We’re Reading ‘The Child Finder’ For Book Club (And You Can, Too)

We’re keeping the Bridgeliner book club rolling this spring with another local read — “The Child Finder” by Rene Denfeld.

The book is a thrilling mystery novel about the search for a missing five-year-old girl, and it’s inspired by Rene’s day job as a private investigator.

Check out my Q&A with Rene 👇 for more on what to expect, or sign up here to join our book club and read along.

BD: What was your inspiration for writing this book?

Like most writers these days, I have a day job. I went from being an investigative reporter to a licensed investigator, and I now work with sex trafficking victims. That work really inspired my fiction writing. “The Child Finder” was directly inspired by some of the cases I’ve worked.

RD: What advice do you give to artists who want to pursue their creative passion while also paying the bills?

I tell aspiring writers “you’re going to need to have a day job.” The economy just doesn’t support artists.

I know some writers who are tradespeople — they design beautiful furniture or work with their hands. I know teachers, social workers. If at all possible, it’s important just to find a day job that feeds your soul.

Why’d you decide to write this as a novel instead of a true-crime story?

I wrote nonfiction early in my career, but I think I’m kind of bad at it. For me, nonfiction is putting nails in a board. Novels feel exquisite. They don’t require that you have some thesis to defend and beat the reader over the head with, and they allow you to capture so much more of the beauty of the world. 

What can readers expect from ‘The Child Finder’?

One of my favorite reviews of the book calls it a literary thriller written as a poem. It’s a fast-paced book, but it’s also very gentle. I don’t write graphic scenes of violence. I’m more interested in exploring how people can get lost, and how, as human beings, we can find each other.

Ready to dive in? Sign up here to join our book club .