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A missing child plot arc in police procedural and I was hooked, examining every clue that DI Bernie found. First book, in hopefully a long running series, by author Joy Kluver, I enjoyed the friendliness of the prose.
There was a sense of urgency in finding the child, but the main intrigue came in when the villagers refused to help search for the child. The neighboring villages too preferred to stay out. That was the most confusing, also the most delicious subplot as I really wanted to know the reason.
The writing built up the suspense in that mystery with its careful writing. Kudos to the author. The wall of silence and no help from community, especially in a missing child was a new one for me. BERNIE was great in her role of leading the team. I loved how the cops were shown to be human.
This was their first case and also mine with this author and it was great to see both of us hard at work under the direction of the author. Yes, I blame her. I stopped my work and chores to read the book. Well, that said it all.
In recent times, a crime thriller caused more anxiety in me due to the changed real world. But this book brought me back and showed me how much I loved a police procedural, done right.
There were other subplots of robbery, connection to an old case along with facts from Bernie’s past. They were tied up nicely in one big package of 350+ pages.
A new angle, a strong protagonist, forensics and dogs playing their part, an intelligent brain to weave the clues together, along with secrets of past all made the book absolutely brilliant. Loved it.
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I can see her, shouting with laughter as she swings as high as she can, her beautiful blonde curls flying out behind her. I can feel her tiny hot hand in mine, and my heart aches. My little girl. If only I’d listened to my gut. Then maybe she’d be safe here with me…
When five-year-old Molly Reynolds is snatched from the park in the small village of Otterfield, Detective Bernadette ‘Bernie’ Noel throws herself into the search, sick with worry for the quiet, sensitive little girl and her distraught mother.
Wasting no time, Bernie finds a small green cardigan under a bush in the park. It still has the smiley face sticker Molly won that week at school. It’s the first in a chain of clues – and Bernie can’t shake the feeling that it was left deliberately, as a message.
But Bernie encounters a wall of silence. Otterfield is a close-knit community, yet no one in the village seems to care that Molly is missing at all. Why?
And then Bernie makes a chilling discovery: twenty-five years ago, another little girl went missing from the area. Her name was Sophie, and all they ever found of her was her teddy bear, hidden under a bush. Now Bernie knows she’s in a race against time to save Molly’s life.
Bernie’s team work round the clock to find a connection between the two girls, and just when they think they’re making progress a devastating tragedy strikes at the heart of the case. Molly’s family have been hiding a secret, and now their little girl is in greater danger than ever.
Can Bernie outwit the most warped criminal she has ever faced and bring Molly home safe, or will another innocent life be lost?
Publication Date: March 2021
I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher, and this is my journey down its pages, straight from the heart. STRICTLY HONEST and UNBIASED.
All my reviews can be found here.