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Publisher's Summary

An absolutely gripping detective thriller

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 50 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 and twisted novel will keep you up all night. Perfect for fans of LJ Ross, Patricia Gibney, and Rachel Caine.

©2019 Michael Scanlon (P)2019 Bookouture

What listeners say about The Child Before

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Great all around

This is Book 2 of the series and there was a lot growth for the author and his main character Finnegan Beck in this novel. This story has a great setting for a smart and gripping detective novel. the characters are terrific, if you enjoy detective novels, give this one a try.

4 people found this helpful

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100% Focus Needed to Follow

I listen to over 30 books a year and have only once before given such a low rating. I enjoyed the first book of this series, but not this one.

The narrator is flat and the story is slow. It is also so intricate and nuanced that it is unable to be followed unless you are 100% focused on the story. This guy who listens while driving and cooking and graduated near the top of his class at law school while surfing the net and playing sudoku during class was completely lost. I only listened to the end hoping every would come together. It didn’t.

1 person found this helpful

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Good book!

I am enjoyed the book especially the fact that it was set in Ireland. I didn't want it to end because I was enjoying it so much.

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  • Kindle CustomerMandy
  • 06-13-19

Found it hard to get into

Might have found this a better read than audio, the narrators voice droned a bit and found myself drifting at times. The story was OK but jumped from one person to another , a bit confusing I might give this book another try but read it this time.

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  • Tezza
  • 08-25-21

Good for debut novel

I did feel, in parts that I lost the exact track of a couple of characters. However I did enjoy the book and will try the next one by this author.

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  • Roy Jenner
  • 04-01-20

Finnegan Beck - an addictive character.

The author Michael Scanlon's powerful descriptive skills make you part of the scene - they take you there with a cliff hanger to end every chapter. The narration by Ruairi Cobaghan is second to none. He lives the part. Enjoy this gripping novel.

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  • Dannisa
  • 01-30-20

Great story

I really enjoyed this. However, being an Aussie I had to laugh at the Crocodile Dundee accent and way of talking. Unless you live way out in this country we don’t talk and sound like that.

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