and the team are challenged as they face a historic child abuse case. Christian Brady steps up to chase down leads while Matilda finds herself drawn to the aged Reverend Peter Ogilvy who has been trying since 1997 to get someone at the police to take him seriously about what happened to the boys at Magnolia House. My heart went out to the Reverend whose motives were pure and who had only intended to build a safe and nurturing environment for the boys. Matilda’s attempts to shield him from as much as possible were really quite touching. The world needs more Peter Ogilvys.

It soon becomes clear that there were lots of men, some of whom are now in very senior and influential positions, involved in the abuse of innocent children at Magnolia House. Men who are now using their power to silence anyone who dares to speak out.

Those of us who have read the previous books know that this will not deter Matilda! She – and the team – want justice for the boys and justice for Reverend Ogilvy.

Can’t wait for the next one.

There are a few sensational crime thriller series out there right now and Michael Wood’s Matilda Darke series is right up there – I know that I will see these books televised. I know it. A series this good, this brutal, this exciting, must surely come alive, Matilda can’t hide in the pages of a book forever…

Please do yourself a favour, read the DCI Matilda Darke books in order:

For Reasons Unknown
Outside Looking In
A Room Full of Killers
The Hangman’s Hold
Stolen Children
The Murder House
Time Is Running Out
Survivor’s Guilt
The Lost Children

Annoyingly, the author has also written and shared some books directly to audible… So I haven’t ‘read’ them, but I suspect they might be ok too.


Blurb: Matilda Darke is back…


With street crime at an all-time low, Matilda and her team finally find the time to dig into their backlog of cold cases.

DI Brady has been tracing victims of systemic abuse at a local children’s home after a high-profile accusation pitched it into the spotlight – a case that couldn’t be more personal.

Nothing could have prepared them for what they uncover next…

As they piece together the disturbing picture of the history of the home, it soon becomes clear that this is much bigger than either of them ever suspected.

When they find the body of a former staff member in a supermarket car park, Matilda realises her days on the force could be numbered.

The Lost Children is an utterly gripping crime thriller weaving a breakneck tale of a vast network of secrets and lies, a relentless detective determined to sabotage it, and a murder that shatters two decades of silence.


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