I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Children of Chicago by Cynthia Pelayo
Genres: Mystery, Horror
Published by Agora Books on February 9, 2021
Buy on Amazon
This horrifying retelling of the Pied Piper fairytale set in present-day Chicago is an edge of your seat, chills up the spine, thrill ride. When Detective Lauren Medina sees the calling card at a murder scene in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, she knows the Pied Piper has returned. When another teenager is brutally murdered at the same lagoon where her sister’s body was found floating years before, she is certain that the Pied Piper is not just back, he’s looking for payment he’s owed from her. Lauren’s torn between protecting the city she has sworn to keep safe, and keeping a promise she made long ago with her sister’s murderer. She may have to ruin her life by exposing her secrets and lies to stop the Pied Piper before he collects.
Here is what I thought
Is Chicago a cursed city? Detective Lauren Medina ask herself this question a lot while trying to figure out who is killing teens in the city.
Detective Lauren Medina has had to deal with a lot starting with her younger sister drowning when they were younger, then her stepmother’s suicide and now that she is an adult she has to bury her father. He was a detective and one of the reasons that Medina is also a detective and it has caused a bit of a ruckus within the force because they think she only made it to detective so young because of her father. Her temper and record for in the line of fire shootings and beatings of criminals in her custody hasn’t helped things either. It has made those in town leery of her and her new partner isn’t real sure of her himself and keeps asking her questions about what happened when she was young. Lauren doesn’t remember the day her sister died or what happened, but Van keeps asking her.
When Medina pulls up to a crime scene and sees the words “Pied Piper” her worst fears are coming true. He is back and he wants his payment. There is a book of Grimm’s Fairy Tales at the crime scene and she knows there is a connection. The only thing is nobody else is going to believe her that there is a certain rhyme that you can say in a particular book that brings out the Pied Piper.
When two more teens are killed and another two are caught and jailed for the crime she is certain it’s all part of the Pied Piper and it’s all connected to her more than she wants to think about and she is the only one who can figure things out.
So I thought this was a pretty decent kind of supernatural suspense with horror elements. It felt more like a detective novel then horror, but it did have some really creepy elements to it. The story of the Pied Piper was pretty cool, it takes the story and twist it a bit and makes it sort of a Bloody Mary or Candyman type story. If you say the rhyme in a mirror the Pied Piper will appear but instead of killing you right then he will kill someone for you, but what most don’t realize is he expects a payment!
The author is from Chicago so I am going to have to believe that a lot of the information on the city is true. I did look up to see if the killers mentioned where actually from Chicago and it really gave that city a creepy vibe to think about how many killers have come from that city! I mean we all know it’s a violent city so it was the perfect place for a Pied Piper story.
I wasn’t a fan of the bad cop stereotype, it’s not really a good thing for this day and age. Although there is a reason for it that you find out about at the end I could see it turning some people off. Medina has an attitude and temper and it seems like she just gets away with way to many things as a cop which might trigger some.
I was also not a huge fan of the end and the big reveal. The author is either leaving it open ended which I hate or leaving it for a sequel (if this is true not sure if I would want to read it). It was still a decent read and I know some will enjoy it while others might not.