The Taken Girls by G. D. Sanders

91QLhubbOrLSomeone is watching them…

When a missing teenage girl reappears unharmed but pregnant, the case falls to Detective Edina Ogborne, the newest recruit of Canterbury Police. But Edina’s already got her hands full with a team who don’t want her, an ex who won’t quit, and terrible guilt over a secret from her past.

DI Ed Ogborne is a deeply flawed character. Her mistakes have led to her being thrown out of the Metropolitan Police and transferred to Canterbury, a move that she resents. Her arrival in Canterbury was caused quite a stir and has obstructed the promotion of another investigator so, from the very start, she is off on the wrong foot with her new colleagues. She struggles to lead her new team, is highly suspicious of everyone around her and is convinced that her new unit is guilty of police corruption. Her first case with her new team is to investigate the disappearance of sixth form schoolgirl, Lucy Naylor. As Ed is keen to impress her new team, she gets stuck into the case early but there is little to go on. It soon becomes clear that Lucy’s disappearance might be connected with several older cases in which kidnapped girls were returned unharmed but pregnant. In addition, the girls claim that they were well looked after whilst being held captive. It soon becomes apparent to the reader that this is a very strange case with an unusual motive.

The book alternates between Ed’s narrative as she investigates the case and navigates her new environment and Lucy’s narrative in captivity. Lucy’s description of her prison is terrifying as it’s dark and isolated. Strange noises at night taunt her and her abductor often comes in with strange packages with an unusual smell. Even more disconcerting is the abductor’s voice as he uses a reed to give him a Punch voice from Punch and Judy. The abductor is an intriguing character because he deliberately do not want to hurt the kidnapped girls and keeps mysterious items in jars in another room. His troubled past is revealed to us in flashbacks as he recalls growing up with a very troubled mother. The abductor’s identity is a mystery until the end of the book but there are plenty of suspects throughout.

Ed is also a fascinating character because of her past. She has made some fundamental misjudgments despite being an DI so we never really warm to her or fully respect her. Her choice of men is deplorable and I think readers expect more of their female characters today. Yet, despite her flaws, the book is well written and well plotted. Each of the members of her new team has a backstory which makes them distinctive but I would like to know more about them.

This is Sanders’ debut novel and is the first in the D.I. Ogborne Mystery Series. The Victim, the second in the series was released in June 2019 and I look forward to reading it.

Digital original edition, 432 pages
Publication: February 21st 2019 by One More Chapter

 

About the author

89623_1G.D. Sanders has previously worked in academia. He is now retired and enjoys writing contemporary crime fiction, as it allows much more creativity than writing scientific research articles. He is based in London. The Taken Girls is his first novel.

 

The Six by Luca Veste

the-six-9781471168147_lgSix friends trapped by one dark secret.

It was supposed to be our last weekend away as friends, before marriage and respectability beckoned. But what happened that Saturday changed everything.

In the middle of the night, someone died. The six of us promised each other we would not tell anyone about the body we buried. But now the pact has been broken. And the killing has started again …

Who knows what we did? And what price will we pay? Continue reading

The Long Way Home by Richard Chizmar

43297534._UY400_SS400_Gathered here for the first time ever are seventeen short stories, two essays, and a short script by award-winning and New York Times bestselling author, Richard Chizmar.

Eerie, suspenseful, poignant, the stories in The Long Way Home run the gamut from horror to suspense, crime to dark fantasy, mainstream to mystery. This brand new collection features more than 100,000 words of short fiction, as well as more than 5,000 words of autobiographical Story Notes. Continue reading

In Safe Hands by J.P. Carter

imagesHow far would you go to save the ones you love?

The first book in a gripping new crime series featuring DCI Anna Tate.

When nine children are snatched from a nursery school in South London, their distressed parents have no idea if they will ever see them again. The community in the surrounding area is in shock. How could this happen right under their noses? No one in the quiet suburban street saw anything – or at least that’s what they’re saying.

But DCI Anna Tate knows that nothing is impossible, and she also knows that time is quickly running out. It’s unclear if the kidnappers are desperate for money or set on revenge, but the ransom is going up by £1million daily. And they know that one little boy in particular is fighting for his life.

It’s one of the most disturbing cases DCI Anna Tate has ever worked on – not only because nine children are being held hostage, but because she’s pretty sure that someone close to them is lying… Continue reading

The Night You Left by Emma Curtis

41lw9PqWBiLIT ONLY TAKES A MOMENT TO UNRAVEL A PERFECT LIFE . . .

When Grace’s fiancé vanishes without a trace the night after proposing, her life is turned upside down. But has Nick walked out on her, or is he in danger?

As Grace desperately searches for answers, it soon becomes clear that Nick wasn’t the uncomplicated man she thought she knew. And when she uncovers a hidden tragedy from his childhood, she realises an awful truth: that you can run from your past – but your secrets will always catch up with you . . . Continue reading

Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard

43804834._SY475_PLAY

Andrew, the manager of Shanamore Holiday Cottages, watches his only guest via a hidden camera in her room. One night the unthinkable happens: a shadowy figure emerges on-screen, kills her, and destroys the camera. But who is the murderer? How did they know about the camera? And how will Andrew live with himself?

PAUSE

Natalie wishes she’d stayed at home as soon as she arrives in the wintry isolation of Shanamore. There’s something creepy about the manager. She wants to leave, but she can’t—not until she’s found what she’s looking for …

REWIND

Psycho meets Fatal Attraction in this explosive story about a murder caught on camera. You’ve already missed the start. To get the full picture you must rewind the tape and play it through to the end, no matter how shocking … Continue reading