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

The Forgotten Child

(Riley Thomas #1)

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  391 ratings  ·  151 reviews
The dead can speak. They need her to listen.

Ever since Riley Thomas, reluctant medium extraordinaire, accidentally released a malevolent spirit from a Ouija board when she was thirteen, she’s taken a hard pass on scary movies, haunted houses, and cemeteries. Twelve years later, when her best friend pressures her into spending a paranormal investigation weekend at the infam
Kindle Edition, 363 pages
Published October 10th 2018 by Ringtail Press
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 Forgotten Child, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Melissa Erin Jackson Sorry I somehow never saw this, but it's definitely for audiences 18+. …moreSorry I somehow never saw this, but it's definitely for audiences 18+. (less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  391 ratings  ·  151 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Forgotten Child (Riley Thomas, #1)
Schizanthus Nerd
Content warnings include murder, sexual assault, stalking and kidnapping.

I loved the beginning of this book. It has banter between friends, TV series binge watching and an upcoming road trip to a haunted ranch that used to be the home of a serial killer. The main character is a true crime enthusiast who’s also more in tune with the spirit world than she’d like to be. Ever since the “Great Ouija Board Fiasco” in her childhood Riley has tried to squish, deny and otherwise ignore her ability to see
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the way the book started. It had the right amount of horror and paranormal. The story had Riley, a reluctant medium, forced to spend a weekend with friends in Jordanville Ranch, home of deceased serial killer, Orin Jacobs. There Riley not only met the evil force of Orin, but a gentle spirit, Pete, who needed to be found. His mother was still mourning and waiting for him forty years hence.

Debut by Melissa Jackson started with a bang. I am not generally brave and this seemed like a good bo
Melissa Erin Jackson
I’ll just tell you some things about the book rather than reviewing it.

+ There are ghosts!

+ There is romance. If you don’t like romance mixed in with your creepy elements, this might not be your cup of tea.

+ This is a paranormal mystery that’s somewhere between a cozy and a traditional mystery. I’d say there’s quite a few spooky/creepy elements, but wouldn’t label it as horror. If you’re a bit of a chicken (like me!), it might creep you out, but it likely won’t cause nightmares. (Hopefully.)

+ It
Luupi "The Reading Queen"
3.5 stars

First I think is important to mention that this book contains rape and also sex (not very graphic scenes but they were there), so if you aren't comfortable with these topics I wouldn't recommend you to read it.

Otherwise, this book was quite entertaining and fascinating! I do have to admit I wanted to read horror and although this book has ghosts, it wasn't exactly scary, which was a little bit disappointing. The main reason for me being the romance, before it I felt creeped out by some
Garrett Lemons
Full Disclosure: Melissa is my best writing friend, and one of my best friends in general. This review was never not going to be biased.

She surprised me with this book when it was 3/4 of the way finished. "Guess what I've been doing" in a picture form. I think that was the moment I knew it was going to be something special. The first time I beta read it (and the second), my suspicions were confirmed. And then I read the final/polished draft. She knocked it completely out of the park. The world n
Chrissie Gerber
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How to tell someone subtly to read a book? Without spoilers? This is going to be the toughest one yet. I had this book spotlighted on my blog for its coming release, and the synopsis had me so interested that I sent the author a request, let me know if the book is on Netgalley, please?! She did, I requested it, and I got accepted to read it - IN ONE DAY!

I could not stop reading this book once I started, and while there was a lot to the plot, Melissa wrote it in such a way that you keep wanting m
Dez Nemec
In the prologue, we meet Orin Jacobs. When he was a child, his mom thought he'd be an inventor someday because he liked to take things apart and see how they worked. Unfortunately, he also began to take apart living things. His mom was not too keen on her son's hobby the day she found him with his sister tied to a tree and he told mom: "I wasn't going to hurt her!...I just wanted to see what's inside!" And that is how we start this creepy little tale. Nothing says "future serial killer" like cut ...more
Kayla Henley
An amazing story that expertly combines the supernatural, serial killers, true crime, psychic mediums, and even humor. Riley is not your typical medium; a girl in her mid-twenties, she lives alone and spends her days avoiding most human interaction and, more importantly, ANYTHING to do with the paranormal—a traumatic experience from childhood having left her deeply scarred and convinced her abilities will only bring harm to others. But that all changes when she spends a terrifying night in the h ...more
Janet Newport
Thank you NetGalley and Ringtail Press for this arc.

I enjoyed this read... just as I enjoyed the tv program "The Medium". From the blurb, I thought this might be a more comedic / YA kind of book and while it had some of those elements, it really was more. There really was a serious crime here with a lot of loose ends. Riley's "girl gang" may have been a bit over the top, but they seemed like great good friends. Her "romance" with Michael felt a little rushed in the beginning, a little "too magic
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I picked up this book because I love ghost stories and I wasn't disappointed! This book is awesome and I loved it! I captured my interest right away and I couldn't put it down. From page one to the very last, this book rocked. It has a little bit of everything. I highly recommend reading Melissa Erin Jackson's debut novel. I seriously can't wait for her next one.
Krimsin  King
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was utterly swept away in this story. It was not as I was expecting. As I was at about the 33% mark, I was like how is this not wrapping up? All of a sudden it built, and built. Never letting me catch my breath. I was thoroughly entertained. I want more of this character set. More books. I actually read nothing up on the author before reading this and was shocked to see this was the first novel. The talent level of the author was astonishing for a freshman writer. I look forward to more from h ...more
Jenn Brouwer
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW WOW WOW!!! This book was phenomenal. I could not put it down. A mystery with a supernatural element that was also terrifying. Ghosts, torture , murder, seances, paranormal activity and one wild ride. The characters were terrific, I am so glad to see there will be more Riley books. I can’t wait for more. The story of these tortured souls and how Riley can sense them and help them keep me on the edge of my seat. This was super scary! Well done!
Alyssa Palombo
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I ADORED this book. It had everything I like: a paranormal element, a great romance, a true crime feel, and great female friendships. It was warm and funny at times while also being legitimately scary at others. This is one of my favorite books of 2018 at this point, and I already can't wait for more from Jackson! ...more
Jessie McCoy
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I read it from start to finish with no breaks. I loved the characters and their relationships, they were always making me laugh. Of course it had its creepy bits too and it kept it interesting and flowing to the end.
The Views of Heather U
I absolutely LOVED this book! It it set to be a first in a new series titled “A Riley Thomas Mystery” and I tell you what, I am hooked! This is the first book that I’ve read by the author, Melissa Erin Jackson and I was not disappointed. I tore thru this story, couldn’t put it down.

The plot, fantastic. Riley Thomas can connect with the dead. However it is not something she enjoys in the least after a bad experience, one of her first, when she was a young girl. Ever since that situation, she has
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC of this book from the author and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I found this book well-written and quite good. It reminded me of two television shows, Ghost Whisperer and Medium, because the main character was female and could communicate with ghosts. I found the main character, Riley, realistic and relatable, mainly because she acts the same way that I do when I watch a television show or movie that I love. She (and a couple of other main characters, like Jade) pro
Kaili (Owl Book World)
I absolutely loved this book! I haven't read a story about ghosts in a while and this book is a good start when trying to get back into this genre. It's not really scary but it is very suspenseful and kept me on my toes. If you're looking for a good book to read around Halloween (or any time for that matter) then check out this book! I'm looking forward to Melissa coming out with more books since she's now become one of my favorite authors. ...more
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to read an ARC of this book. The story is so fun and exciting with quirky characters and terrifying ghosts. Can you imagine going on a ghost tour in a house where a psycho serial killer murdered a bunch of girls? It's like a way more entertaining Ghost Hunters episode. ...more
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great paranormal mystery!

TFC was a page-turner from beginning to end.

I loved this book so much and it really helped me get through a tough reading slump I was in! It was fast-paced and filled with mystery, paranormal activity, great characters I adored.
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I. Loved. This. Book. It was fast paced, exciting and juuuuust creepy enough.
Sep 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
For me this book deserves 11/5 stars. End of the review.

Yes, so much so.

This book is about a serial murderer, who kidnapped girls to make "contributions to medicine", eventually one of his "patients" managed to escape, and he was caught and convicted for the murders. However, when Riley arrives at the ranch, she realizes that there are probably still a few loose ends in this case, and that she is the only one who can solve them thanks to the information she gets from beyond.

The story
Brenda Moser
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a well written book with a thrilling paranormal romance. The author does a fantastic job bringing strong well developed characters and weaves a suspense filled story that had me glued to the pages from beginning to end. The story is brought to life with the vividly detailed scenes. It's an emotional read with both happy and sad times as well as with the chilling elements of a serial killer and the paranormal. I loved and highly recommend this book.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this bo
Lou Ann
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a "friend" 5 star review, so is a little biased, but I am so proud of Melissa's debut, The Forgotten Child. The story has a wonderful romance, and a paranormal mystery, alternating between the two plot lines. Although not my usual genre, I'm also loving another awesome ghost story (City of Ghosts, Victoria Schwab) and since this story promises more of Riley, the MC, I'm hooked into reading more of her tales. Riley helps solve crimes by tapping into her ghost communication skills. Lots of ...more
Rashmi Binu
Oct 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Spooktastic! 😍
I have always been a fan of the paranormal and crime related shows and material. Growing up with family who loved their spooky movies and had long Tales to tell around a candle during blackouts.. This book literally called out to be read. Hence when put book club chose to vote for Halloween books.. This was one of the list and got chosen too 😍.

I throughly enjoyed the book, the backstory, the journey, the acceptance and the justice. A book well deserving of every one of the 🌟 rating
Cathy Geha
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Forgotten Child by Melissa Erin Jackson
A Riley Thomas Mystery #1

Excellent debut novel that was a joy to read! This book was a delight from beginning to end with just enough creepiness and horror without being over the top. With a reluctant medium hiding from her talent and ghosts that want to and do contact her she begins to realize that she might have a gift that will help rather than harm. With one small boy ghost to find peace for, a malevolent serial killer ghost on the prowl, good frien
The Forgotten Child was an enjoyable mystery/horror book. Riley Thomas has been dragged to spend the weekend on Jordanville Ranch, home of the infamous serial killer Orin Jacobs, for a paranormal activity weekend with her closest friends. Riley, who has been hiding her medium abilities, is contacted by multiple spirits at the ranch and becomes involved solving a 40 year old mystery,

I loved the atmosphere of the beginning of this book. The time at the Ranch was easily the best part of the book.
Jennifer Laam
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to read an early version of this book and am so happy to see it out in the world! Riley is a wonderfully warm and realistic heroine, "reluctant medium," and sleuth. The scenes between Riley and her friends, and then Riley and her love interest, Michael, are fun and lively, while the paranormal scenes are eerie and suspenseful and the two elements blend seamlessly. THE FORGOTTEN CHILD is a wonderfully promising beginning to the Riley Thomas series and I can't wait to read more. ...more
4 Stars

ARC provided by Ringtail Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Forgotten Child is an intriguing Paranormal Mystery and notable debut novel. The description caught my eye because it sounded different and refreshing. And this definitely lived up to my expectations.

The story is about twenty-five-year-old Riley Thomas who has strong abilities as a psychic medium but suppresses her gift because a bad experience when she was young. But after years of avoiding anywhere ther
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(This review will be on my blog All the Ups and Downs soon.)

The synopsis for The Forgotten Child by Melissa Erin Jackson really drew me in. It was one of those books that I knew I had to read. I even pre-ordered the book. Luckily, I won it on a Goodreads giveaway, so I had the chance to read it before it was released.

I found the pacing to be fairly consistent for The Forgotten Child. For the most part, it was a fast paced read which I thoroughly enjoyed! There were a few times that the pacing sl
Stormi (BMReviewsohmy)
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: oct-2018
I am not sure why it took me so long to give this book a try because I really enjoyed it!

It’s about a woman named Riley who can see ghost but she tries to ignore that fact and not put herself in situation where she can see them. She had an incident when she was a child that scared her and so she just would rather avoid things, but her best friend pretty much begs her to go with their friends to a haunted place for the weekend.

She really didn’t want to but felt guilted into it and not only is it
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Update Audiobook Cover 2 10 Nov 23, 2020 11:16PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Girl in the Woods
  • Belle Manor Haunting (Addison Lockhart, #4)
  • Dead to Me (Grave Talker, #1)
  • Ghostland (Ghostland Trilogy, #1)
  • The Creek Killer (Harriet Harper, #1)
  • One Last Child (Tallman's Valley Detectives, #1)
  • The Body in the Attic (A Jazzi Zanders Mystery #1)
  • Little Bones
  • PARACOSM: Bleath: The Hauntings
  • The Body in the Apartment (A Jazzi Zanders Mystery #4)
  • Snow Creek (Detective Megan Carpenter, #1)
  • Eyes to See (Jeremiah Hunt, #1)
  • The Body from the Past (Jazzi Zanders Mystery #5)
  • A Talent for Trouble
  • Whiskey Witches (Whiskey Witches #1)
  • The Body in the Gravel (A Jazzi Zanders Mystery #3)
  • I Have the Sight (Edward King, #1)
  • Indulekha
See similar books…
Melissa is a professional pet sitter and an author of paranormal mysteries. Her debut, THE FORGOTTEN CHILD, released in October of 2018. Her Witch of Edgehill cozy paranormal mystery series is complete. SHUTTERED SECRETS, the follow-up to The Forgotten Child, is up next! She owns too many pets and lives in Northern California with her equally pet-obsessed boyfriend. For information about her books ...more

Other books in the series

Riley Thomas (2 books)
  • Shuttered Secrets (Riley Thomas #2)

News & Interviews

Psychological thrillers that will leave your head spinning. Cold cases, detectives hot on a trail, unreliable narrators, and a dash of poison...
149 likes · 86 comments