What do you think?
Rate this book
465 pages, Kindle Edition
First published July 6, 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!!!
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.