• The Lost Children

  • DCI Matilda Darke, Book 9
  • By: Michael Wood
  • Narrated by: Stephanie Beattie
  • Length: 12 hrs and 1 min
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Matilda Darke is back….      

April 2020: Lockdown

With street crime at an all-time low, Matilda and her team finally find the time to dig into their backlog of cold cases.

DI Brady has been tracing victims of systemic abuse at a local children’s home after a high-profile accusation pitched it into the spotlight—a case that couldn’t be more personal.

Nothing could have prepared them for what they uncover next….

As they piece together the disturbing picture of the history of the home, it soon becomes clear that this is much bigger than either of them ever suspected.

When they find the body of a former staff member in a supermarket car park, Matilda realises her days on the force could be numbered.

The Lost Children is an utterly gripping crime thriller weaving a breakneck tale of a vast network of secrets and lies, a relentless detective determined to sabotage it, and a murder that shatters two decades of silence. 

©2022 Michael Wood (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"A tense, nail-biting story with a truly twisted ending." (Katerina Diamond)

“An established master of the serial killer novel takes us on another dangerous journey through the streets of Sheffield. Watch out for those twists—you won't see them coming!” (Stephen Booth)

"A gritty and atmospheric thriller with more twists and turns than a hangman's knot. I loved it." (Matt Hilton)

What listeners say about The Lost Children

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Michel Woods doesn't disappoint

Filled with twists and turns, this was one I could not stop listening to. It ends on a cliffhanger, so now I have to wait 3 months for the next book. I've already pre-ordered it. This whole series is awesome. Every book is great!

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  • Layla Boo14
  • 07-13-22

Brilliant!

Such a great story but absolutely heartbreaking at the same time. The very sensitive subject matter was dealt with very well. So graphic in places so please beware. But in all the book, story and narration was 5 star!!! I love this entire series!!

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  • Klyn
  • 07-03-22

Sad story line

Child abuse is always going to be emotive. It did recall the famous *IBES WHO HIT AWAY " and there are still cases going on. But it wasn't just going along on the coat rails. Red Herrings and depth of corruption. Established characters with their own story all gave depth. Matilda still mourning James - enough now? And she did seem up and down but perhaps tgat is the reality of PTSD. good hints at a continuing back storyline. Left me wanting the next book.

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  • Mrs. M. A. Boyd
  • 08-06-22

Fantastic series

I have listened to all the books in this series, pre ordered the next one.
I love the characters, the story lines, at times it’s gruesome but that adds to it, it’s so well written and I love the narrator Stephanie Beattie.

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  • Oops 66
  • 07-17-22

A powerful story

Yes this is a very sensitive subject. Where the children are concerned It didn’t dwell on that side of it to the extent that it was difficult to read/listen.
The team worked their way through this very interesting crime. I cannot wait to read the next book. The Narrator is excellent, the narrator really is so very important and Stephanie is brilliant.

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  • Mark Hanson
  • 07-13-22

amazing

I have waited for sometime for this book having listened to all the others and it didn't disappoint. Great storyline and well read.

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  • Mrs P J Cook
  • 07-10-22

Excellent piece of work

This is the latest in the Matilda Darke series and Michael wood has written another belter. Difficult subject set when the country went into the first lockdown in March 2020. Thank goodness I was on holiday with lots of time to listen to the audiobook. If you haven’t read this series go back to the beginning. You won’t be disappointed

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  • Kerry smethem
  • 07-09-22

worth the wait!!

really enjoyed this! brilliant story line and very believable I thought. cannot wait for the next instalment :)

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  • Karen S.
  • 07-08-22

This needs to be a tv detective series !!

Bloody z hell Michael .. these story lines are incredible.. I have lived all this series and I cannot wait for the next .. And that ending gets you wanting more and more

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  • Colin Ward
  • 07-06-22

Brutally honest and challenging, a brave story.

Matilda Darke returns with yet another challenging episode in a whirlwind series that easily puts to bed any debate about writing strong female lead characters. Fans of writers like Vl McDermid, or characters like Vera Stanhope will love this powerful, intellectual, storytelling. Although this book will stand alone perfectly well, with enough backstory given for context, it was a pleasure to get back to the family of officers and detectives I feel I know so well.
The story is a no-holds-barred tale of some of the most depraved of human behaviour. It is thoroughly researched and painfully honest. Having written on the same topic many times myself, the darkness is this book is in no way exaggerated or gratuitous for the sake of shock or drama. Nor is it crushingly lecturing or preachy. The drama and action is rich, the plot twists are well carved, with a few great dangling red-herrings. I won't post any spoilers, but I will say there is a challenging moral ambiguity to struggle with. What is justice? Who can deliver it, and how? What do the very worst people in our society truly deserve for their crimes?
But Michael Wood doesn't just sledgehammer us with darkness. There is plenty of the usual levity and dark humour to balance out the tension and pace, and the dark subject matter. This is an addictive book which drags you in from the start, gives you a jolly good shaking up, and is very hard to put down. The Audible narration is top class, once again.
Bravo to the author for the bravery to write this story and not shy away from the hardest truths. I look forward to the next in the series.
(Now, I am just going to have a little lie down...)