The first rays of sun filter through the tall trees, casting a faint light on the girl lying at the water’s edge. Her tears have frozen on her pale face, a black orchid rests against her cold white skin.
When hikers find the body of a beautiful young girl on the banks of the Potomac River, Detective Amanda Steele is shaken and confused. What is the significance of the delicate flower resting on the girl’s torso? A sign of affection, or a twisted killer’s calling card?
The girl is Chloe Somner, a local nineteen-year-old ecology student well-known to the park rangers and loved by all her classmates. Searching Chloe’s home, Amanda can’t work out who could have tempted her to the water in the early hours of the morning, but a long night hunting through cold cases gives her a possible lead: twenty years ago another local girl was murdered, a red rose left on her body. But why would this killer strike again now?
Focused on the past, the last thing Amanda expects is the news that Chloe’s roommate has been found dead, another black orchid left. Terrified that more innocent victims will follow, can Amanda uncover the significance of the flowers and stop this cold-hearted killer before he returns for the next orchid girl…?
A totally compulsive crime thriller! Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Robert Dugoni and Rachel Caine.
I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.
I have read all of the books in the Amanda Steele series. When I read the first book, The Little Grave, I wasn’t too sure how I’d like the series because that first book was more about Amanda’s grief than the mystery she was working on. After reading the next three books including this one, however, she has become one of my favorite Carolyn Arnold characters.
Amanda and her partner, Trent, work well together. It’s a good thing because they spend a lot of hours working on this case. The girl who is murdered goes to school so there end up being a lot of possible suspects and the case has some twists along the way. In fact, once I got halfway through, I had to stay up late to finish the book. It had a surprising but good ending!
I definitely recommend this book and although it stands on its own, you’ll get more out of the story if you read the whole series.
About the Author
Carolyn Arnold was born in a small Canadian town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower. As an international bestselling and award-winning author, she has several continuing fiction series, including her popular Detective Madison Knight series. She offers readers nearly three dozen published books in genres ranging from crime thrillers and hard-boiled mysteries to cozy mysteries and action adventures. She currently lives north of London, Ontario, with her husband and two beagles.