But Jesus said, suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 19:14

Suffer Little Children is the first book of the series written by Luke Heath.

Blurb Edit

Eleven-year-old Holly Grisham is abducted on her way home from school, sparking an investigation by the police. The following Monday, she is found in Hester Park, alive but in a coma.

Detailed Summary Edit

Eleven-year-old Holly Grisham is abducted on her way home from school on a Friday afternoon, sparking an investigation by the police. The following Monday, she is found in Hester Place Reserve, alive but in a coma. Initially, her father is pursued as a suspect; however, less than a week later, Joanna Yorke goes missing while at Hoyts Southlands – and because Ian Grisham is being interviewed by the police at the time, he is ruled out as a suspect.

They interview Devin Rhodes, who has a part-time job at Southlands Woolworths and lives in a house on the route they believe Holly must have taken to get to her father’s house. However, part way through the interview it becomes apparent that Rhodes doesn’t have the intellectual ability to perpetrate these two crimes in the organised fashion it appears has been used.

So the team resorts to a public appeal for information, hoping that someone might have seen either Holly or Joanna before they were taken. But two days later, Joanna’s body is found and the appeal has not given any solid leads. John conducts the autopsy on Joanna and determines that there are too many similarities in the victimology and modus operandi.

Although they were initially considered to be two separate cases because of the distance from where Holly went missing, and the investigations are linked. The detectives go back to the beginning and look at how the killer might have crossed paths with both victims. 

The press conference proves helpful when the team is approached by members of the Australian Federal Police, who have been investigating a national child pornography ring, and come across images of Holly. In the process of looking at the images, Brady sees that there are also images of Joanna, so confirms that the two cases are linked.    

Almost a week later, no more solid tips have come in, and Niamh O'Hara goes missing within the apparent comfort zone of the killer. The police come under fire for their apparent inability to catch the killer, though they still have no solid evidence to go on.    

Aimee Isaacs is playing in her front yard, with her mother watching through the kitchen window, when in the few minutes she was distracted, Aimee is taken without any trace of her abductor.    

When Melinda goes to apprehend Massey, she finds him with Poppy Van den Berg in a locked room. Though enough to take him in for questioning, the team needs to find evidence connecting him to the murders of the other girls.

When the forensics team searches his vehicle, traces of blood are discovered on the outside of a toolbox in the back. When tested, it is revealed to be too old to get any viable DNA, and though it is the same type as Joanna Yorke, it is also the same type as 40% of the population. 

Timeline Edit

  • Friday 6th February (~ 1600) – Massey abducts Holly Grisham after school and takes her to his house in Parkwood, where he spends the next two days raping her and taking pornographic images of her.
  • Monday 9th February (0730) – Arthur Bailey finds Holly in Hester Park.
  • Tuesday 10th February (1930) – the media documents a vigil being held at Princess Margaret Hospital for Holly.
  • Wednesday 11th February – Holly dies in hospital.
  • Thursday 12th February – John conducts the post-mortem, cataloguing Holly’s external and internal injuries.
  • Saturday 14th February (afternoon) – Joanna Yorke is taken from Hoyts Southlands while detectives are questioning Ian Grisham.
  • Wednesday 18th February – Joanna’s body is found in Bicentennial Adenia Park.
  • Thursday 19th February – John conducts the post-mortem on Joanna and sees the similarities in the modus operandi and the injuries caused.
  • Thursday 19th February (evening) – After the connection between the two cases is made, the detectives hold a press conference.
  • Friday 20th February (morning) – Agents from the Australian Federal Police inform Rick that they have found pornographic images of Holly. Rick also discovers images of Joanna.
  • Thursday 26th February (~ 1900) – Niamh O’Hara goes missing while walking home from the local shops.
  • Niamh’s body is found, in a different part of Bicentennial Adenia Park.
  • 15th March – Aimee Isaacs is taken while playing in her front yard.
  • April – Faith Olsen is taken on her way to a church youth group.
  • Poppy Van den Berg is taken from a local park. However, her brother Michael gets a look at the vehicle of the person who might have taken her.

Characters Edit

Jane Ashton | Arthur Bailey | Claire Bennett | Kenzie Bloom | Neil Bowman | Georgia Bracewell | Nate Brajkovich | Charles Branson | Melinda Clausen | Andrea Dobbs | Bill Earnshaw | Riley Evans | Roland Fleming | Evelyn Francis | Alison Glover | Beth Goldstein | Holly Grisham | Ian Grisham | Robyn Grisham | Erin Hensman | Peter Houston | Simon Howells | Aimee Isaacs | Jacqui Isaacs | Eamon King | Preston Knight | John Lacy | Rob Lloyd | Michael McGowan | Corrinne Marlowe | Harriet Marlowe | Zoe Martindale | Robert Massey | Rochelle Neaves | Niamh O'Hara | Rosemary O’Hara | Sean O'Hara | Annette Olsen | Darryl Olsen | Faith Olsen | Crystal Pennington | Rachel Pennington | Harrison Randall | Carolyn Reeves | Devin Rhodes | Diana Rhodes | Walter Thompson | Kath Valentine | Andre Van den Berg | Cara Van den Berg | Michael Van den Berg | Poppy Van den Berg | Aine Walker | Imogen Ward | Ben Yorke | Joanna Yorke | Peter Yorke | Stephanie Yorke | Terry Young

 Memorable Lines Edit

  • ‘We need to dot every ‘I’ and cross every ‘T’ with this one. I don’t want it to be a repeat of the Dante Arthurs case.’

Dante Arthurs was convicted of the 2006 murder of Sofia Rodriguez-Urrutia-Shu.

  • 'We believe members of this ring may even be connected to those picked up in Project Spade.'

Project Spade was an international investigation into child pornography that resulted in almost 350 arrests in Australia alone.

  • ‘Another kid disappears due to parental inattention – just a few months after Sam Trott…’ Troughton said, grimacing.

Sam Trott went missing in December 2014 and his body was later found in a nearby lake.

  • ‘It’s times like this I wish we had never got rid of capital punishment. Prison is too good for this guy.’

Capital punishment in Australia was abolished in 1985.

Points of Interest Edit

  • Stranger abductions represent just 0.5% of cases but are more likely to be fatal. 
  • The title is taken from the New Testament, Matthew's Gospel, 19:14.
  • The unspecified cricket match playing on the radio in Rick Brady's office is the second match of the 2015 ICC World Cup, played between Australia and England.
  • John Lacy saying he "has worked with Claire Bennett before" is a nod to the fact that David Franklin, who provided the inspiration for the physical description of Lacy, and Tammy MacIntosh, who provided the inspiration for Claire Bennett, worked together on Farscape.
  • Although not specified, the movie Joanna Yorke and family are watching is Paper Planes.
  • Robert Massey is the first person in Western Australia to be given a life sentence without the possibility of parole.