Hi everyone and welcome to my stop on the exciting #GiveMeTheChild blog tour! Today I am sharing my review and an author interview with Mel so grab a cuppa, put your feet up and read on to find out a little bit more about the caffeine queen behind the story ☕️☕️👑👑 why she prefers cats to dogs, the inspiration behind the story and her advise for aspiring authors! Also be sure to follow the other incredible bloggers taking part by following the details on the blog tour poster!


An unexpected visitor.

Dr Cat Lupo aches for another child despite the psychosis which marked her first pregnancy. So when Ruby Winter, a small girl in need of help, arrives in the middle of the night, it seems like fate.

A devastating secret.

But as the events behind Ruby’s arrival emerge – her mother’s death, her connection to Cat – Cat questions whether her decision to help Ruby has put her own daughter at risk.

Do we get the children we deserve?

Cat’s research tells her there’s no such thing as evil. Her history tells her she’s paranoid. But her instincts tell her different. And as the police fight to control a sudden spate of riots raging across the capital, Cat faces a race against time of her own….

Compulsive, dark and devastating, Give Me the Child is a uniquely skillful thriller with an unforgettable twist.


I devoured his slow burning, intense thriller. McGrath is a wonderful writer who creates a potent atmospheric mix of descriptive prose with factual narrative. In this case because our narrator Dr Cat Lupo is a clinical psychologist who works with children, and there is a lot of information on the subject woven into the storyline.  It’s extremely interesting and suprisingly still very easy to read.

So what’s it about?i don’t want to give too much away but this is a story filled with unreliability and mystery.

When Lily Winter dies  and her daughter Ruby is bought by police to her family  homw in the middle of the night Cata world is turned inside out. We discover her husband Ton had a one night stand and that Ruby is his daughter. He claims this is the first time he had any knowledge of her existence- but is that the truth?

As the story unravel against the smouldering backdrop of the London riots we learn that there are lots of secrets. It seems Tom is a liar and a manipulator but we also find out that Cat has suffered from psychosis and been sectioned- so is what she tells us reliable? ( for to LOVE an unreliable narrator!!)

It appears Ruby has psychological issues and as things start to happen in the house we side with Cat as she grows more and more concerned about the situation. Ruby’s behaviour is alarming and is potentially a serious threat to their daughter Freya as we find out Ruby is bullying her. Things really start to get uncomfortable as Tom sides with Ruby and starts to turn on his wife. We watch as he uses her mental health issues against her, painting her as an unstable woman who can’t be believed while at the same time Ruby taunts her insidiously. Eventually events  reach a climax and Cat has no choice to leave the family home. It all culminates in a court case where she finds herself fighting not to lose her daughter. We watch the marriage fall apart and it does make for uncomfortable reading as things turn unpleasant and I really  felt for as she was put in the unenviable position of having to fight against the label of being crazy. Not easy when your husband seems to have convinced your sister, the police and the courts! It really emphasises the stigma that stays with someone who experiences an episode of mental instability and I loved the slant that this put on the story.

I’ve kept it deliberately vague- I hate spoilers as it defies the point of readers buying the book so I hope that instead I’ve intrigued you! All I will say is prepare to expect the unexpected – I didn’t see what happened coming ( it’s very tricky writing this review without giving the game away!!) but you HAVE TO READ THIS… it’s one hell of a page turner, not in an action packed, adrenaline fueled way but in an insidiously clever way. We watch relationships unravel and truths reveal as burning questions are answered and it made for compelling and intriguing reading.

I raced through the pages desperate to find out what was going on? I couldn’t put it down… Why is Tom protecting Ruby? What has he got to hide? Does he know more about Lily Winters mysterious death than he is making out?

A brilliant slow burning thriller that will have you on tenterhooks as the story twists and turns from start to finish. A fascinating storyline and right pact plot.An incredible shocking read that will stay with me for a long time. I loved it!

Now it’s my pleasure to welcome Mel onto IIDR.

Q.Hi Mel welcome firstly would you mind telling us all a little bit more about yourself and how you became a writer?

A.In my head I’ve always been a writer. It just took me a while to translate that into actually writing, but I’ve been writing nonfiction and journalism for 25 years and fiction for the last five. That mostly came about as a result of being sacked from proper jobs.

Q.Where did inspiration for ‘ Give me the child’ come from, what inspired you or have you the idea?

A.I live in Hackney and witnessed the London riots. I really felt for some of the kids who’d been criminalised for being stupid and getting carried away and it got me thinking about whether as a society we get the kids we deserve. I’ve also been a stepmother and I know what a tricky job that can be.

Q.What are your three favourite books… And why? 📖📖

A.Oh blimey, there are so many. In crime fiction I loved Erin Kelly’s latest He Said/She Said because it’s so beautifully written and keeps you on your toes right to the end. The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith is a brilliantly creepy character portrait of a psychopath who you can’t help but admire. More recently I gobbled up Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin. If you like Southern Gothic, this is definitely one to go for.

Q.What is your advice for aspiring authors?✍🏻✍🏻

A.Keep on putting one word in front of another. And read – a lot.

Q.Can you describe your journey from concept to publication?

A.It was a long one for this book. I spent a few months just thinking about my characters and my story as well as what I wanted to say. Then I recruited Dr Lade Smith, who is head of forensic psychiatry at the Maudsley, to help me understand the technical stuff about brain imaging, child personality disorders and what leads children to become dangerous. I wrote a first draft which I hated, so I had to start more or less afresh. Four drafts later I was ready to submit.

Q.Are you working on another project, and if so can you tell is a little bit more about it?

A.I’m working on another standalone about four thirty-something friends from university who witness the same event…or do they? I’m pitching it as The Secret History for the Tinder generation.

And finally just for fun…
Q.Sweet or savoury? 🍬🍬🍔🍟

A.Savoury, unless there’s chocolate around, then both, preferably at once

Q.Tea or coffee?☕️☕️

A.Why have less caffeine when you can have more?

Q.Cats or dogs?

A.I love both but I keep cats because they belong to the dark side like me

Paperbacks, hardbacks or kindle?

Nothing beats the physical page for me. Plus I like to browse before I read (and I’m one of those strange beasts who always reads the last page first), which is easier in a physical book.

Summer, autumn, winter or spring?

Every month should be May.