Title: The Stolen Girls
Author: Patricia Gibney
Publication Date: 6th July 2017
Format: eBook ARC
Note: This book was received from the publisher in return for an honest review
About the book:
One Monday morning, the body of a young pregnant woman is found. The same day, a mother and her son visit the house of Detective Lottie Parker, begging for help to find a lost friend.
Could this be the same girl?
When a second victim is discovered by the same man, with the murder bearing all the same hallmarks as the first, Lottie needs to work fast to discover how else the two were linked. Then two more girls go missing.
Detective Lottie Parker is a woman on the edge, haunted by her tragic past and struggling to keep her family together through difficult times. Can she fight her own demons and catch the killer before he claims another victim?
What I Thought:
Patricia Gibney is back with the follow up to her incredible debut The Missing Ones and I’m pleased to report there’s no sophomore slump to be found here, The Stolen Girls is every bit as thrilling as its predecessor!
The Stolen Girls takes place a few months after the events of The Missing Ones and this review will contain spoilers, so if you’ve not read it yet STOP! Go read it and you can come back and thank me after.
Following the kidnapping of her son and the murder of her eldest daughter’s boyfriend in The Missing Ones D.I. Lottie Parker has taken a few months off to try and be there for her family. The Stolen Girls picks up on Lottie’s first day back at work, her morning starts when a strange young woman knocks on her door looking for help, with very little English the woman leaves Lottie with a letter before disappearing again. Lottie’s hopes of being eased back into the job are dashed when a road worker discovers a body in a ditch are they arrive to refill it. Soon another body is found and Lottie begins to question if her early visitor is connected to her case.
Questions soon begin to be raised about the detention centre for women and children which has filled the old army base. Dan Russell is in charge of the detention centre and soon makes the investigation personal by casting aspersions regarding the morals and behaviour of her husband during his deployment in Kosovo.
As with The Missing Ones Patricia has taken cues from real life events, in this case the atrocities of the Kosovan war, Patricia doesn’t shy away from the brutality of the situation and at points in was hard to read the pain and suffering, especially during the flashback sections.
Again Patricia has done a wonderful job combining elements of the case along with character development and Lottie’s home-life. We learn more about how the children are managing to deal with the trauma they had faced. It was particularly heartbreaking to see how much Chloe, who had held the family together during The Missing Ones was struggling, and resorting to self harm.
The Stolen Girls also gives us some more background for DS Boyd introducing us to his estranged wife. For me the highlight of this was the little hints of jealousy we saw from Lottie and the suggestion that Mark’s feelings we saw in the first book may not be entirely one sided.
Would I Recommend?
Once again Patricia has crafted a wonderful novel, which as before is well paced, and despite its length doesn’t feel padded or over long. It’s a gripping read which deals well with some sensitive subjects, and reaches a highly satisfying conclusion. I would definitely recommend The Stolen Girls. Personally I’m eagerly awaiting the next DI Parker case.