The Child Finder

The Child Finder

A Novel

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:

A haunting, richly atmospheric, and deeply suspenseful novel from the acclaimed author of The Enchanted about an investigator who must use her unique insights to find a missing little girl.

"Where are you, Madison Culver? Flying with the angels, a silver speck on a wing? Are you dreaming, buried under snow? Or--is it possible--you are still alive?"

Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon's Skookum National Forest. She would be eight-years-old now--if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as "the Child Finder," Naomi is their last hope.

Naomi's methodical search takes her deep into the icy, mysterious forest in the Pacific Northwest, and into her own fragmented past. She understands children like Madison because once upon a time, she was a lost girl, too.

As Naomi relentlessly pursues and slowly uncovers the truth behind Madison's disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce the defenses that have protected her, reminding her of a terrible loss she feels but cannot remember. If she finds Madison, will Naomi ultimately unlock the secrets of her own life?

Told in the alternating voices of Naomi and a deeply imaginative child, The Child Finder is a breathtaking, exquisitely rendered literary page-turner about redemption, the line between reality and memories and dreams, and the human capacity to survive.

Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780062659057
Branch Call Number: FIC DENFE
Characteristics: 273 pages


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Oct 16, 2018

Really good. I recommend this book. Just keep in mind that sometimes it gets a little intense, like when we're hearing things from the girls viewpoint

Sep 13, 2018

I do not usually read the comments before adding my two cents worth on an author's work. However, this time, I did take the time. I found some moving, some beautiful, and one or two perhaps a little clueless. Perhaps that is after years of watching programs such as "Criminal Minds," "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (Sex Crimes)," and not a few actual crime re-enactments procedural documentaries.

I was very grateful for the lack of explicit gore regarding human on human violence, trapping descriptions were more than sufficient. The writer displayed an almost Hitchcock-like ability to merely infer feelings of terror, abandonment, desperation, confusion, and the need to survive at what cost.

Denfeld is great at character development as well as plot and keeping the reader wondering what was going to happen next. I am looking to read more of Her books. Unfortunately, children, people go missing every day. There are limited resources to find them. I am glad for Denfeld and people like her to do her kind of work. It takes skill, a strong will, a strong body and mind, and most of all a huge heart - one that can break little by little and keep coming back to help the next person who needs to be found.

ArapahoeJohanna Jul 15, 2018

It's rare to find such a dark story told with such empathy and compassion for the characters. As a grown-up missing child herself, the investigator is a fascinating character with a unique perspective. Set in the beautiful winter woods of the Pacific Northwest, the story is haunting and fraught with tension. I'll definitely be on the lookout for more from this author!

Jul 13, 2018

Very good book. At times, it is hard to read, heart bleeds, because of the described cruelty to the most vulnerable.

Jul 02, 2018

This is an uncomfortable and unpleasant story. All the euphemisms and careful wording force the reader to imagine the horrors that the children are subjected to. The precocious resilience of the abducted child strains credibility, but her dissociation into an imaginary world is believable. In the end, what was the point?

Jun 24, 2018

I didn't find the book believable. A six year old is still a six year old and does not have many of the abilities this child is supposed to have. The trapper was a kidnapped child himself. He takes his skins in and gets TV dinners. How did he figure out where to take the skins? How much should he get for them? Nobody tries to communicate with him? The trapper just happens to be in the right place at the right time to take the child to his cave before freezing. In that vast wilderness? I can see a sequel coming up.

Jun 22, 2018

I could not put the book down, great story.

May 22, 2018

The focus of this novel is that which is every parent's worst nightmare, the search for a missing child. Naomi, The Child Finder, was a lost child herself but we only know about how she was found and nothing about her story before that. As a result, she has the uncanny ability of finding missing children and has made a career out of it. Madison has been missing for 3 years and her parents hire Naomi to help them locate their daughter. The book switches between the point of view of Naomi and Madison with the occasional point of view from other characters. It is beautifully written but seemed choppy at times. There was one part of the novel that loosely connected to the rest of the story and so I'm not sure it was a necessary add. Nonetheless, the novel was a page turner. It took a different spin on the missing child case than one might expect and the characters were interesting. I became invested in the story and the characters and was afraid to finish in case the outcome was not one that I could handle.

ehbooklover May 04, 2018

This was a beautifully written book with amazing characters, an atmospheric setting, and an ultra-compelling story. I finished this in just one day because once I started it, I could not stop reading it.

Apr 08, 2018

This book was excellent. The author set the book in moutains of Oregon and description of the setting was wonderful you felt like you were in the forrest. She created strong characters who were not only brave but lived through abuse and a hard life. One seeks lost children while she is not sure of who she is or where she came from. She is compelled to bring home all the lost children and give the parents closure if nothing else.

View All Comments


Add a Quote

Mar 17, 2018

This is something I know: no matter how far you have run, no matter how long you have been lost, it is never too late to be found.

Mar 17, 2018

Naomi had tried to find peace in that. If what happened to her was too horrifying to remember, then that was how God wanted it -- He would store those artifacts in heaven for her, for delivery to hell.

Mar 17, 2018

“Snow girl was glad she had left her own feelings behind.”


Add a Summary

Mar 17, 2018

Naomi dedicates her life to finding missing children. Once lost herself, she knows all too well the evil that lurks in the world. While searching for missing children in Oregon, Naomi begins to regain lost memories of her own dark past.

jabberbooky Nov 13, 2017

Compulsively readable!

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at APL

To Top