Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books
Date of publication: June 20th, 2023
Genre: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Suspense, Ireland, Mystery Thriller
Series: Maggie D’Arcy
The Mountains Wild—Book 1
A Distant Grave—Book 2
The Drowning Sea—Book 3
A Stolen Child—Book 4
Sarah Stewart Taylor is known for her atmospheric portrayal of an American detective in Ireland, and her critically acclaimed series returns with A Stolen Child.
After months of training, former Long Island homicide detective Maggie D’arcy is now officially a Garda. She’s finally settling into life in Ireland and so is her teenage daughter, Lilly. Maggie may not be a detective yet, but she’s happy with her community policing assignment in Dublin’s Portobello neighborhood.
When she and her partner find former model and reality tv star Jade Elliot murdered—days after responding to a possible domestic violence disturbance at her apartment—they also discover Jade’s toddler daughter missing. Shorthanded thanks to an investigation into a gangland murder in the neighborhood, Maggie’s friend, Detective Inspector Roly Byrne, brings her onto his team to help find the missing child. But when a key discovery is made, the case only becomes more confusing—and more dangerous. Amidst a nationwide manhunt, Maggie and her colleagues must look deep into Jade’s life—both personal and professional—to find a ruthless killer.
“Guard! Guard and American Guard! Guard and American Guard!” My partner, Garda Jason Savage, and I were just finishing up our community patrol when we see two boys beckoning us along the South Circular Road.A Stolen Child by Sarah Steward Taylor
Maggie D’Arcy is finally a Garda after months of training. It is a step down from her American role as a homicide detective in Long Island, but she is happy. She loves community policing with her partner in the Portobello neighborhood in Dublin. Things change when she and her partner are called to a murder. The victim, a former reality TV star and model, has been found strangled in her house. But, to their horror, they find out that the victim also has a toddler daughter, and she is nowhere to be found. Due to Garda shortages because of a gang murder, Maggie is brought in to help investigate. They are not only tasked with finding the toddler but solving the murder. And the deeper that Maggie digs into the victim’s life (professional and personal), the muddier it gets. Who killed the victim and why? And more importantly, where is the baby?
A Stolen Child is the 4th book in the Maggie D’Arcy series. This book can be read as a standalone book. But I always suggest reading the previous books to catch up on the backstories. I have added books 1-3 to my Goodreads list, and hopefully, I will get to read them at some point.
A Stolen Child is a medium to fast-paced book. I was a little torn on how to describe the book’s pacing. It was fast-paced up to about the middle of the book and then slowed down to a medium pace. I thought that slowing down the storyline would throw the reader off. Surprisingly, it didn’t. There was a slight lag after Laurel was found, but it didn’t affect my interest.
A Stolen Child occurs entirely in Dublin, Ireland, with a few brief forays into a small village on the outskirts of Dublin. I loved it. Ireland ranks very high on my bucket list of places to visit when the kids leave the house.
The main storyline centers around Maggie and the investigation into Jade Eliot’s death and the disappearance of her toddler, Laurel. The author did a fantastic job of showing how the Garda deals with child abductions in Ireland. I also loved seeing how the police investigated a murder in Ireland. When Laurel was found (about halfway through the book), the author turned the storyline into Jade’s murder, which became this twisty-turny storyline that captivated me.
The characters in A Stolen Child were well-written and well-fleshed out. Even the secondary characters had a depth to them that I liked.
I liked Maggie. She was no-nonsense about her job and genuinely enjoyed it. I was thrilled with her when she was asked to be on the murder investigation. It made sense since she was a homicide detective in Long Island. She brought an American approach to Jade’s murder investigation that I felt helped it.
The main storyline, Laurel’s disappearance and Jade’s murder, was well written. I was genuinely afraid that they wouldn’t find Laurel alive. I also did guess who took her. It wasn’t a huge stretch to figure it out. But, on the other hand, Jade’s murder was this twisty turny mess. I spent the entire book trying to figure out who killed her. I was not expecting who it was or her storyline’s turn. Talk about a substantial unexpected twist for both.
I wasn’t too sure what to make of the ending. As I said above, there were a couple of massive twists that I didn’t see coming. I am hoping that there will be a book 5. I am curious if Maggie gets promoted to detective in the Garda.
I recommend A Stolen Child to anyone over 21. There is language, violence, and nongraphic sexual situations.
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books, NetGalley, and Sarah Stewart Taylor for allowing me to read and review A Stolen Child. All opinions expressed in this review are mine.
If you enjoyed reading this review of A Stolen Child, then you will enjoy reading these books.
Other books by Sarah Stewart Taylor