The Forgotten Child is a creepy offering as a debut novel by Melissa Erin Jackson. Thank you to NetGalley and Ringtail Press for this eArc in exchange for an honest review.
It was well written story with an essentially a good framework. It was a suitably spooky feel for October.
Riley is a reluctant medium and none of her friendship group know about it. However, they convince to come with them to a haunted weekend at a ranch where Orin, a serial killer worked his grisly trade from. Although Riley meets a love interest there, Michael (who I was hoping would be a serial killer/serial killers son etc but unfortunately wasn’t)..she also comes across the ghost of Pete and Orin himself. Pete was a victim that hadn’t been recovered, possibly one of the first. He follows Riley home and then she knows she has to solve this mystery for both him and herself to get her privacy back. There are many twists and turns along the way. I kind of enjoyed the book but I started to wish it would get to the point quicker. The relationship between Riley and Michael happened all too quickly and was too mushy for me. It added extra bloat to the book which wasn’t needed. This is my problem…I personally don’t like too much in the way of love stories and sexual content, unless it’s done really well and deftly.
I felt at times it could be a YA book and yet some of the content was distinctly adult. It couldn’t make it’s mind up. The girlishness of the friends annoyed me. It went from a well written creepy chapter concerning the serial killer, Orin to Barbie goes ghost hunting in Chapter two. I was much happier when the friends left the scene. I thought it was strange how Riley goes from virtual recluse to intrepid medium amateur sleuth. This jarred with me.
I think Melissa Erin Jackson will be an author to watch out for once she finds her niche and groove but The Forgotten Child just missed the mark for me so I’m giving it a 3/5.