The Child Before by Michael Scanlon – Book Review



She began to sing, the girl. Her voice was soft, so soft it was almost of the wind. It was a lullaby. She cradled her arms, rocking them gently back and forth. As if she was holding a baby. But she was not. Her arms were empty.

On a cold morning a cyclist finds the brutally-slaughtered body of a woman in her car, on a remote lane leading to the long-abandoned Irish village of Kelly’s Forge.

But when Detective Finnegan Beck arrives from the nearby town of Cross Beg to investigate he notices there’s a baby’s seat in the back of the car. A bottle of baby’s milk lying in the footwell. And no child.

Little Róisín isn’t the first child to go missing from that same remote location though. There was another baby girl, taken more than fifty years before, who was never found. Has too much time passed for there to be a connection, or does something – or someone – link these two crimes?

Beck claims he does not want to stay in Cross Beg. His heart is back in Dublin, with the woman he loves. But, knowing that a child’s life depends on him changes things. He knows he has to find the missing baby girl. Because if he doesn’t, he fears there’s a chance everyone will give up the baby for dead, just like they did before…

This dark, twisted page turner will keep you up all night. Perfect for fans of LJ Ross, Patricia Gibney, and Rachel Caine.


#2 in the DI Beck series, but I found it easy to read as a stand-alone.

Set in Ireland, The Child Before starts with DI Finnegan Beck being woken by a banging on his front door…Maurice Crabby has found a body…..

Samantha Power’s body, found in her car, throat cut and her baby, Roisin is missing…

The story has a few chapters from 1954, when a baby had been taken and never seen again…who is linked to this past crime?

When children’s bones are found in the ruined village of Kelly’s Forge, fear for baby Roisin’s wellbeing is palpable….

I found this to be a really gripping thriller, so many suspects and police officers, Gardai, with human emotions, troubled love lives and problems with alcohol…not a light read in any way, but utterly compelling…..right up to the nail biting end…

I also liked the epilogue…..a clever catch up on what happened after….anyone who likes a psychological thriller will love this…..

Thank you to Bookouture for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest review.


About the Author



Michael Scanlon is a civilian employee of the An Garda Siochana (the Irish police force), but a life threatening undiagnosed illness that struck while travelling in Spain in 2014 has rendered him on long term sick leave. He is married to Eileen and has a daughter, Sarah. He lives in the countryside outside the town of Ballina in County Mayo. The town has arguably the best salmon river in Europe, called the Moy.


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Author: Michael Scanlon

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Publication Day: June 5th 2019



One response to “The Child Before by Michael Scanlon – Book Review”

  1. Great review Lesley ❤️


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