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The Girl Who Was Taken

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  6,906 ratings  ·  950 reviews
Charlie Donlea, one of the most original new voices in suspense, returns with a haunting novel, laden with twists and high tension, about two abducted girls one who returns, one who doesn t and the forensics expert searching for answers.

Nicole Cutty and Megan McDonald are both high school seniors in the small town of Emerson Bay, North Carolina. When they disappear from a
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published April 25th 2017 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
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Suzanne Johnson I hope there are more with Livia and Nate teaming up to solve crimes. I don't know what all the extra Kent plot stuff was about so I'd like to see his…moreI hope there are more with Livia and Nate teaming up to solve crimes. I don't know what all the extra Kent plot stuff was about so I'd like to see his character resolved too. (less)

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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  6,906 ratings  ·  950 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Chelsea by: Charlie Donlea
Shelves: from-publisher
Some fellow reviewers and I first stumbled across Charlie Donlea at the beginning of 2016; we all scrambled for a NetGalley copy of his debut novel Summit Lake after reading several rave reviews on Goodreads. When you've been writing reviews for awhile, you start to come across a good number of first time authors and their writing can be a bit rough; not so here. We all raved and cheered on Summit Lake and kept his name logged in our thoughts in hopes of a new book being published in 2017, and h ...more
Kristin (KC) - Traveling Sister
Mar 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Kristin (KC) - Traveling Sister by: Amy | Foxy Blogs
Shelves: thriller
*3.5-ish stars*

This book took a while to warm up, and although some of it wasn't deeply compelling, it was interesting enough to hold my attention. Then, finally, just when everything begins to boil—feces hitting the fan, bodies literally crawling out of the creepy-ass woodwork—it ends.

And I shake my e-copy because surely there’s another page.

But *Swipe* *Swipe*… Nothing.

Fine, so there are supposed to be more books in the works, I get it, and I assume this ending did what it set out to do. I’
Mary Beth
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Megan McDonald and Nicole Cutty both disappear from a beach party in the small town of Emerson Bay, North Carolina. Megan miraculously surfaces after escaping from a bunker deep in the woods.

Nicole counted the days and thought she was missing for twelve or thirteen days. Stuck in a cellar where her captor stowed her. When she escaped a driver found her and said "Good God, the whole state has been looking for you. Where's your friend" he asked. Megan looked at him and asked "Who". " Nicole Cutty
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Traveling Sisters Review by Norma, Brenda, Kaceey and Lindsay!

Two girls taken, one returns.  

THE GIRL WHO WAS TAKEN by CHARLIE DONLEA is an extremely gripping, haunting, and perfectly paced suspenseful psychological thriller that had us all totally engaged, entertained, and interested throughout this whole book.  Having Lindsay right away racing through the pages unable to put it down with Norma right behind her. Although, the pace was a little slow in the beginning for Norma and Kaceey it didn’
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
5 stars! This was one gripping and addictive crazy ride!

I was glued to the pages of this story and could not put this book down! This was such a fantastic novel to read along with my amazing "sisters" Norma, Brenda and Kaceey!

I HIGHLY recommend this book if you are in the mood for a fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat thriller! It is going on my Favourites list!

For our full Traveling Sister Read Review, please visit Brenda and Norma's fabulous blog at :

Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Forensics don't lie even though people do.

And lightning seems to strike quite often in the same locale.

Charlie Donlea is back with another thriller here. The characters within find themselves oddly connected by the eerie strand of a missing loved one. No clues. Just gone.

But one unfortunate victim, Megan McDonald, has slipped from the clutches of her captor and run head-long onto a lonely highway. She's been rescued, but her inner being is still tangled up in the horrendous nightmare of those da
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Christine by: Invitation from Kensington after requesting from NG.
Shelves: net-galley, ebooks
4.5 stars

Having enjoyed Mr. Donlea’s first novel, Summit Lake, I was thrilled to get the opportunity to read an advanced copy of his second book, The Girl Who Was Taken. Readers who are sick of books with “Girl” in the title should take heed NOT to dismiss this novel because of its title. It’s a winner.

The story takes place in one of my favorite states, North Carolina. The protagonist is Livia Cutty, a fellow in pathology, studying to be a medical examiner. Great name for someone who does autops
Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.

A secret cult of those whose imaginations are completely taken with kidnappings is abuzz with a recent rash of missing girls. These people are obsessed. They meet to study, read, discuss, and even reenact possible scenarios that have resulted in abductions. The point is made that the act of kidnapping is that of stealing a person. Never thought of it in that way, but that is exactly what it is.

The underpinnings of the art of forensic scien
THE GIRL WHO WAS TAKEN by bestselling author Charlie Donlea is a well-written mystery crime suspense thriller that is another winner. I was very impressed with his debut novel, “Summit Lake, that I jumped at the chance to read his new novel.

Charlie Donlea, is a suspense novel, riddled with twists and high tension, about two abducted girls—one who returns, one who doesn’t—and the forensics expert searching for answers.

“Nicole Cutty and Megan McDonald are both high school seniors in the small tow
Dash fan
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5☆  Gripping thriller

This is my first book by Charlie, and it didn't disappoint!

Megan and Nicole attend a party...neither return home... what happened to them both remain a mystery!

Until Megan returns! She miraculously finds her way home from a mysterious bunker deep into the wood.
What happened to Nicole??  She was never found. After police searches. No evidence.

Fast forward one year and Megan cashes in on her disappearance by writing a book, making her famous.

As time goes on we discover anoth
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A thrilling traveling sister read with all my Canadian sisters Norma, Brenda and Lindsay!

Starting out as a slow paced thriller, this read absolutely launched into breakneck speed for the final 30%. I was flipping pages fast and furiously while texting back and forth with Brenda! (Norma and Lindsay had finished few hours earlier - with their own texting frenzy). I was absolutely exhausted by the end!!

I went into this book blind, not sure what to expect. Wasn't even sure I was going to really like
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Finally getting around to posting my review--not sure what has taken me so long, as I really enjoyed The Girl Who Was Taken . While The Girl Who Was Taken moves at a slow pace in the beginning, the tension grows and evolves into a fast-paced, thrilling read with a surprising twist that I didn’t see coming!

This is a story about two girls who are abducted in Emerson, North Carolina. High school seniors, Nic Cutty and Megan McDonald have been abducted. Megan escapes her captors and becomes a natio
Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
The Girl Who Was Taken was another fantastic and entertaining choice for a Traveling Sister Read with Norma, Lindsay and Kaceey. It's fast paced, clever, and original that had us on on our toes, and on the edge of our seats with one of the best heart stopping, tense and exicting ending we have ever read. I highly recommend.

Our full Traveling Sister reviews can be found along with Norma and my reviews on our sister blog:
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
This is the second book I have read by Charles Donlea and one I was looking forward to greatly. Mr Donlea did not disappoint.

This is a book which starts out slowly and increases in tension as it progresses. Donlea's characterisation and understanding of family and friendship dynamics is superb. I'm sure we have all known a girl like Nicole at some point in our lives.

The Girl Who Was Taken is told over several different time lines and from several different points of view, but without any confu
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, netgalley
This is a solid mystery that I enjoyed even more than this author's debut novel Summit Lake. Told from different POV's and varying timelines, I found this writing style really helped to create the suspense that made the last 100 pages a complete nail biter for me.

The main protagonist is Livia Cutty-a fellow in forensic pathology, fueled by the disappearance of her younger sister Nicole. It's been over a year since she disappeared from an end of summer beach party, along with a fellow classmate
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio

This audiobook grabbed me from the get go. You initially hear from both of the girls that have gone missing, only one of whom returns. Then the attention shifts to Livia, the older sister of the girl that never returned. She’s a medical examiner intern and the scenes in the ME’s offices tend to the graphic side. It’s a very unique approach. Yes, there have been other books from a ME’s perspective. But the fact that she’s an intern and we’re learning right along with her worked well. I also liked
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Two high school seniors. Two girls gone missing. Only one returns. After reading Charlie Donlea’s Summit Lake featuring investigative reporter Kelsey Castle, I was excited to receive a copy of Donlea’s new book,The Girl Who Was Taken. The bad news is that Castle does not appear in this thriller. The good news is that this work is even better.

I was abducted and held captive by this tale of missing young women from the very first chapter. Even though one of the missing teens, Nicole Cutty, is reb
Book of Secrets
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading Charlie Donlea’s debut novel, SUMMIT LAKE, last year, and I’m thrilled to say that his second book, THE GIRL WHO WAS TAKEN, exceeded my expectations. It’s suspenseful, twisty, and chilling, which all together make for a riveting read.

Two young women were abducted the summer after their high school graduation. Megan escapes after two weeks, but Nicole is still missing a year later. What became of Nicole? Her older sister Livia is haunted by that question daily. While completing
Sep 23, 2017 rated it liked it
This was my first time reading Charlie Donlea.

I found this book interesting, but I was not blown away by it. There was some confusion in the beginning as to who was taken when, and I eventually grabbed pen and paper to make notes on characters and dates. Thankfully chapters were labeled with dates and timing. The red herrings were there, as I had two or three possible suspects in mind. Some of the characters were creeps, and I had no sympathy for one of the girls who was taken.

It was a good book
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is my first read of a Charlie Donlea book and I was thoroughly impressed.
The novel is about two abducted girls, one who returns, one who doesn’t.
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 be
Mary Kubica
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A smart, chilling thriller with an ending I never saw coming. Highly recommend!
Dr. Livia Cutty is a pathologist working under a fellowship with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Raleigh, NC. Her decision to follow this area of medicine was driven by her sister’s abduction and disappearance one year ago. Livia doesn’t think Nicole is still alive and fully believes she’ll one day show up on her autopsy table. Another teen, Megan McDonald, was also abducted from the same beach party on the same day but she managed to escape.

To say this story was bizarre is an under
Apr 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
Check out all of my reviews at:

I have seriously been blown away by this book. I enjoyed Summit Lake by this author, but this story was even better.

THE GIRL WHO WAS TAKEN by Charlie Donlea had me tangled up in plot twists and turns that left me completely surprised at the climax of the plot. I knew the answer, no I didn’t. I knew the answer, no I didn’t. I could NOT put this book down!

The majority of the story is told in the present with Livia Cutty, a fellow in
Any fan of Dr. Kay Scarpetta, a fictional character of Patricia Cornwell, will jump for joy. We've got a new young doctor on the block and she ain't taking prisoners! Uh wait, she actually does.

As a psychological suspense thriller, combined with a murder mystery, life cannot get any better for this genre-aficionados. I'm one of them.

I haven't read a murder mystery lately in which the author manages to completely vanish and leave only the characters and the reader to face each other. This book ac
 Li'l Owl
August 20, 2016
During a beach party at end of their senior year of high school in Emerson Bay
Megan McDonald and Nicole Cutty disappeared.
After two weeks of intensive searching they were no closer to finding the girls then they were the night they disappeared. The hope of bringing both Megan and Nicole home safe and sound is fading fast.

Then Megan is found running from a bunker deep in the woods. Bleeding and dehydrated she makes it to the road and is brought to safety by a passing motorist. S
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
In the small town of Emerson Bay, North Carolina tragedy hits hard one summer night when two high school senior girls, Nicole Cutty and Megan McDonald, disappear from a beach party. After two weeks Megan escapes from a bunker hidden deep in the woods and manages to flag down help but after being rescued she gets asked one question, what happened to Nicole and Megan just doesn't have the answer.

A year later Megan on the surface seems to be recovering from her ordeal becoming a best selling autho
Megan McDonald's escape from her kidnapper resulted in a sensational rise to celebrity both unwanted, and, in her eyes, unwarranted. She's penned a book, appeared on TV and is seen as a beacon of hope to other victims. Escape is possible, even probable under the right circumstances...

After spending two terrifying weeks trapped in a bunker fearing for her life, Megan is still captive in many ways. Her sheriff father couldn't protect her at the time and dotes on her to the point of suffocation wh
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent story about two young girls who are abducted, one returns and the other does not. This book kept my attention throughout and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Great characterisation, interesting plot and a story line that was unique to anything I had read before. Highly recommended.
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
A riveting story of the abduction of two high school seniors girls — only one returns

Nicole Cutty and Megan McDonald are both high school seniors in the small town of Emerson Bay, North Carolina. They both disappear from a beach party one summer night. No clues to the disappearance are found and hope is almost lost, until Megan is finally found, after escaping from a bunker in the woods. A year later the best-selling book of her ordeal has turn Megan from local hero to national celebrity.
Adrian Dooley
Apr 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh yeah. This was a goodie. My first read of a Charlie Donlea novel and a name I will remember to look out for in the future.

Livia Cutty, our central character, is a fellow in forensic pathology. Her sister Nicole along with her nemesis Megan McDonald went missing over a year ago and, although Megan somehow managed to escape two weeks after she went missing, there is still no sign of Nicole and she is all but presumed dead. Livia is convinced that someday Nicole's body will end up on her table
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Charlie Donlea is the USA TODAY and #1 Internationally bestselling author of SUMMIT LAKE, THE GIRL WHO WAS TAKEN, DON'T BELIEVE IT, and SOME CHOOSE DARKNESS. His fifth novel, THE SUICIDE HOUSE, will be released 07.28.20. He resides in Chicago with his wife and two young children.

He spends a part of each year fishing with his father in the far reaches of Canada, where the roads end and lakes are ac

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