Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Child Finder (Naomi Cottle, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Child Finder (Naomi Cottle, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Child Finder

(Naomi Cottle #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  38,263 ratings  ·  4,603 reviews
A haunting, 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 dis
Hardcover, 274 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Harper
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Child Finder, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Robert Blumenthal It is more like a child using her imagination in an deeply challenging life situation. There is somewhat of a fairy tale element to parts of the story…moreIt is more like a child using her imagination in an deeply challenging life situation. There is somewhat of a fairy tale element to parts of the story, but no ghosts or spiritual presences at all. It is a truly wonderful book.(less)
Eva It looks like there will be a sequel based on:


Amazon UK (nothing on US site yet): https://www.amazo…more
It looks like there will be a sequel based on:


Amazon UK (nothing on US site yet):

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  38,263 ratings  ·  4,603 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Child Finder (Naomi Cottle, #1)
Chelsea Humphrey
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-publisher
I cannot in good conscience give this anything less than 5 stars. I'm not sure I have the words to properly describe just how The Child Finder made me feel; it was heavy and disturbing in many ways but contained a haunting beauty that only Rene Denfeld seems capable of mastering. The writing was lush and exquisite, containing her signature trademark stamp of magical realism. I was completely lost in this icy, poignant world, and I can honestly say that I wouldn't have changed a single aspect in ...more
Emily May
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"What were you running from, then?" she had asked.
"Monsters," was all that Naomi could remember.

This is the second book I've read by Denfield, the first being The Enchanted, and both have really affected me. She captures all the ugliness and horrors of our world and wraps it up in a story that feels almost like a fairy tale.

I doubt The Child Finder will become as popular as the recent buzz book My Absolute Darling, but it is everything I had hoped that book might be. The stories are somewhat
Will Byrnes
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.
Rene Denfield’s first novel, The Enchanted, was a dazzling look into a dark place. It showed that even under the bleakest circumstances life and hope can find a way to make the unbearable into a transcendent experience. No sophomore jinx here. Denfeld has done it again.

There are similarities in core concept between The Child Finder and The Enchanted. Both deal
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

I was very excited to read THE CHILD FINDER. This was another novel that I flew through as once I started reading it, I did not want to put it down.

"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, after three years missing, you are still alive?"

Three years ago, the Culver family drove to the forest to cut down a Christmas tree. They tur
Elyse  Walters
Update: WOW... Kindle $1.99 special today ...
Christmas Eve special. .... If you have missed this wonderful book - ‘great price’ today!
Wishing everyone who celebrates Christmas a joyous wonderful day!!!!

Lately I feel like a broken record ....."This is the best book".....sad, beautiful....extraordinary....written exquisitely!!!
Another book - where I was choked most of time. I can't imagine 'anyone' not being completely affected by this book.

Author Rene Denfeld outdid herself. "The Enchanted" was
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Child Finder left me speechless. If you know me, this is a rare feat indeed.

This book was way more powerful than I initially anticipated. The last few lines chilled me to the bone.

Naomi was once a missing child. She remembers nothing of her life 'before' being found. The only thing that is clear is that she escaped from a horrific situation.

Now as an adult, her solitary focus is finding others who need to be found.

Her current case is to try to discover what happened to a 5-year old girl, nam
It is never too late to be found....

Absolute highlight of 2017!
When I read 'The Enchanted' by Rene Denfeld I was in awe and speechless... The beauty and the darkness of that book made it exceptional and really something else. This second book of this wonderful author, The Child Finder is equally beautiful and dark, grim, deeply disturbing even... a weird but also fascinating combination. And a book full of emotion, hurt, love... The last 20 or so pages are raw, emotional and made me cry. Wonderf
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
See this review @

After witnessing many friends rate and review this book so highly, I had to read it! I was lucky enough to be the first in line for it at my library.

The story begins with Madison, a young girl who is in search for the perfect Christmas tree alongside her parents in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. She’s only five-years-old and suddenly disappears. Her parents are distraught and search teams have come up with nothing. Madison’s parents fi
"Once upon a time," she said, "before I can remember."

And like a crisp Russian folktale encased in icy frost and deep layers of snow, Rene Denfeld combines a fairytale-like setting with the harsh edges of this world's razored reality.

Naomi stares at a frontdoor yet to be answered. She knows only too well what lies beyond. Naomi is a private investigator known as "The Child Finder". The Culvers' daughter went missing three years ago in Oregon's Skookum National Forest while on a holiday trip to f
5 magnificent stars!!
It is so rare that a book deeply touches me, leaving me emotionally taxed by the end. This one did just that.

Naomi calls herself the child finder. She has dedicated her life to finding missing children. Parents seek her out when law enforcement is unable to bring their kids home. Once lost herself, she knows only too well the evil that lurks out there. And she knows equally well how to hunt down these despicable predators and their lairs.

A young family heads into the Oregon
Diane S ☔
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this quite a while ago but held my review until it was closer to the publishing date. As you can see I was blown away by her writing and the fantastic way she assembles her story lines. As in the first book, she tackles imprisonment, but in this book it takes a new form. She also highlights the strong will to survive and the ways this is managed, even in horrific circumstances. In her first book she used a form of magical realism, in this another form of magic, the power of stories, in th ...more
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star
There are a lot of good things about this book. But the writing sometimes is too purple, know what I mean. I'm not able to fully immerse myself into the story because of that. But apart from that, I have no complaints.

5 stars can be given to perfect books, but also flawed masterpieces. Three years ago from now, a child has disappeared and her parents turn to Naomi to find her. She will find her, at all costs. Naomi herself was a lost child. This fact could have been omitted but it's an important
"Each child she found was a molecule, a part of herself still remaining in the scary world she had left behind. Eventually they would all come together and form one being, knitted together in triumph. We are not forgotten, her action told her. You will not put us aside." - The Child Finder

Madison Culver disappeared in the woods one snowy day as her family searched for a Christmas tree. One moment she was there, the next she was gone. The snow swiftly covering her tracks. Madison was presumed b
This is a melancholic, sorrowful, bleak and atmospheric crime mystery set in the vast glacial forests, snow and ice of Oregon where danger lurks for the innocent and the unwary. Imprisoned by her self imposed loneliness, Naomi is a determined child finder, her reputation precedes her, although she is not always successful and sometimes she finds a dead child. She was once a lost child, taken and kept for many years until she is recovered. There are no memories of what happened to her, she was me ...more
Larry H
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

You've got that right. But it's not Gaston who has slayed me this time, it is Rene Denfeld's exquisite new book, The Child Finder.

Denfeld has left me breathless before, with her incredible debut novel, The Enchanted (see my original review), which made my list of the best books I read last year. With her second novel, she proves her talent for creating exceptionally memorable characters and beautiful stories which you cannot get out of your mind.

Naomi is an investigator with an uncanny ability
Apr 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Denfeld takes us into the deep, dark recesses of a child gone missing for 3 years. The stories conjured up as part of survival. The imagination and its vividness making the missing girl, no longer Madison, but instead now, Snow Girl.
Enter Naomi "the Child Finder". She hunts missing children, some more successfully than others. Her own tragedy the catalyst for her search. But this one brings home the truth of her own abduction.
Denfeld is a marvel. Interspersing fairytales with the story being tol
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
"There 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."

Three years ago, five-year-old Madison and her parents were picking out a Christmas tree in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. Somehow, she got separated from her parents and has not been seen since. She would be eight years-old today. Her parents have never given up hope and have hired Naomi who is known as "the child finder." to find their daughter. She is their l
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: xx2018-completed
This story is heart-wrenching and told from two perspectives: a woman named Naomi whose life is dedicated to finding lost children, and a young girl whose imagination and creativity help to make her life situation more bearable.

Naomi has a gift for finding lost children and each case unlocks a tiny sliver in a heavy door that lies between her and aspects of her past that she cannot recall. Her tenacity and her ability to place herself in the minds and hearts of young victims have given her a spe
Mary Beth
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Madison Culver disappeared three years ago when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon's Snookum
National Forest. They tried to find her but she was nowhere to be found. Later a blizzard happened so they thought she might of been buried in the snow or scavenged by animals.
No one could survive for long in the woods. Especially not a five year old girl dressed in a pink parka.

Madison Culver loves Reading and writing and going for nature walks. Her favorite fairy tale was The Snow Girl.
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Child Finder is a disturbing, yet magically beautiful tale about survival and freedom.

When children go missing, Naomi, a private investigator, makes it her life’s mission to find them. Once a lost child herself, Naomi seems to have a magical ability to find those who seem to be lost forever.

“It will be people like us that save the world, she said: those who have walked the side of sorrow and seen the dawn"

Naomi takes on the case of 5 year old Madison, missing for three years in the
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolute 5 star read!!
A five year old girl goes missing during a family outing to the woods to find a Christmas tree, much snow falls here in Oregon and it is a difficult search.
Naomi, a renowned Child Finder is sought out by the parents to work this case after a few years of no leads. Naomi has a personal history of being lost herself.
This is the story of Madeline, the missing girl and also of Naomi's search in finding herself.
I just loved this book!
Wow!  This book was an absolutely fantastic 5 star read!

Traveling Sisters Read with Norma & Lindsay

CHILD FINDER by RENE DENFELD is a disturbing, haunting, unique, captivating, and an absolutely exceptional novel that had us totally engaged, entertained, and intrigued throughout this whole book. This book was so magically well-written with such beautiful prose that had us savouring every single word while we were reading it. We really wanted to take our time and enjoy the writing style instead of
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
5+ stars! Fantastic book! I'm in awe! I can't stop thinking of these characters. Wow!

I was looking forward to reading this book after seeing all the amazing reviews and it certainly lived up to all the hype.

I was worried that the magical realism element might be too much for me as that is not something I typically enjoy, yet the way it was integrated into this beautiful story was done so extremely well that I absolutely loved it! It was the perfect mix of fiction with a touch of magical realism
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 Stars......... and to think I wasn't even going to read this book

Rene Denfeld's prose is beautiful and magical, a captivating and realistic tale, sad and haunting and yet so much beauty in her descriptions of people and mountain landscapes.
I listened to this one on audio and the story was beautifully narrated by Alyssa Bresnahan, the pace was excellent and authors tone really added to this wonderful experience.

This book surprised me as I was one of the very few people who didn't connect with
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My cup is overflowing! This is the second stunningly beautiful five star book I have read in two days. I picked this one up because I so enjoyed The Enchanted but I was wary because the blurb indicated it was going to be a very different kind of book. And it was different but still so very, very good.

Naomi Cottle has made finding lost children her vocation and she is very good at it. As we read the stories of her searches for five year old Madison and baby Danforth we also discover Naomi's own h

"Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Madison. Madison didn't know how to be brave. But snow girl thought she could."

Naomi is an experienced and determined investigator....a child finder, and her present case takes her on a dangerous search in the snowy Oregon wilderness for eight year old Madison Culver missing for three long years.

Multi-layered, THE CHILD FINDER intertwines the search for Madison as well as a search for memories Naomi

5 snowy stars for the Child Finder and the Snow Girl❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️

WOW WOW WOW!!! This book was simply sTUNNING!!!

I am currently putting together a list of my top Reads of 2017 this book is definitely on that list.....

Rene Denfeld did not just tell you a story with this book she made you feel the story.... you felt Naomi‘s strength and inner struggles.... you felt Madison’s fortitude and innocence.... you felt the parents pain and hope.... you felt the cold and barren landscape....

Naomi had a troubl
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
My first thought after finishing this book was to question how in the heck this author can make characters come to life in just over two hundred pages whereas sometimes it never happens in some puppy-squishing books?

Because Wow.

Madison went missing three years ago when her family drove to the woods to pick out a Christmas tree. It's always amazing how simple your day can be when tragedy strikes. Her parents have not given up hope that she will be found.
They turn to the "Child Finder" Naomi.
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This powerful book helped me get out of what has felt like a serious fiction slump. I have a fully -- and I mean fully -- loaded kindle. But as I was browsing through a bookstore at the airport before boarding a five hour flight earlier today, I couldn't resist buying The Child Finder. And I read it cover to cover in one sitting -- thankfully I was not plagued by chatty seatmates.

I spent the whole flight entranced, and trying to hide my teary eyes from fellow passengers. This is the first book
Lukewarm turns to hot!

See these hands? They weren't jones-in’ to pick up this book. Oh, I was all grabby at first, gimme gimme gimme, as I began reading. I was dying for a repeat performance of Denfeld’s The Enchanted, one of my all-time favorite books. So I was all wide-eyed, at attention, anticipating nirvana. And of course, as is so often the case, my expectations were too high. I kept hearing my wise friend say, “Lower your expectations.” Yeah, right.

It wasn’t that this book was bad, absolu
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • One by One
  • The Family Upstairs
  • Invisible Girl
  • The Turn of the Key
  • Long Bright River
  • The Other Mrs.
  • The Whisper Man
  • Someone We Know
  • The Broken Girls
  • The Guest List
  • The Girl from Widow Hills
  • The Sun Down Motel
  • Home Before Dark
  • The Wives
  • Lock Every Door
  • Then She Was Gone
  • The Wife Upstairs
  • The Push
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Rene Denfeld is the bestselling author of THE CHILD FINDER, THE ENCHANTED and thee THE BUTTERFLY GIRL, which Margaret Atwood raved on twitter is "a heartbreaking, finger-gnawing, yet ultimately hopeful novel."

Rene's poetic fiction has won numerous awards including the French Prix, an ALA Medal for Excellence and an IMPAC listing. Rene works as an investigator, including exonerating innocents from

Other books in the series

Naomi Cottle (2 books)
  • The Butterfly Girl (Naomi Cottle, #2)

Related Articles

  You can’t stop watching. You have things to do, children to feed, even work you get paid for. But the screen…it’s holding you hostage....
55 likes · 13 comments
“Fear never keeps anyone safe” 35 likes
“No matter how far you have run, no matter how long you have been lost, it is never too late to be found.” 28 likes
More quotes…