Review: The Secret Child (DI Amy Winter *2) by Caroline Mitchell

secret child wintersFour-year-old Ellen is snatched by a stranger in the dead of the night. Her devastated mother, Nicole, receives four identical phials and a threatening note in a familiar scrawl that chills her to the bone. But she always knew that this would happen. She’s been expecting it for years….

According to the note, one of the phials is poisoned. Nicole is given a deadly challenge: if she drinks one, the sadistic kidnapper will notify the police of Ellen’s location. The sender claims to be Luka Volkov but Luka is supposed to be dead, killed long ago in a fire that haunts all those involved.

DI Amy Winter is still reeling from the discovery that she is the daughter if a serial killer, and her childhood trauma only makes her more determined to bring Ellen home. When another child is taken, Amy finds herself in a race against time. To rescue the children, must she seek help from the one person she wants to forget?


I read this book in one sitting, it was an uncomfortable sitting but the book made it endurable. We were at the airport coming back from our honeymoon and our flight was delayed for six whole hours. Yes, six. My husband, fell asleep, almost started a riot at some point while I was completely lost in the book. Interestingly, I only just read the blurb as I was writing this review.

DI Amy Winters is back again and this time she has to investigate a twisted case and try to hold her life together. Amy is different kind of detective, you see, her birth parents were notorious serial killers. This is something that she recently found out and has been trying to keep a secret. However, it is not so easy especially since her mom is trying to ruin her life from behind prison walls.

The current case is presented through two timelines. One timeline takes us back twenty years ago and the second follows the events after Ellen’s disappearance. The two timelines made this different from most cases because they added a ‘humane’ angle to the villain. My heart was broken by the past narration while the present timeline had me curious about the case. How far will the villain go? Will the kids survive? How will Amy solve the case?

This was a fast-paced, entertaining read. Amy is great lead detective and I love her back-story. Her personal life actually adds to the tension in the narrative without taking focus away from the main story-line.

For lovers of crime thrillers, this is definitely a series that you can’t afford to miss.

Intense, captivating, twisty and surprisingly poignant, The Secret Child is a great addition to the DI Amy Winters series. I can’t wait to read the next book already.