The Replacement by Melanie Golding

The Replacement by Melanie Golding Book Cover

The Replacement by Melanie Golding
The Replacement by Melanie Golding
General Fiction (Adult) | Mystery & Thrillers
11 Nov 2021


When a small child is found wandering alone, the local shopkeepers call the authorities immediately. Twenty minutes later, the girl’s mother turns up, panicked and distraught. It doesn't take long to clear things up, and mother and daughter are soon reunited and sent on their way.

Miles away, the body of a man is discovered, floating in a bathtub, but the most surprising discovery of all is that he isn't dead. Despite his injuries, he is very much alive.

Two seemingly unrelated events. But as DS Harper begins to investigate, disturbing connections between the two incidents start to surface, and suddenly it’s not clear where the danger truly lies. Harper must find out, and quickly. Because someone, or something, is closing in and she needs to uncover the truth before it’s too late…

“The Replacement” by Melanie Golding is a haunting and atmospheric thriller that ensnared my imagination from the very first page. Let me share my personal and positive impressions of this captivating novel:

In a small seaside town, one dark December night, a little girl is found abandoned. The local authorities believe it’s an innocent case of a toddler running off, but there’s more to this mystery than meets the eye. Enter DS Joanna Harper, a character I’ve grown to love through Golding’s previous works. Harper’s headspace is a funny, cynical place, and being in it is a delight.

As Harper investigates what appears to be an attempted homicide, she uncovers a web of secrets. The discovery of children’s toys in the apartment of Gregor, a seemingly single man left for dead, raises questions. But it’s the revelation of Gregor’s secret family that adds layers of intrigue: his unusually silent daughter and his mentally unstable wife, Constance. Constance insists she is descended from the mythological Selkies, and she begs a young girl named Ruby to help her find the sealskin Gregor has hidden—a key to her return to her people.

Golding masterfully blends folklore-inspired elements with modern twists. The tension builds as Ruby’s involvement becomes clearer. Harper, torn between her career and her estranged daughter, chooses family—a powerful theme that resonates throughout the novel.

“The Replacement” is a bitingly unnerving story that explores motherhood, myth, and the shadows that linger in our lives. Golding’s powerful imagery and captivating characters make this book a gripping read. I eagerly await more tales from DS Joanna Harper’s world.


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