Happy publication day to Carolyn Arnold for the second in the Detective Amanda Steele series Stolen Daughters! I’m going to sharing my review today but first a bit about the book:
Title: Stolen Daughters (Detective Amanda Steele 2) by Carolyn Arnold
Date Published: 6th April 2021
Genre: Police Procedural
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.
You can buy your copy here:
I want to thank Bookouture for providing me with a copy of Stolen Daughters in exchange for an honest review.
So this is my first Carolyn Arnold book but the second in the Amanda Steele series, but it’s easily read as a standalone. I would probably recommend going back to the first and starting there, just to get a bit more history of the characters.
The story opens with a young woman being found dead in an abandoned house after a fire was started deliberately. She’s got no ID and they do not know who the young girl is. Amanda Steele is assigned to the case with her partner Trent. Dealing with the aftermath of her last case, she has a higher up officer gunning for her badge. As the body count rises, the case takes a personal turn. Can Amanda deal with it all and solve the case?
Stolen Daughters is an American police procedural that leans more towards the procedural aspects with a bit of psychology thrown in there for good measure.
I usually read British police procedurals, but it made a nice change to read one set in a small town in America. I enjoyed seeing the differences and similarities between policing methods, although one thing they certainly have in common is all police officers seem to run on caffeine and junk food!
I do so love to get inside the mind of a killer, and it intrigued me to see little peeks into this killer’s twisted mind throughout the book.
I struggled a bit to warm up to Amanda at first. She’s a good cop but seems to rub a lot of people up the wrong way. She was also a bit standoffish, refusing to cross the boundaries between professional and perhaps friendship with her partner Trent. In future books I’d love to see a bit more of Trent, I feel there’s a lot of potential with his character.
I felt the pace was a little slow to start off with but it builds nicely to an action paced ending that leaves it open for the next in the series.
Stolen Daughters is a realistic and gritty read with an ending that leaves you wanting more.
About The Author:
CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has several continuing fiction series and has nearly thirty published books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures. Her crime fiction series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining. This led to her adopting 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 near London, Ontario, Canada with her husband and two beagles.
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