Mystery Thriller Book Reviews

The Girl Who Was Taken

The more secrets that were unearthed the darker everything got in ways I didn’t expect and I loved it, I couldn’t put this book down. This book was chilling and downright sinister in the best possible way.

The narrative is put together piece by piece as the story shifted back and fourth between the past and present. The story is told from multiple points of view in a twisting narrative that made the investigation feel more authentic. Everyone had their own feelings about the missing girls, their own suspicions, and their own regrets, and because of it the path is never really clear.

As the kidnapping case runs cold, Livia takes it upon herself to find her own answers, looking desperately for closure. I really enjoyed Livia’s narrative and getting a a good look at forensic pathology. I didn’t even mind that some of the descriptions of her autopsies were sometimes graphic, it was fascinating seeing a crime from a new perspective. Her position as a medical professional undergoing a fellowship gave her access to some interesting sources of information.

“If she were a broken girl whose life was a wreck and would never be the same, their vigor for her story would simply be unacceptable. They couldn’t allow themselves to be so attracted to her narrative if it ended any way but beautifully.”

I also greatly enjoyed the commentary about the media circus that surrounds survivors of horrific kidnapping cases; round the clock news reports, interviews, book deals, television specials and movies, it never ends. What does this all do to the victims, reducing them to prime time entertainment? This book asked a lot of tough question and was highly critical of the way that the media frenzy chews up and spits out what’s left of the rescued.

The Girl Who Was Taken was a cool mystery that kept me guessing up until the very end. Every time I thought I had things figured out I’d immediately get thrown off my trail. To say that there are a few red herrings in this story is an understatement, and in fact the plot relies heavily on them, but it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. When the mystery started to really unfold I was kicking myself that I had missed some subtle details, stuff that a more astute reader could’ve probably picked up on better than me. Even so, following the clues and trying to figure the mystery out was an absolute joy for me and I had a lot of fun despite the extremely dark subject matter.

Title: The Girl Who Was Taken
Author: Charlie Donlea
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: April 25, 2017
Pages: 320
Format: ARC / Ebook
Source: NetGalley

Nicole Cutty and Megan McDonald are both high school seniors in the small town of Emerson Bay, North Carolina. When they disappear from a beach party one warm summer night, police launch a massive search. No clues are found, and hope is almost lost until Megan miraculously surfaces after escaping from a bunker deep in the woods.

A year later, the bestselling account of her ordeal has turned Megan from local hero to national celebrity. It s a triumphant, inspiring story, except for one inconvenient detail: Nicole is still missing. Nicole’s older sister Livia, a fellow in forensic pathology, expects that one day soon Nicole’s body will be found, and it will be up to someone like Livia to analyze the evidence and finally determine her sister’s fate. Instead, the first clue to Nicole s disappearance comes from another body that shows up in Livia’s morgue that of a young man connected to Nicole’s past. Livia reaches out to Megan for help, hoping to learn more about the night the two were taken. Other girls have gone missing too, and Livia is increasingly certain the cases are connected.

But Megan knows more than she revealed in her blockbuster book. Flashes of memory are coming together, pointing to something darker and more monstrous than her chilling memoir describes. And the deeper she and Livia dig, the more they realize that sometimes true terror lies in finding exactly what you’ve been looking for.

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