Taken Girls by Carolyn Arnold

Posted on June 22, 2023 by Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading in Reviews / 15 Comments

Taken Girls, book eight in the Detective Amanda Steele series, return readers to the Prince William County where Detective Amanda Steele and her partner, Trent, faces yet another challenging case. A case which will shake her world and pit her in a race against time to stop a psychotic killer. Going into this book, I expected a riveting page turner. Arnold did not disappoint.


Taken Girls by Carolyn ArnoldTitle: Taken Girls
Author(s): Carolyn Arnold
Series: Detective Amanda Steele #8
Also in this series: The Little Grave , Stolen Daughters , The Silent Witness , Black Orchid Girls , Her Frozen Cry , Last Seen Alive , Her Final Breath, Her Last Words , Missing Before Daylight
Published by Bookouture on June 20, 2023
Pages: 324
Genre(s): Crime Fiction, Mystery
Source: Publisher
Format: eArc
Purchase: Amazon|Audible
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Series Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Music from the busy dance floor echoes into the deserted room where the Prom Queen lies deadly still. A tiara rests on her soft blonde curls, but her face is frozen with fear, and her painted red lips are forever sealed shut in a silenced scream…
When Detective Amanda Steele’s niece, Ava, begs her to look for a missing schoolfriend, she immediately agrees to take on the case. Eighteen-year-old Reece left home three nights ago after fighting with her mother and hasn’t been seen since. But when the teenager’s body is discovered brutally murdered, poised dramatically at the prom venue, Amanda is devastated she didn’t save the girl in time.
Haunted by the scene, Amanda dives headfirst into the case. Chasing every lead, she is horrified when she discovers a potential key witness strangled in her own home. It soon becomes clear that the killer will stop at nothing to silence anyone who might reveal their identity. So when Ava mentions she saw someone acting strangely at the prom venue that night, Amanda’s heart stops.
And when Amanda’s worst nightmare comes true, and her beloved niece is taken, she knows that every second counts to uncover this twisted killer’s identity and bring Ava home safely. But can she crack the secrets of this killer’s deadly game before it’s too late?

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.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.


Detective Steele attempts to make use of her rare day off. However, as someone who loves her work and can’t wait to sink her teeth into a homicide investigation, she is restless. So when her niece calls her about a possible missing person, she drops everything and went running. Although missing persons is not in her job description, she along with her partner investigates. Soon, what began as a search for a missing person became a homicide investigation.

This case hits quite close to home for Amanda. It has also stirred up some painful memories. However, being the strong woman she is, she pushed through. Amanda continues to grow and in this installment we see her taking a second chance on love. Although I am happy she’s ready to move on in the relationship department, I am not too keen on the person she is with. They have absolutely no chemistry together. She continues to juggle being a single mother with her job. It’s hard, but she manages given the demands of her job.

Like all the books prior to this installment, Taken Girls takes readers on a journey filled with mystery and nail biting suspense. The prologue which sets the tone for the story, provide chilling details of the killer’s activities. It was interesting seeing things from the killer’s perspective. Not only do readers learn the reason for the murders, we also see his arrogance and entitlement, which were revealed through his terrifying thought processes.

Plot twists and shocking revelations made for a fast-paced read. I read this one day, that’s how good it was. In this installment, Arnold touches on bullying and its impact on the victim. Once again Arnold takes her fans on a journey filled with mystery, suspense and shocking moments. She has proven the reason she deserves to be dubbed the mistress of police procedurals. 

Story Evaluation
World Building
Writing Style
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star


About Carolyn Arnold

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures. Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™. Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower. She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.

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15 responses to “Taken Girls by Carolyn Arnold

  1. Sounds like a good one. and a nailbiter too! I’ve been reading more of these types of stories lately and really like em.