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.Taken Girls by Carolyn Arnold
Also by this author: The Little Grave, Stolen Daughters, The Silent Witness, Black Orchid Girls
Series: Detective Amanda Steele #8
Also in this series: The Little Grave, Stolen Daughters, The Silent Witness, Black Orchid Girls
Published by Bookouture on 20th June 2023
Genres: Crime, Suspense, Thriller
Source: from Netgalley
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?
Thank you to Bookouture for my copy of this book via netgalley and for letting me take part in this tour. This is the 8th book in the Detective Amanda Steele series however they could all be read as standalones.
Amanda struggles to be both a mum and a detective during this book. It shows just how hard it is for her to be present in both aspects of her life. Amanda does a good job of balancing the two but you can tell at times she feels guilty for giving one the priority over the other.
One thing I struggled with on this case was the why now. I got the killers motive but I just couldn’t understand why decades later they had chosen to kill. Other than this Carolyn kept me on the edge of my seat. The story was fast paced and very easy to get lost in for hours at a time. Carolyn shows how things that happen when we were a teenager can fester and become so much more.
This is a great addition to the series and I look forward to many more!
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