One Monday morning, the body of a young pregnant woman is found. The same day, a mother and her son visit the house of Detective Lottie Parker, begging for help to find a lost friend.
Could this be the same girl?
When a second victim is discovered by the same man, with the murder bearing all the same hallmarks as the first, Lottie needs to work fast to discover how else the two were linked. Then two more girls go missing.
Detective Lottie Parker is a woman on the edge, haunted by her tragic past and struggling to keep her family together through difficult times. Can she fight her own demons and catch the killer before he claims another victim?
The Stolen Girls is a gripping and page-turning thriller that will leave you breathless. Perfect for fans of Rachel Abbott, Karin Slaughter and Robert Dugoni.
The Stolen Girls is the second book in the hugely popular, Lottie Parker series. I loved Patricia Gibney’s first book, The Missing Ones and I couldn’t wait to get started on the second and it didn’t disappoint. The Lottie Parker series is becoming a top favourite of mine.
In The Stolen Girls, Lottie deals with some dark themes: human trafficking, organ farming, rape and self-harm. It is darker than her previous book and when the body count begins to rise, Lottie realises that they have a series problem to deal with in her home town.
The novel opens with a shocking scene that sets the tone of the book straight away. A young boy witnesses a terrifying crime against his family and is forced into the world on his own. Meanwhile in the present day, Lottie is door stepped by a young woman and her small child and pleads for her help. The woman understands very little English and hopes that a note she leaves Lottie about her situation will help her. After already being made late on her first day back by the woman, Lottie is handed a murder case straight away. A young woman’s body has been found beneath a road. Lottie believes that she may be a refugee or an asylum seeker and as the investigation progresses Lottie learns some dark truths about what has been going on in her home town. Her family life is also crumbling in around her, they are still recovering from the traumatic events of the first book in the series and Lottie’s daughter, Katie is growing more distant from her. Can Lottie focus every ounce of her energy on the investigation when she has so many things at home to be worried about?
I really like Patricia’s writing style and she draws you into the story quickly. The dialogue throughout the book is excellent and it was interesting to see how Boyd and Lottie's friendship developed in this novel. There’s always a hint that their relationship could develop further and I liked how Patricia used this in places throughout the story to add tension.
Patricia creates a gripping mystery and some more unsavoury characters for Lottie to get herself wrapped up in. The story had me hooked from the first page and I hated having to put it down. A thoroughly enjoyable read, I’m already looking forward to the next book in the series. Thank you to Bookouture and Netgalley for providing me with a copy to read.
Publication date: 6th July 2017
Print length: 461 pages