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Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite
Sleep, Baby, Sleep by MJ Hardy is a murder mystery loosely based on fact. Oakland County, Michigan in the 1970s was booming. The Detroit suburbs with great schools and little in the way of crime were a safe place to bring a family up. Then a local teen goes missing. When the body turns up, displayed grotesquely, terror is struck into the heart of the community. But this is just the beginning. As more children disappear, the Michigan State Police have their work cut out. Working with Dr. Charlie Taylor, a criminal psychologist, they go on the hunt for ‘the babysitter’, the name they give the killer because of the unusual circumstances of each abduction. As Dr. Taylor and Detective West come closer to discovering the killer’s identity, they begin to uncover unexpected connections to the murders. In the meantime, Oakland County is under siege, waiting and hoping that another of their children will not be taken. This is a fictional account of a true crime in Oakland that remains unsolved.
Sleep, Baby, Sleep by MJ Hardy was a thrilling read. The addition at the beginning of the true facts of the real case was welcome as it provided enough of a backstory as a lead-in. The story itself is based on the real case but fictionalized and it was done very well. The plot is completely plausible and, because it is based on real events, it was written in an entirely believable way. The characters are excellent; the protagonists are real and relatable while the antagonists have been written with two sides to them – the realistic side the rest of the characters see and the chilling side that becomes evident in their connection to the crimes. This is compelling reading, a gripping tale that will have you on the edge of your seat, rooting for the police and the psychologist to solve it before any more children are abducted. It’s a very involved story, not a light read but, I promise you, once you start reading, you are in it for the long haul. Great story, highly recommended for fans of crime fiction and true crime stories.