Author: Carolyn Arnold
Series: Detective Amanda Steele #2
Also in this series: The Little Grave
Published by Bookouture on April 6, 2021
Genre(s): Mystery, Suspense
Format: ARC, eBook
Purchase: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Kobo|Audible|ITunes
The girl looked so peaceful, she could have been asleep. Except her eyes were open, blankly reflecting the flickering flames spreading towards her…
When firefighters discover the body of a teenage girl at an abandoned house, Detective Amanda Steele hurries to the scene. Dumfries, Virginia is a small town, yet no one seems to have any idea who the dead girl is until Amanda finds a dragonfly pin with the name Crystal engraved on it.
Working tirelessly, Amanda traces the pin to Crystal Foster, a thirteen-year-old who disappeared three years ago from her wealthy parents’ home. Breaking the news to the distraught parents won’t be easy, but the loss of her own daughter still haunts Amanda, and she knows this will bring them closure. But when Amanda goes to see the Fosters, they do not recognize the girl. She isn’t Crystal.
Before Amanda can react to this new development, she gets an urgent call. A fire has consumed another vacant house, and the remains of two more girls have been found. Who are these girls, and why are they being picked off? Amanda must stop this killer before the pattern continues, and the death toll climbs.
When Amanda receives a taunting note from the killer, she realizes that she holds the missing piece of this puzzle. The victims are connected to Amanda’s past, to a case she can never forget, and which almost claimed her life. As she follows the clues to their deadly conclusion, can she save more innocent lives… even if it risks her own?
An unputdownable, pulse-pounding mystery. Fans of Rachel Caine, Lisa Regan and Robert Dugoni will be gripped.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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I had high expectations for Stolen Daughters, and it did not disappoint. The story began on a chilling note, and so with a start like that I needed more.
While attending to a personal mission, Detective Amanda Steele received a call from her sergeant about a crime scene. On arriving at the scene, she learnt of the discovery of an unidentified teenage girl in a burnt out abandoned building. In the course of investigating the murder, Amanda and her partner Trent uncovered a link between the murdered teen and a sex trafficking ring. Amanda sets out to put an end to the trafficking ring and apprehend the person responsible for the murder. However, the discovery of more bodies and the evidence pointing to the same perpetrator, placed Amanda in a race against time to stop the killer from striking again.
What a ride. Excitement, danger, suspense and intrigue permeated the pages of the story, making it difficult to put down. Amanda’s penchant for taking risks along with the POV of the killer added to the danger, suspense and intrigue. Being in the killer’s head proved a terrifying experience. Because he feels justified by his actions he dubbed himself The Merciful. The revelation of his past provided insight into the reasoning behind his actions, not that one could agree with them.
Amanda seems to have detoured from the path of destruction highlighted in the previous book, The Little Grave. The events from book one provided the catalyst for the change. It made me happy to see she how much she had grown. Not everyone she works with is in her corner. I curious to know the reasons for the animosity, which has yet to be revealed.
Although the plotline relating to the murder mystery was resolved, the story ended on a note which had me eager for the next book. Once again Arnold has created a story that fans of police procedurals would not want to miss.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: