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D.I. Lottie Parker #2

The Stolen Girls

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The young woman standing on Lottie’s step was a stranger. She was clutching the hand of a young boy. ‘Help me,’ she said to Lottie. ‘Please help me.’

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?

465 pages, Kindle Edition

First published July 6, 2017

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About the author

Patricia Gibney

20 books1,102 followers
My name is Patricia Gibney and I’m from Mullingar, County Westmeath. Right in the heart of Ireland. Surrounded by lakes, Mullingar is damp and wet most of the year but when the sun shines it is a little piece of heaven on earth. I’ve lived here all my life. I’m widowed, seven years in May, but was married to Aidan since 1982. I’ve three children who keep me sane, or maybe keep the madness at bay, just a little bit! I say that because I am an artist and a writer. I started writing, for therapy, when Aidan died.

I secured an agent in January 2016 and she is fighting my corner in an effort to get my debut novel published.

Three years ago, I decided to get serious about it. I joined The Irish Writers Centre. Started doing courses. I love reading crime thrillers so it was obvious to me to start writing in the crime genre. And let me tell you, it is not easy. A crime novel needs to be tightly plotted and plotting is the bane of my life. I prefer to write straight off the top of my head. Oh, Oh. Feels good when writing but then comes the editing. I lost 20,000 words in the process. But at least I am proud to say I got it done.

I am now writing the second novel in the series, featuring Lottie Parker and a host of credible characters. They are all part of my extended family, you know the kind – people you love one minute and want to kill the next!

So join me on this journey and lets see where it leads us.

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5 stars
4,742 (42%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 690 reviews
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,126 reviews3,708 followers
June 8, 2017
This is the highly anticipated follow-up to Patricia Gibney's outstanding debut, The Missing Ones.

I highly recommend starting with the first in the series, as you’ll be introduced to all the players in Detective Inspector Lottie Parker's life. Both personally and professionally. We pick up the story a few months following the end of book one (No spoilers here!). In this second installment, Lottie's work and family life are equally divided and the lines get crossed or at least blurred in that respect. Lottie is a take-charge kind of gal that oversteps boundaries on more than one occasion, putting her professional life at risk. I also love the banter between Lottie and her detective Boyd - I'm still waiting...!

There are a few triggers that some might find unsettling or difficult to read including rape and sex trafficking.

The chapters are short, the writing is easy and flows effortlessly. Once you pick this book up don't make any serious plans because it's extremely easy to lose yourself in this one for an entire afternoon. I’m absolutely drawn to Lottie and can’t wait to see her character develop further as the series continues.

This is quickly becoming a new favorite series for me and I am now anxiously awaiting book three! Bravo!

Thank you to NetGalley, Patricia Gibney and Bookouture for an ARC to review.
Profile Image for Meredith (Trying to catch up!).
814 reviews12.7k followers
June 21, 2017
The Stolen Girls is a deeply disturbing police procedural that focuses on sex trafficking, organ harvesting, and self-harm. This is book two in the Lottie Parker series, and it does not disappoint .

Detective Lottie Parker is a mess. Her three children are trying to recover from the events that occurred four months prior (in book one), and her partner Boyd is also falling apart. To say their lives are in shambles is an understatement.

When the body of a young pregnant woman is found buried on a road construction site, Boyd and Lottie investigate and throw themselves into the case. As they dig deeper and deeper, they uncover a sick and twisted world ruled by the dregs of society, unaware that danger is lurking nearby and ready to pounce.

There are multiple storylines and POV’s, but all are compelling. At times, it’s hard to read because of the subject matter, but there are also glimpse of hope. I highly recommend this series!

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Mary Beth .
383 reviews1,768 followers
June 20, 2017

This is the second book in the Detective Lottie Parker Series. I loved this one more than the first book. This action packed, nerve wrecking tale had me furiously turning pages late into the night to see what happened next. Beautifully written, fast paced, and thrilling. This is a police procedural with a lot of twists thrown in. I didn't know who the killer was until the end and the last twist involving one of the main characters was a beautifully happy moment to read. This is another masterpiece from a fabulous author!

Lottie deals with some dark themes: human trafficking, organ farming, rape, a serial killer and self-harm. It is darker than her previous book and when the body count begins to rise, Lottie realises that they have a serious problem to deal with in her home town.

Lottie is a widow with three children. She's a take charge detective that sometimes oversteps her bounds . She's called to the scene of a murdered girl found at a site where they are doing roadwork. Soon another body is found by the same man . Also a local teen, someone Lottie’s daughter Chloe knows from school goes missing. The detectives are struggling to identify the victims as no missing person reports have been logged and Chloe is keeping secrets from her mom.

The plot is very well written and all the flashbacks tie in perfectly with the storyline. Well defined characters and underlying currents are dominant in this story, but it all builds up to an amazing ending! I love a good murder mystery, and this one definitely didn't let me down.

I want to thank NetGalley, Bookouture and Patricia Gibney for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I definitely recommend this book.

Profile Image for Christine.
596 reviews1,180 followers
June 18, 2017
4.5 stars

Wow, Ms. Patricia Gibney has written a great follow up to her debut novel, The Missing Ones. The Stolen Girls, #2 in the Detective Lottie Parker series, packs a wallop.

DI Lottie Parker is back to work with the Irish garda (police) after a several month leave of absence following her harrowing adventures chronicled in The Missing Ones. A single mom of three, Lottie is seemingly operating with minimal sleep and piles of outside distractions, mainly having to do with her highly stressed teenage kids and an intriguing side case that may or may not be tied in with her main mission. To state that Lottie is edgy is a huge understatement. As the heat on Lottie grows hotter she comes close to totally losing it, while making decisions that are not in her or the cases’ best interests. Fortunately, she has a great partner in DS Mark Boyd, who does his best to keep Lottie grounded. In addition to their professional partnership, they have an on again/off again (mainly off again) personal relationship that contributes to the strength of their rapport. Their repartee is a highlight of the fine characterization in the book. I love these two characters.

Lottie’s assignment in The Stolen Girls involves an intricate set of events including murders and disappearances along with plenty of deception, seemingly with connections to 1999 Kosovo. The setup takes a bit of time, but it really did not seem overly slow, and I was never bored. At around the midpoint, the story explodes like a rocket. The twists start coming hard and fast and continue through to the end of the book. We are dealing with a lot, and I mean a lot, of threads. At times, my head was spinning trying to keep up with everything. But keep up I did. I think. The second half whizzes by at a zooming fast pace (despite the book being 459 pages) and is bursting with palpable suspense. I found the ending great even though there were a couple of minor loose ends. We don’t always need the perfect big red bow.

If I had one main criticism, it would the high number of threads. I had to stop and think on a number of occasions in order to keep everything straight in my head. I believe the story would have been just as good and a bit easier to follow with one or two less threads. There are also some scenes that are real queasers, especially if you are not a big fan of dark and gory.

I sense that there may be a (welcome) trend towards cutting back on to and fro timelines. This book has a few very short mini-chapters revolving around incidents in 1999 Kosovo interspersed here and there. I found them totally nonintrusive and the flow undisturbed. We also have 3rd person narrative throughout, which is my favorite mode of story telling.

If you are looking to become immersed in a gripper of a story with characters easy to cheer for, pick this one up. I do however highly recommend starting with The Missing Ones (4.5 stars from me) in order to fully appreciate the progressive development of the characters.

I’m so pleased to have found you, Ms. Gibney (thank you, Bookouture). I’m now looking forward to book #3 of what I hope will be a very long series!

Thank you Net Galley, Bookouture, and Ms. Gibney for an ARC of this novel. Opinions stated are mine alone and are unbiased in any way.
Profile Image for Liz.
2,140 reviews2,757 followers
June 3, 2017
This is the second mystery in the Lottie Parker series. Lottie has just returned to work after four months off following the trauma from the end of book one. She’s still trying to balance work, widowhood and a household with three teenagers. I'm not sure who's suffering the most here, Lottie or her kids. This time around, Lottie seems to be at odds with everyone. What really rings true is how little we often know what our teenagers are up to.

On her first day back, she's handed a murder investigation involving an unknown young pregnant woman. Could she be from the displaced person center that has been formed at the old army barracks in Ragmullin? The other storyline involves a missing local girl, who is a friend of Lottie’s daughter. I tell you, each storyline is absolutely heart rending and there were times I just had to put the book down and take a deep breath.

I really enjoyed this second installment in the series, but I have to warn you, it's dark.

My thanks to netgalley and Bookouture for an advance copy of this book.

Profile Image for Carolyn (on vacation).
2,245 reviews642 followers
December 8, 2020
I've been really looking forward to reading this follow up to Patricia Gibney's successful debut The Missing Ones and I have not been disappointed with this cracker of a story. DI Lottie Parker is back at work following the events that nearly killed her son and shook her whole family in her previous novel. Her three kids are still struggling to get back to normal and teenage Chloe in particular is not coping but Lottie is too tied up in work to give them the attention they need. The bodies of two girls have been found buried under roadworks, each by the same worker, an Albanian from Kosovo. No one has reported these girls missing but Lottie suspects they are refugees. When a local girl goes missing Lottie is worried that the same killer may have her and she pulls out all stops to work out who it could be.
This is a dark and complex story with many layers. There are Irish gangsters, a suspicious refugee centre director, an illegal sex trade as well as dead bodies and missing girls. There are also flashbacks to Kosovo at the time of Lottie's late husband Adam's tour of duty. Ms Gibney masterfully pulls all the strands together into a tense, action packed drama. She also manages to further develop the characters of Lottie herself, her family and her team, Lynch, Kirby and particularly Boyd. Highly recommended but do read the first book in the series, The Missing Ones first! 4.5★

With thanks to Netgalley and the publisher Bookouture for a copy of the book to read and review.
Profile Image for Sue.
1,345 reviews5 followers
January 17, 2018
THE STOLEN GIRLS by Patricia Gibney is the second book in the Detective Lottie Parker Series. I was anxious to continue on with the series, as I loved her debut novel, “The Missing Ones”. These books continue to get better and better. I loved this one more than the first book.

I recommend reading the books in order in the series, as the novels pick-up where the last one finishes off. In this second novel, Lottie walks a fine line between work and family life. Detective Lottie Parker, our protagonist, is a widow, mother of three, drinks too much, has an estranged mum, and one horrible boss…in other words a totally believable flawed central character!

The subject matter is both graphic and disturbing in nature, and not for the faint-hearted. Some passages are hard to read, but are critical to the story. Please note that the themes in this dark novel includes rape, a serial killer and sex trafficking, and may be offensive to some.

The young woman standing on Lottie’s step was a stranger. She was clutching the hand of a young boy. ‘Help me,’ she said to Lottie. ‘Please help me.’

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?

This is a fast-paced well-written action-packed police procedural. I frantically flipped the pages in the short chapters, to see what would happen next. I didn't realize who the killer was until the end and the last twist. Brilliant!

Looking forward to starting book three. Highly recommended!

Many thanks to my favorite publisher, Bookouture via NetGalley for my copy.

Profile Image for Erin.
3,093 reviews484 followers
July 4, 2017
Thanks to NetGalley for an uncorrected digital galley in exchange for an honest review.

Yes, I am handing out another 5 star to Patricia Gibney who is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors for police procedurals. Earlier this year, I read her debut novel "The Missing Ones " and was dying to get my hands on book two. Thank goodness I didn't have to wait a whole year!

The Stolen Girls, takes place four months after the events of the aforementioned book one and Lottie and her team have the task of finding out who is dumping young women near a construction site. The bodies seem to also be missing vital organs and the police cannot help but wonder just what type of criminal operation have they stumbled upon? From the streets of Ragmullin in 2015 to Kosovo in 99, The Stolen Girls is a pulse pounding thrill ride that kept me up until the crack of dawn.

In her personal life, Lottie continues to struggle with communicating with her kids. Son Sean is still reeling from the traumatic events that almost took his life, daughter Kate has withdrawn into her room, and dependable daughter, Chloe is battling her own demons. As Lottie continues to solve the case, it soon becomes clear that her much loved husband, Adam, may be also tied to the case. Then there are Lottie 's feelings for her partner, Boyd that continue to be crackling with sexual tension. But when Boyd's soon to be ex wife returns to Ireland, issues certainly become much more complicated, which makes for a very riveting read.

Now to wait patiently for book 3!
Profile Image for Lisa.
782 reviews
September 25, 2017
Wow The Stolen Girls was a powerful disturbing read for me it involved sex trafficking organ harvesting & self harm at some stages in this book I was in tears as the subject matter was pulling at my heart strings I did get through it & am happy with myself that I finished it not that I wasn't.

the story starts off when a woman & a child end up at Lottie Parkers house wanting help but Lottie turns them away she is having problems with her children coping with events four months prior ( in book one)
She receives a call from her work claiming they have found a body of a young girl who had been shot & had kidney removed, this horrifies Lottie & her team they will stop at nothing to find the culprit. As suspects are looked into they suspect Andri Petrovci as a suspect as he found the bodies, he vehemently denies any knowledge.

As more bodies Mount up with the same MO Lottie discovers whoever did this knows about medical procedures its not until she meets Dan Russell that things really heat up he seems to want to help but when she brings up his business his demeanour changes, she looks into his background & finds his business is involved in sex trafficking BUT WHO IS HE WORKING FOR!!

When Milot Mimoza's son turns up she is mortified as she want's to know where his mother is she takes him in & keeps him for the weekend she doesn't ring social services he forms a bond with Katie he trusts her it was beautiful how he took to her she eventually gets a social worker Eamon carter says he wants the boy but Chloe says no.

Then to top it all off Maeve Phillips goes missing, the temperature heats up as she is the daughter of a criminal Frank Phillips living in Spain, her mother Tracy is a drunk the bottle never leaves her side but she waits days before reporting her missing WHAT IS HER AGENDA!!

the ending is full on & one helluva ride I did feel heartbreak for Mimoza she went through hell to save her son Milot tears went down my face it was gut wrenching.

this is the 2nd in this outstanding series there is a happy ending for one of the main characters which was unexpected please read this in order as there are certain dialogue from book one.
April 3, 2021
This was a mess:
- Blundering evildoers shambling around doing their evil deeds. Lucky for them, that the detective team after them was quite dysfunctional & without a single detective on it, seemingly. Lucky dogs!
- The notion that about just anyone can grab a scalpel, cut out a bunch of entrails, put them in some container and voila, they've got organs for transplantation is underresearched, let's put it like that,
- The timelines & the POVs jumping around didn't really improve anything,
- All the self-harm & psychoological issues got to the point where one can't wonder how anyone even was presume to function?
- Why is almost everything hinging on Lottie's late hubby and one of her daughters?
In his homeland, he had encountered racism at the barrel of an AK-47. (c) Oh, for crap's sake, the guy's from Kosovo and exactly what kind of racism he could've encountered over there? Everyone out there's Caucasioan with a mini-pinch of Asian. Nationalism, maybe? -1 star for misusing buzzwords.
Profile Image for Andrea.
585 reviews
March 27, 2022
I really enjoyed the first book in this series,continues into the second book which I really enjoyed reading. Lottie Parker a strong character has three kids who are struggling from the last book,how do they cope.Lottie on a murder case of women but who are the victims.And a women called Mimoza and her young child turns up at Lottie door with a note they dont speak English who are they..and the same person at all the victims when they are found is there a connection, or at the wrong place.will Lottie and Boyd work it out...A fantastic series so far looking forward to reading the next book in the series...Highly recommend..
Profile Image for Holly in Bookland.
1,075 reviews438 followers
July 15, 2017
We're back for the second outing with Lottie Parker. Just like the first one, this deals with a sensitive topic, also. It starts off with a horrific and graphic scene and it doesn't let up. I felt like I was on a roller coaster with this novel and it didn't stop to let me breathe till the book was finished. Seriously, this left me winded. I suppose that has a lot to do with Lottie. There wasn't a moment where she wasn't on the move. This murder begins four months after the first book and all the things that Lottie had to deal with personally from that. I do feel that I'm a little disappointed in the direction Patricia Gibney went with Lottie and her family in this one. I don't want to give anything away but I will say, I hope things change personally for Lottie and family in the next book. I did, however, like more back story on Boyd. I really like him as a character and it was nice to get to know him a little better. The murder/mystery was intricate and kept you guessing but if you don't like graphic details, I would pass on these. They can make you feel quite uncomfortable at times.

**Thank you to the publisher and Netgally for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Adrian Dooley.
376 reviews110 followers
June 11, 2017
So the second in the Detective Lottie Parker series. I really liked the first instalment and I'm glad to report I enjoyed this one just as much, if not more.

A pregnant girl is found in the ground by a labourer doing roadworks. Soon another womans body is found, again by the same man, in the same circumstances.

Meanwhile Lottie Parker has a female caller and small child to her house. Foreign with very little English, she is pleading with Lottie to help her find her missing friend and leaves her a note pleading for her to help her.

Another two bodies are discovered, again by the same man. Could one of these be her callers friend? How are the girls connected? Why is the same man finding the bodies? Why did the woman and child call to Lotties house for help? How did she know who she was and where she lived?

We have a story here of immigrants, of asylum seekers, of human trafficking, organ harvesting, survivors, victims and perpetrators of a vicious war, Irish gangsters, all wrapped into a serial killer whodunnit taking place in a town in the centre of Ireland!

Sounds weird right? Well if you read it, it all makes sense and works brilliantly. It's a complex story, beginning with a flashback in Kosovo when it was war torn with some horrific opening scenes and returns throughout the book to Kosovo to reveal a little more as appropriate to the story.

This is no doubt a very well written and told story. One of huge breadth, there's a huge amount going on as touched on above. Throw into this, Lottie Parkers personal and family life and you have a huge amount covered in this 500 odd page story. It could easily have gotten lost in itself with so many threads of storyline going on but I'm glad to report that doesn't happen at all. The story is very eloquently told. Nothing feels wasted on the page. The editing feels spot on. Enough there to tell each story fully without detracting from the pacing of the overall story arc.

Speaking of the story, it a brilliant read. I was hooked from the first page to the last. Lottie is turning into a fantastic central character, with a team to support that are interesting characters, no more than her side kick Boyd. Throw in the dynamics of her disfunctional relationship with her kids and you have one of the stronger female leads currently out there.

I can't really find any fault with this book, hence the five stars. I was totally drawn into Lotties world and the town of Ragmullin. No hesitation in wholeheartedly recommending this, I look forward to the next installment.

Thanks to NetGalley, Bookouture and Patricia Gibney for and ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sean Peters.
677 reviews120 followers
April 19, 2018
Another great find.... Patricia Gibney

A book full of disturbing characters with a dark, gritty, gory , disturbing, violent plot but realistic.

A fast paced, full of twists and turns, full of nasty characters and a main character in Lottie Parker who is no saint herself and surely need lessons in parenthood, but fully dedicated police officer.

The young woman standing on Lottie’s step was a stranger. She was clutching the hand of a young boy. ‘Help me,’ she said to Lottie. ‘Please help me.’

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, Angela Marsons, Robert Bryndza and Robert Dugoni.

Some may give this less stars than myself, I guess you like Lottie Parker and find her realistic or you don't?
Profile Image for Susan.
1,062 reviews200 followers
July 2, 2017
Detective Inspector Lottie Parker is returning to work after a leave of absence following the tragedies of her last novel. Like everything in Parker's life, it starts off with a bang. A young immigrant woman shows up at her front door with her young son and a letter in Albanian, a dead body of a young girl missing a kidney is discovered and her children are angry that she's returning to work and worse of all, she she can't find her keys.

Thing move at a rapid pace. More murdered young women with missing kidneys are found, a crime figure's daughter is kidnapped, a center for immigrant women is investigated, her close friend on the force has his wife show up with her criminal boyfriend and her youngest daughter, Chloe, is dealing with a very serous problem. There's no rest for Lottie as things keep happening and she finds it hard to keep up. The trouble is everyone is in desperate places that really are life and death situations.

This is the second book in this captivating series of a young widowed woman with three teen-agers in the medium size Irish town. She is committed to her job, still grieving her husband and a little lost raising her children (but then aren't we all?) and is a complex, interesting character. She is not the nicest person you've ever met but she is someone you care about.

It's almost a cliche to say that it kept you turning the pages but it's really true. I didn't turn out my light off until 3:26 am because I couldn't put it down. There are no punches spared in this and can be a little graphic. Still it's one of my favorite mysteries this year.
Profile Image for Dee Ryan.
111 reviews5 followers
May 12, 2017
This is Patricia Gibney’s second book and Book two in the Lottie Parker Series. The first chapter of The Stolen Girls kicks you right in the guts it’s a very hard read as an opening chapter.

The story alternates between current day and Kosovo during the war. In Kosovo a young orphaned boy is found wandering and is taken by soldiers to the Chicken Farm. One of these soldiers is so kind to him but there are others he is unsure of.

In present day Ireland Lottie Parker and her team are dealing with the body of a young pregnant woman that has been unearthed. This on the same day that a young foreign woman and her son arrive at the home of Lottie asking for help to escape and to find their missing friend.

With no trace of the woman and her son, the body count rising , a missing local girl and bad guys coming out of the woodwork Lottie, Boyd and their team must first try and figure out who the dead girls are before they can even start trying to find out who killed them.

Lottie struggles desperately as her family are falling apart and reaching breaking point in front of her. When her beloved husbands’ memory is sullied by insinuations that he may have been taking part in illegal activities Lottie starts to push away the people closest to her.

There were times during this novel that Lottie proved to be quite selfish, overlooking her children, her Mother and Boyd as they clearly tried to get help from Lottie but in her own struggle to deal with her life and her dependency on pills she does not see what is happening in front of her eyes.

I absolutely blitzed through this book. The style of writing makes it hard for you to put down and I vowed “just one more page” at least a hundred times. Another fantastic book from Patricia.
Profile Image for Alex Cantone.
Author 3 books35 followers
November 30, 2020
The Stolen Girls opens with atrocities committed in Kosovo in 1999, and moves forward to May 2015 and Ragmullin in Ireland, where a young woman awaits her fate. She is one of three young women found by the same Kosovan labourer in the space of a week, all raped, a kidney surgically removed, shot and hidden in excavation works.

The investigative team is led by DI Lottie Parker, recently returned to duty after a harrowing ordeal, and who is visited at her home by a foreign girl with a small boy, handing her an envelope bearing a message in an unknown language, asking for help. In the midst of investigating the first body, the matter goes unattended. The Kosovo connection reappears in flashbacks to 1999, and Lottie’s late husband served there with the army, though he never discussed it.

This I thought, had the makings of a good tense thriller, but it became apparent that the local police force was far from an effective unit. The DI with a dysfunctional family, reliant on her mother to ensure the household and her three kids have some semblance of a normal life. A DS whose wife had run away to Spain with an Irish villain, a DC over-indulging in everything but with little to offer. Another plot twist as an alcoholic mother belatedly reports her teenage daughter as missing.

For much of the story no one is listening to anyone else, mobile phone calls go unanswered, allowing a crafty killer to ply his trade. The tension ramps up towards the end, with a vital clue leading to a little-visited nature reserve on an island in the river, but by then I was past caring.

Verdict: overloaded.
Profile Image for Fictionophile .
1,061 reviews338 followers
June 5, 2018
Almost exactly a year ago, I read the first novel in Patricia Gibney’s Lottie Parker police procedural series. It was fantastic! I’ve been meaning to read the second in the series for some time now – I’m SO glad to report that it was just as good as the first.
Those of you who haven’t yet made the acquaintance of Lottie Parker, I’ll recap.
Lottie Parker is a Garda Síochána detective inspector who lives and works in the fictional town of Ragmullin in the Irish Midlands.

Lottie is one of those wonderful ‘flawed’ protagonists. Four years after his death, she is still grieving for her late husband, Adam. Lottie throws herself into her work – often to the detriment of her home life with her three teenage children. In her early forties, Lottie has an addictive personality and she valiantly tries to stay away from booze and cigarettes. She doesn’t eat properly and she is always tired. Also, she is slightly OCD – she is constantly counting things.

“A town where no one saw anything, very few said anything and those who did never told the whole truth.”

This time around, Lottie is back at work after an extended leave which came as a result of the closing events of the first book. It is May in Ragmullin, yet the outside temperatures are more like mid July. Ireland is feeling the effects of a heat wave. Her first day back, she is tasked with a murder enquiry. A young girl’s body has been found by a road works crew in downtown Ragmullin. The girl had been shot in the back and buried in the recently dug-up road. Also, forensic reports say she was four months pregnant, AND has had surgery recently that removed one of her kidneys.

On the home front, Lottie is as out of her depth as ever. Two of her children, Katie and Sean, are still traumatized by events in the first novel, while the third child, sixteen-year-old Chloe, is increasingly secretive, sulky, or volatile.

Meanwhile the Garda have no leads on who the victim is, let alone leads on who might have killed her. When a second body of a young girl is found by Andri Petrovci, the very same road works worker, he becomes a prime suspect. The second girl also shows signs of having a kidney removed.

Lottie’s point of view is not the only one in the book. We come to learn about the desperate and dire experiences of a young boy in Kosov0 in 1999. His experiences were hard to read, and the author more than explicitly describes the atrocities that took place there during that time.

Also, we occasionally read the point of view of a captive young woman who is suffering a violent and heinous abduction.

Lottie Parker’s second in command, Mark Boyd is fighting his own demons, yet remains loyal to Lottie at all times.

“She wondered how she could juggle her day to fit in everything she had to do.”

Lottie is riddled with guilt and is constantly fighting a losing battle with the home/work balance. When she is home she feels she should be working, when she is working, she feels she should be at home. The proverbial ‘Catch-22’. In addition, her fatigue is palpable, as is her growing attraction to DS Mark Boyd.

“She felt her heart breaking for the frightfulness of the world and feared for the very soul of the human race.”

When a young woman, Mimoza Barbatovci, visits Lottie at her home accompanied by her young son, Lottie has one more worry added to the myriad she already has. Mimoza leaves Lottie a note written in Albanian. How did this young woman come to have Lottie’s dead husband’s uniform name badge?

Lottie and Boyd’s investigations take them to a ‘direct provision centre‘ run by a man named Dan Russell. He is an ex-army man who once worked in Kosovo with Lottie’s late husband, Adam.

“Daily routines continued while evil lurked behind closed doors”

When one of Chloe’s school friends goes missing, and another body is found, Lottie’s life spirals out of control. The final pages of the book fairly dripped with tension…

Excellent characterization and a compelling plot are the highlights of this novel. With themes of rape, organized crime, human trafficking, illegal organ harvesting, and self-harm, it was an extremely difficult read at times. It certainly reinforced the idea of ‘mans inhumanity to man‘. I highly recommend this novel, and this series, to readers of crime fiction who are not deterred by graphic violence, and emotionally draining circumstances. I hope that not too much more time passes before I get the opportunity to read the 3rd novel in this stellar series.
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,688 reviews26 followers
July 20, 2017
This was a 3.5 read for me and unfortunately I couldn't bump it up to 4. I wanted to like this second in the series by Gibney as I liked the first in the series. I must confess I am attracted to the series because the setting is Ireland and the author is female. However in this novel, the only clues that this was an Irish setting was the frequent use of the word "fecking" by everyone especially Lottie Parker's commanding officer, and the term Garda/Gardai. There was almost no sense of place which what I look for in crime novels - the environment, the people, behavior, social goings-on, etc.

There is a series of murders of young women who are all migrants/refugees to Ireland. In the (fictional) town of Ragmullin there is a facility that houses migrants and refugees. It is run by an ex-military man who served in Kosovo. Another part of the plot is a migrant worker on road construction who is from Kosovo uncovers two of the bodies while doing road work. He is considered the prime suspect. This presumption made no sense to me, and seemed lazy police work.

Lottie Parker is still a mess, and her children, still suffering from the loss of their father four years earlier, feel her neglect. Her mother helps but not consistently, and she and Lottie have a contentious relationship. I ended up having little sympathy for Lottie. Crime novels are full of police detectives who defy authority, do what they want, and have messy personal lives. Most of the time, readers are tolerant of these defects, but through this novel I found Lottie's behavior more and more irritating.

By the end, pieces started fitting together, but it wasn't enough. Some questions weren't answered, and other developments happened so quickly I couldn't figure out what was happening.
3,012 reviews58 followers
May 15, 2017
I would like to thank Netgalley and Bookouture for an advance copy of The Stolen Girls, the second novel set in the fictional Irish town of Ragmullin to feature DI Lottie Parker.

After a few months off to help her children recover from the events of the first novel, The Missing Ones, Lottie comes back to work and has to dive straight back into another murder, that of a young woman found in some roadworks. As the bodies pile up the case widens into something much more.

The Stolen Girls is an extremely busy novel with something going on in every chapter, almost on every page. It makes for a good read as it captures and holds your attention but can be a bit sloppy at times as Ms Gibney tries to hold it all together. I also found the number of coincidences hard to swallow. Kosovans who knew Lottie's dead husband turning up in Ragmullin, Lottie's daughter Chloe in the thick of things (after her other two children involved in the previous novel) and her sidekick Devlin's estranged wife Jackie turning up with her criminal boyfriend and all involved in the murders.

The tension, however, is well done. The novel is mostly a third person narrative from Lottie's point of view with a switch to glimpses of the killer and some italicised chapters on an unnamed young boy's escape from the killing fields of Kosovo after watching the murder of his family in 1999. I spent some time wondering where these latter excerpts fitted in so they held my attention while not being strictly relevant at the time to the plot.

I'm unsure about Lottie's character. She is obviously kind hearted and still grieving the death of her husband from cancer 4 years earlier but she is slapdash and chaotic in both her home life and investigations. It is understandable and easy to identify with as many working mums live the same kind of life but it makes for frustrating reading. I want to shake her and tell her to stop the mad dash through life and think clearly, as many of her colleagues tell her. And yet. I love her put downs to her colleagues when they overstep the mark and her desire to protect those around her. All the characterisation is extremely well done from the stroppy Superintendent Corrigan to the casual Kirby.

I enjoyed The Stolen Girls and have no hesitation in recommending it as a good read.
Profile Image for Amy.
1,939 reviews1,898 followers
July 8, 2017
All of my reviews can be found on www.novelgossip.com

I was totally blown away by Gibney’s debut, The Missing Ones and really excited that it was the start of a new series featuring Lottie Parker. I’ve been dying to read this book since I finished the first and I’m so glad to be able to tell you that book two is just as amazing as the first one!

There is a lot going on here, plenty of cases running simultaneously and tons to keep Lottie on her toes. First, the body of a young pregnant girl is found and it shakes her to her core. Then, a young foreign girl and her son show up at Lottie’s door asking for help. On top of all of that, a young local girl vanishes and she’s a friend of Lottie’s daughter, Chloe. So plenty of different plot threads and Lottie is under an intense amount of pressure both at work and at home. If you’ve read the first book, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

This is told mainly is present day and follows Lottie and Boyd as they try and untangle a dark web with not much to go on. There are also brief chapters from an unknown child, (then eventually a man) living in Kosovo in the nineties and these were really heartbreaking. I love that this series is a lot more dense than it’s counterparts, it really allows the author to develop the lead characters in a deep manner. Lottie is still a hotheaded mess and I’m still waiting to see what happens between her and Boyd, but their chemistry is great. They both wind up having a personal connection to the cases and the pressure reaches an all time high.

This is action packed and very dark, gritty and disturbing. There are several scenes with violence and rape, some horrifying subject matter that really gets under your skin. Once again, there are several suspects to choose from so it’s downright impossible to guess whodunnit before the author reveals all. This was an excellent addition to what’s quickly becoming one of my favorite new series and I’ll be eagerly awaiting book 3!
Profile Image for Rosa Dracos99.
694 reviews61 followers
April 4, 2019
Segundo libro de la serie de Lottie Parker, inspectora de policía de una ciudad ficticia del centro de Irlanda. Ante todo, avisar a quién lea este libro sin haber leído el primero, que contiene grandes spoilers del anterior “Los niños desaparecidos”, referidos a la protagonista y su vida personal.
Me ha gustado mucho, ya que conjunta una trama muy intrigante y bien desarrollada con una protagonista muy potente, que intenta conciliar la vida laboral y la familiar, al tiempo que tiene que conseguir superar todos los traumas que arrastra, tanto ella como el resto de su familia.
La narración, siempre en tercera persona por parte de un narrador, alterna el momento actual con acontecimientos de la guerra de los Balcanes, en Kosovo, a partir de 1999. Estos últimos hechos, que se van desarrollando a lo largo de varios años, nos van dando pistas sobre la investigación actual: el descubrimiento, por parte de un obrero, de una serie de cuerpos de mujeres jóvenes, inidentificadas y asesinadas. Lottie y su equipo son los encargados del caso.
Como he dicho, Lottie es una protagonista muy trabajada, muy elaborada, a la que conocemos en profundidad, ya que lleva el peso de la historia y alrededor de la cual giran el resto de personajes.
Los personajes secundarios los tenemos en dos grupos: el equipo de policías y la familia de Lottie, todos ellos descritos de una forma adecuada al papel que juegan en el libro.
Tiene un trasfondo social, polémico actualmente, como es el papel que juegan en la sociedad los refugiados, de cualquier etnia, religión o país. A lo largo del libro, se reflejan varias circunstancias de como se intenta resolver este problema, sin olvidar aquellos que se aprovechan de muchas formas de la indefensión de estas personas en una sociedad de la que no conocen sus normas o sus derechos; y que además las rechaza.
Muy recomendable, aunque tiene momentos bastante duros.
Profile Image for Natalija R. .
71 reviews2 followers
February 7, 2023
Labai patiko😍❣️
Si dalis tikrai man buvo daug geresnei nei pirma, labai itrauke nuo pirmu puslapiu... Autore tobuleja- lauksim likusiu 7 daliu😅
Tikrai labai ziauri pradzia, kuri prikauste, bet ne tik, visoje knygoje pasakojama apie daug ziauriu dalyku vykusiu per kara, po jo ir siom dienom musu panoseje💔
Truputeli glaustesni siuzeta galima butu, labai idemiai viska reikia skaityti, kadangi lengva pamesti painiu ivykiu seka, O ir sriftas bent jau man vis dar kiso koja😅 bet skaiciau pasimegaudama, manau per visas serijos knygas matysim ta kates- peles zaidima tarp Lotes ir Boido, bei Lotes niekam tikususios mamos vaidmeni su savo vaikais, tas is tikruju biski nervina, nes tas pats per ta pati. Jau ne pirma kart pastebiu autore pradeda per daug pletotis, tada pabaiga sugrusta, bet netgi ir pabaigoje jau galvoji- ka dar ne viskas? 😅 daug itampos iki pat galo nenuspejama, gaila Mimozos ir kitu merginu, jei Lote butu atidesne ir laiku kreiptu demesi i tam tikrus dalykus panoseje- pabaiga butu nors siek tiek laimingesne, bet overall plojimai autorei laukiam next❤❤❤
Profile Image for Julie.
514 reviews3 followers
November 22, 2017
Quickly becoming a fave series

First the negative. The narrator is SLOW, but on 1.25 works great. Also, I'm not sure how tired I am with cases (not just in this series but in others) involving the lead's family/friend/lover but I'm close to being over it. Why can't a lead just have family/friends/lovers that just exist and not be haunted by the plot line.

That said I really like Lottie Parker and her gang. It's filled with suspense, complicated relationships, police procedural, and action - I say it's a perfect mix. I can't wait to read the next one.
Profile Image for Richard.
1,821 reviews151 followers
October 11, 2018
A strong second novel. In one sense it is a more accomplished story while on the other hand a little disappointing in that a similar formula appears to have been used.
Clearly it works but for me it is a slight criticism. This is not a fair critique I accept like being delighted by a new beer from your favourite brewery and complaining that they used the same ingredients.
The driving force behind the crime here is greed and the profits to be made people trafficking and prostitution in Lottie Parker’s Irish City.
A basic plot has a few side issues and these wrap around the whole investigation to make for a complex case.
For me the writing is first class in terms of the craft needed to spin so many different plot lines which has the story originating in Kosovo at a time when Lottie’s dead husband served their in a peace keeping role.
The author hardly seems to waste a word as the story involves Parker’s own stress, her lack of time for her children, her confused emotions for her partner in crime solving, Boyd. Matters are more confused when his separated wife returns, a friend of her daughter’s goes missing and her late husband’s army record is impugned.
It is also the realities of teenage life that are well tackled that make this a compelling series.
I love the characters. I enjoy the layers used in setting out and telling a story.
Again hard subjects are laid bare but you feel safe in this author’s capable hands.
Profile Image for Meggy Chocolate'n'Waffles.
524 reviews98 followers
July 29, 2017

Nothing could have prepared me for The Stolen Girls. I knew the book was the second in a series, but I felt adventurous enough to jump in anyway and go against my own rule about reading books in order. I am both happy and devastated I took that decision!

The opening sets the tone. I was strangely fascinated and repulsed by the story I was being told. A land far away, a few years ago, and yet I could feel everything as if it were happening in front of my eyes. This is the first step of a harrowing jump into the past. Those alternate chapters sending you to 1999 are emotionally exhausting and yet gripping. I hated this narration with every fiber of my being, but I was pushed to read the next again and again by the amazing way the author made it an essential piece of the whole picture. I guessed half the reason behind this subplot about halfway into the book, but it never stopped the tension from ratcheting up. It only made me even more curious about how to make the information I was getting fit the puzzle of what was happening in the 2015 narration.

Because a lot is also happening in 2015! Crime and mysteries are my favorite genres with psychological thrillers, so I should have been more careful, but I guess the title mislead me to think it would be somehow more about disappearances than true crime. Oh boy. We are talking full bloody crimes here, decomposed bodies, gruesome kills, and enough details to make my stomach never want to see food again! Okay, I admit I am faint-hearted, I am squeamish, and “Yikes” is my favorite word, but this book will stay with me as one of the most macabre stories I have read! There is a lot going on in Ragmullin, so much you won't have time to get bored, but not too much so that you feel confused. I was amazed at how the author pulled all the strings of her story in perfect harmony, maintaining the suspense throughout the book, in order to offer her readers a hellish journey that escalated at such a pace I would have cut my finger turning the pages if I hadn't been reading on my Kindle!!!!

A town where no one saw anything, very few said anything and those who did never told the whole truth.

Curiously enough, I loved it!!

Adding to the weight of a grisly investigation, Detective Lottie Parker's private life was just as heavy and complicated! I dreaded meeting Lottie and not being able to connect due to the fact I had missed her previous book, but it was impossible not to imagine and warm to the situation of an overbooked single mother dealing with more than most parents would with their kids! Here and there, I picked up information, taking the Parker family picture, detecting the issues, the pain, the lies and the words unsaid. I felt my heart go out to Lottie's children, who had faced the worst and were left to cope with the aftermath. Not knowing exactly what had happened did not matter at all. Emotions washed over me as I watched a crumbling family fight and a mother do her best.

I loved Lottie. I think she might end up in my top ten favorite female characters! She is flawed, she makes mistakes, she throws herself into what she does. The family dynamic was so spot-on I could see Lottie's love for her children spring off from her body and mind without being able to reach them, which was heartbreaking and felt so genuine I was overwhelmed at times.

As a detective, our Lottie is quite a joker to have in one's team! I loved that she wasn't all perfect at her job, it made her feel more human and was completely in sync with the Lottie we can spy on once work is over. She is perfectly imperfect and it is absolutely fine by me!

She wasn't afraid of visible scars. It was the invisible ones she couldn't handle.

Secondary characters don't have to worry for their time to shine, as Patricia Gibney gives them enough room and depth for them to appear in front of you, to build this dark world The Stolen Girls is in the middle of, and help you get a hundred percent immersed. They all have a story and a personality. The dynamics between all characters change depending on who's in the room, just as in real life, making this story even more anchored in reality and adding a touch of creepiness when you think of the monsters under the bed!!!

Patricia Gibney's raw style and gripping chapters will let you in on all sides of the story, the past, the present, the scars, the whys, while the Parkers and the victims are drowning, and I was so frustrated I couldn't help talk to everyone!! I wanted to warn them, to slap their head, to shake them! The author is a master at pointing noses in the right direction while keeping you and her characters blind to what's in front of them. Sometimes, it doesn't take far to find the truth, and yet, we are unable to spot it!

The Stolen Girls is a masterpiece in which the author toys with her characters in a ruthless and addictive chase that left me wanting for more!!!

Get your copy of The Stolen Girls on Amazon UK or Amazon US!

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley. This unbiased review is my thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to participate in this blog tour.

Profile Image for Eva.
838 reviews427 followers
July 8, 2017
Hoo boy, can Patricia Gibney spin a tale! A few months ago, I was raving about The Missing Ones and it looks like I’ll be doing the same again.

The Stolen Girls is the second book in the Lottie Parker series and I’m already telling you now that no, you shouldn’t read this as a stand-alone. Lottie and her family are struggling with the devastating consequences of the case in the previous book and if you don’t know what happened there, you’re missing out on quite a bit.

A young woman and her son appear on Lottie’s doorstep, asking for help in finding a missing friend on the same day the body of a young woman is found during roadworks. Is it the same woman? Or someone else? Then the body of a second woman is found. How are these victims linked? And why is it always the same person who’s finding these bodies?

The opening chapter alone is like a kick to the stomach and from that moment on, I already knew this was going to be another corker of a book! Soon I found myself completely immersed in the dark underworld of human trafficking, prostitution and organ theft. Yes, you read that right.

This is Lottie’s first case back after the events from book one and she’s immediately thrown into the deep end. Her children are struggling too and are keeping secrets from her. Meanwhile Boyd’s not-yet-ex-wife Jackie makes a surprise return to town. What does she want? And can Boyd resist her?

Once again, Patricia Gibney comes up with an intricate and multi-layered plot that has its roots fixed firmly in the past. It’s dark, disturbing and heartbreaking. I really enjoy the balance between the case Lottie is working on and her private life. I care about these characters and what happens to them and it’s one of the things that will make me come back for more. I cannot wait for book three!
Profile Image for Joan.
3,735 reviews70 followers
March 14, 2020
I had some difficulty becoming engaged with this novel. It is the second in a series, the first of which I have not read. Quite a bit of the personal interaction between the detectives in the police force is a result of happenings in the first novel so I was a bit lost there. The novel takes place in Ireland but I felt the setting was not established well, perhaps again from missing the first novel.

I really had trouble liking the lead on the murder investigation, Detective Lottie Parker. She was not the strong kind of heroine I like. She did not relate well to her children and she was often rude and disrespectful to her co-workers. She is not the kind of lead character about which I would like to read more novels.

The investigation takes Detective Parker into dark areas of mankind I wish did not exist, like human trafficking and organ theft. The plot progression was steady but the unlikable character and dark subject matter made me think I'll not read more in this series.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
Profile Image for Pamela.
470 reviews77 followers
July 10, 2017
I wavered between 3.5 and 4 stars, but went with 4 because Ms. Gibney is very good at writing. I enjoyed meeting up with Lottie and the gang again, although, we didn't see much of anyone but Boyd. I was happy to get some more of his story.

The opening is very raw and heartbreaking, so be prepared! Once again, we find Lottie struggling with family, work and life, and not always with good results. I appreciate her flaws, but at the same time, would like to see some more stability with her - this is the second novel, so it's starting to feel a little old.

The story moves quickly and has a good helping of bad guys, but, Ms. Gibney does a great job of tying it all together for us. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next.

**Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley in exchange of an honest review.**
Profile Image for Nei_dienos_be_knygos.
135 reviews43 followers
February 15, 2023
Patricia Gibney "Pagrobtosios"

P. Gibney turbūt jau nebereikia pristatinėti, jos pirmoji knyga "Dingusieji" buvo tikra bomba ir begalo malonus atradimas. Tad su nekantrumu čiupau skaityti ir antrąją serijos knygą apie dektyvę Lotę Parker.

"Lotė nepažinojo jaunos moters, stovinčios ant jos durų slenksčio ir saujoje gniaužiančios mažo berniuko ranką. „Padėkite man, — kreipėsi ji į Lotę. — Prašau man padėti."

Pirmadienio rytą randamas jaunos nėščios moters kūnas. Tą pačią dieną moteris su sūnumi aplanko detektyvę Lotę Parker, maldaudama padėti rasti dingusią jos draugę.

Ar gali būti, kad tai ta pati mergina?"

Tai tikrai veiksmo ir įtampos nestokojantis trileris, kuriame kaip ir pirmoje knygoje, taip ir dabar, gvildenama sudėtinga ir jautri tema. Knygos pradžia kažkodėl skaitėsi šį kartą sunkokai, bet ilgai nelaukus buvau visiškai įtraukta į šią istoriją. Narpliojami ne tik sudėtingi nužudymai, tačiau ir Lotės šeimos gyvenimas. Sakyčiau autorė bando aprėpti bei gvildenti ne vieną sudėtingą temą, bet galbūt ne visai įtikinamai jas išnagrinėja,tad kartais norėjosi, kad gal būtų mažiau, bet įtikinamiau. Tačiau nepaisant šio mažo pastebėjimo, tai buvo labai gerai "susukta" istorija ir su pasimėgavimu jai atsidaviau. Labai nekantrauju perskaityti sekančias serijos dalis 👌
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