The girl looked so peaceful, she could have been asleep. Except her eyes were open, blankly reflecting the flickering flames spreading towards her…
When firefighters discover the body of a teenage girl at an abandoned house, Detective Amanda Steele hurries to the scene. Dumfries, Virginia is a small town, yet no one seems to have any idea who the dead girl is until Amanda finds a dragonfly pin with the name Crystal engraved on it.
Working tirelessly, Amanda traces the pin to Crystal Foster, a thirteen-year-old who disappeared three years ago from her wealthy parents’ home. Breaking the news to the distraught parents won’t be easy, but the loss of her own daughter still haunts Amanda, and she knows this will bring them closure. But when Amanda goes to see the Fosters, they do not recognize the girl. She isn’t Crystal.
Before Amanda can react to this new development, she gets an urgent call. A fire has consumed another vacant house, and the remains of two more girls have been found. Who are these girls, and why are they being picked off? Amanda must stop this killer before the pattern continues, and the death toll climbs.
When Amanda receives a taunting note from the killer, she realizes that she holds the missing piece of this puzzle. The victims are connected to Amanda’s past, to a case she can never forget, and which almost claimed her life. As she follows the clues to their deadly conclusion, can she save more innocent lives… even if it risks her own?
An unputdownable, pulse-pounding mystery. Fans of Rachel Caine, Lisa Regan and Robert Dugoni will be gripped.
About the Detective Amanda Steele Series
Gritty. Raw. Unapologetic.
Immersive crime fiction for fans who love their mysteries set in a small town and hard-boiled to perfection. From the murder scene to the morgue, interrogation of suspects and following down leads, you’ll feel like you’re part of the investigation. Realistic and complex characters, accurate police procedures and forensics paired with tight, serious writing make these books read more like true crime than fiction. Meet Homicide Detective Amanda Steele with the Prince William County Police Department in Woodbridge, Virginia. She’s smart, motivated, and real. Her tragic past has her claiming to be no one’s mentor, but she’s more hero than she thinks.
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 like Carolyn Arnold and had read The Little Grave, the first book in this series, so I was happy to read the second one.
The Little Grave was more about Amanda’s grief after the loss of her husband and child, and I was hoping Stolen Daughters would have more about the case. I was not disappointed!
Of course, Amanda still mourns the loss of her family, but she’s starting to move on. She and her partner, Trent, dive head on into a murder case that looks like it’s the work of a serial killer. They work almost nonstop to find the killer before there are more murders.
Amanda is a strong woman who has dealt and is dealing with a lot in her personal life, but she’s not letting that get in the way of her work. She cares a lot about the victims and their families, and she tends to go rogue often, which does not go over well with her superiors. Her partner, Trent, seems like a good guy, and he’s a good detective but I’m hoping there will be more about him in the future.
Brandon Fisher, a character from on of Carolyn Arnold’s other series, makes a brief appearance. I always like crossovers!
Stolen Daughters was a little slow to start, but it quickly enthralled me. It is full of drama, mystery, police procedures, and interesting characters from the detectives to the killer. If you like crime dramas, I definitely recommend this book!
About the Author
CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.
Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.
Carolyn was born in a small 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.
She currently lives in London, Ontario, with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.