The young girl looked so innocent, like a sleeping angel. Kelsey lay on a bed of white sheets, golden hair fanned across the pillow, eyes closed, pale lips pressed together. A white teddy bear was tucked under her slender arm… “My baby, she’s dead” her distraught mother choked out.
When the call comes in that fifteen-year-old Kelsey Tiller has gone missing from her bedroom in the middle of the night, Detective Ellie Reeves rushes to talk to her distraught parents. They tell her that Kelsey, a slender blond with green eyes and a timid smile, had plans to go shopping for her homecoming dress the next day, insisting she would have no reason to run away. But when neighbors report seeing Kelsey with a secret boyfriend, Ellie wonders how much Kelsey really told her parents.
Ellie is determined to find Kelsey’s boyfriend and interviews her friends and teachers at school. But just as she is making headway with the case, she receives some devastating news. Kelsey’s parents have received a photo of their daughter lying on a bed with white sheets over her body, skin ghostly pale under the freckles dotting her nose, her precious life snuffed out.
Desperate to find answers for those who loved Kelsey, Ellie studies the picture and realizes that her body has been posed in the same way as a teenage girl murdered ten years earlier. And when she learns Darnell, the killer in that case, has just been released from prison, fear crawls through her. Could Darnell have stolen another innocent life?
But just as Ellie thinks she has cracked the case, Kelsey’s best friend Ruby is snatched from her home, and Darnell has an unbreakable alibi. Haunted by Kelsey’s ashen face, Ellie knows she must race against time to find Ruby alive. And when she discovers one of her team is hiding critical information, she realizes she needs to act alone. But is she dealing with a twisted copycat killer or is the danger far closer to home?
A totally gripping and pulse-pounding crime thriller that will have you holding your breath as you race through the pages! Perfect for fans of Lisa Regan, Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh.
Listen here: https://ow.ly/U2jo50QreKG
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Format: Kindle ARC
No. of Pages: 402
Date of Publication: January 22, 2024
My Rating: 5 Stars
Detective Ellie Reeves jumps right into her latest case when a teen girl goes missing. Before she even has enough clues to really search, yet another girl also disappears. Any time a case involves children, this has a a particularly strong effect on Ellie.
Meanwhile, with her friend, and once hoped for love, Ranger Cord McClain, injured, Ellie finds herself rather torn. Ellie and Cord work quite well together, as she often finds herself looking for missing people, but the question as to whether or not the pair will ever get together remains uncertain. This is especially so with a very serious situation involving Cord that will no doubt impact his future. Then there is Special Agent Derrick Fox. and the undeniable bond he shares with Ellie.
There is another powerful aspect of this latest book in Rita Herron's series, and that is that readers get the killer's perspective woven into the pages of this already intense book. The way the killer gets the attention of the parents and Ellie is nothing short of chilling. Ellie is a remarkable detective and always shows a personal interest in her cases, even when things that affect her personally cause her to worry.
It is the mix of both professional and personal where Ellie is concerned that makes this book - this entire series, in fact - compelling. The girls that have gone missing are connected socially and this knowledge just might help Ellie, even though we know that the killer has murder in mind.
Although I have read and loved all of the previous books in this series, each book could work as a standalone novel. However, to know the back stories of Ellie, Cord and Derrick, reading them in order might be of great benefit. Rita Herron, bring on book 10. I can hardly wait to see what is next in store for Ellie.
Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
With over ninety books to her credit, she's penned romantic suspense, romantic comedy, and YA novels, but she especially likes writing dark romantic suspense and crime fiction set in small southern towns.
For more on Rita and her titles, visit her at www.ritaherron.com. You can also find her on Facebook/ritaherron.com and Twitter @ritaherron.
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