The Moonlight Child by Karen McQuestion

Sharon Lemke spots something she shouldn’t have. A little girl washing dishes at night in the house next door. But the Flemings don’t have a girl living in their house. Even when Sharon probes into the matter, her efforts are thwarted.

Karen McQuestion’s mystery novel depicts the horrors of neglectful parenting and the cost of silence.

Read if you like: suburban mystery novels, books with older main characters, narcissistic antagonists, unlikely friendship trope, dark themes related to parenting & child-rearing

The protagonist of this novel is a sixty-something woman. That’s pretty rare to find in mystery novels, and I quickly grew to like Sharon’s characterisation. More so when she takes in Niki, a former foster youth.

The resulting camaraderie and bond between them facilitate and further the plot.

I wouldn’t have thought of a book having a 60-year-old and an 18-year-old as a crime-fighting duo. But Karen McQuestion makes it work!

Niki has been through some tough times, never having had anyone in her corner. Whereas, Sharon is a grandmotherly figure with a lot of love and care to share. This made their scenes so much more wonderful to read.

I know, I know… this is a mystery novel, and I’m going on about two characters being there for each other. But it was just a lovely aspect of this story, especially when you consider the ending.

the moonlight child book review
Copyright © 2023 Meera Nair

While The Moonlight Child is categorised as a thriller, horror, and suspense novel, it soon loses that air of suspense. Nearly a third of the way in, you begin to understand what’s going on.

From there on, it is the sense of adventure that kept me reading. I wanted to know what Niki and Sharon would do and how they would outsmart Suzette (the mother in the Fleming household).

It infuriated me that Suzette was able to torment so many people around her. Her delusions of grandeur and arrogance know no bounds.

Through the chapters written from her POV, you get a glimpse of why she has turned out that way. I liked that the author included Suzette’s backstory. It made her characterisation that much more realistic.

In terms of narrative style, it is mostly all linear storytelling. The pace of the writing is fueled by how the chapters’ POVs differ.

My heart broke for little Mia. All the chapters written from her POV are so full of innocence and a raw desire to please.

There’s a car chase scene that had me rooted at the spot. If you’ve been even the slightest bit invested in the story, you will find yourself being apprehensive while reading it.

Don’t go into this book expecting twists and turns or a narrative that takes you by surprise.

I wouldn’t say that The Midnight Child is one of the best mystery books I’ve read. But it’s definitely worth the read.

Published by Meera Nair

A 27 year-old freelance Content Writer, who spends all her free time ensconced in the pages of a book or writing to her heart's content about topics that excite the creative spirit in her.

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