Chelsea Humphrey's Reviews > The Girl Who Was Taken

The Girl Who Was Taken by Charlie Donlea
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
47207032
's review

it was amazing
bookshelves: from-publisher
Recommended to Chelsea by: Charlie Donlea

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 here it is. While I was very impressed with his first book, this was fantastic! The amount of growth the author has shown between Summit Lake and The Girl Who Was Taken is outstanding, which is what you want as a writer AND a reader. While the pacing and flow had a similar feel to Summit Lake, this new book was so remarkably different I felt like I was picking up something completely new and fresh, as opposed to another carbon copy story with names and settings changed.

"A life might end, but sometimes their case lives forever."
-Gerald Colt, MD

I have a lot to say about this one, but I'll try to hold back from any dead giveaways or spoilers. *Insert typical Chelsea observation of stunningly gorgeous cover in her favorite hues of blue* I love how this story was broken up; we have a jumping timeline between past and present, but it wasn't difficult to follow at any point. Our main plot line is present day, which is after the abduction of Nicole and Megan/Megan's escape told mostly through Nicole's older sister Livia's life; the past is slowly filling us in on the events leading up to the abduction, mainly through what Nicole experienced. This is a shorter read, as there are lots of brief chapters and "parts" to break up the process and keep you on your toes. For the first half of the book it's more of a slow burner; this is where I felt that procedural style of writing was portrayed, although it isn't from the police's POV, but a medical examiner's. This brought a completely unique set of eyes to the table, as I've never read a book from that view before, and I really enjoyed it. I've always felt, while reading crime fiction and police procedurals, that I would enjoy seeing more of what is entailed in the examiner's job past just the brief glimpse of an autopsy that is usually included. This gave us that view and so much more. The flashbacks, being told from Nicole's POV gave us more of a YA approach, but not in a ditzy, clumsy way. I can't explain how, but this book gave me a feeling that defied genre barriers; it had all the elements of a suspenseful mystery, but with its bold casting of a different kind of procedure and a widely varied cast, it felt different than anything I've picked up yet.

"I know who took me."
-Megan McDonald

Once I hit that point, my pulse was racing and I had to know if my detective work had paid off in a solid solving of the case. NEWS FLASH-it hadn't. There are plenty of bread crumbs left to point you in the direction of red herrings; I think I underestimated this one because there are a few "easy solves" laid out in front of you to keep you thinking you know how this story will go. I took the bait and fell for it, hook, line, and sinker. I did notice upon finishing the book, however, that there were plenty of clues that were visably laid out that I chose to ignore. If you pay close enough attention, you may pick up on them and solve this one. If not, enjoy the exciting twist and buckle up baby. I also really appreciated that not everything was tied up so neatly in the end; things were left a little raw which gave a better sense of realism in how a similar situation might be played out. Overall, this was a fabulous mystery; it isn't one to be rushed through, but savored, as it has some really rich elements that layer upon each other to create a multi-dimensional story.

I would highly recommend this to fans of Summit Lake, but also to mystery and suspense fans in general who like a good whodunnit. Again, this was not a thriller with break neck pacing to be devoured, but a steady, intriguing mystery with many clues placed along the way if the reader pays close enough attention. I was so incredibly pleased with this novel and I can't wait to find out where the author chooses to take us next! *Maybe we'll get lucky with another blue cover?*

*Many thanks to the author and publisher for sending me an early copy; it was a pleasure to provide my honest thoughts here on the blog!
251 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Girl Who Was Taken.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

December 13, 2016 – Shelved
April 6, 2017 – Started Reading
April 7, 2017 –
page 98
28.82% "I'm really digging the blended genre feel of this one... It's got all the elements of a traditional crime fiction, but it has a nice balance of dark and light while including some wisps of young adult with the teens POV. So far very good."
April 9, 2017 –
page 201
59.12% "The twists! The turns! EGAD!"
April 10, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-45 of 45 (45 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Nicki Thanks for the heads up Chelsea,I have been wanting to read this one,request sent,fingers crossed time again


Chelsea Humphrey Yay! GL Nicki!


Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* Have also sent a request. I enjoyed his previous book. *:D


Chelsea Humphrey Yay Sandy! So excited to hear it!


message 5: by Erin (new) - added it

Erin Clemence Chelsea, I applied to win this as GR giveaway and on NG so let's see if I have any luck!


Chelsea Humphrey Yay Erin! Fingers crossed!


Nicki Chelsea wrote: "Yay! GL Nicki!"

Wooohoo,just been approved,i know what i will be reading next :-)


Chelsea Humphrey Yay Nicki! So glad to hear it!


Adrian Dooley Looks good. Just requested. Fingers crossed.


Chelsea Humphrey Yay! I can say he has a really awesome sister! (Hehe, she's a guest reviewer on my blog)


Elizabeth I just picked it up from NetGalley, can't wait to read it


Chelsea Humphrey Yay! Hope you love it Liz!


Elizabeth Just finished it and loved it,


Chelsea Humphrey Yay! I'm hoping to start this in the coming week.


Elizabeth Chelsea wrote: "Yay! I'm hoping to start this in the coming week."
It's really good or at lest I think so.


Irina Humphrey I'm excited bout this one!! So far so good!


message 17: by Mike (new) - added it

Mike Excited about this one and I love that cover as well. Looking forward to your full review, Chelsea.


Chelsea Humphrey Thanks Mike! I think you'll really enjoy this one.


Irina Humphrey Sooooo good!


message 20: by Candace (new) - added it

Candace Great review, Chelsea! :)


Chelsea Humphrey Thanks Candace! XO :)


message 22: by Tina (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tina Woodbury Oh boy this looks good! That's another one for the TBR list :) Great Review Chelsea!!


Chelsea Humphrey Thank you so much Tina! I hope you enjoy!


Dash fan Great review. This is on my Netgalley to read list cant wait now :-)


Chelsea Humphrey I think you'll love it DF!


message 26: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah Joint Loved this one too!


Chelsea Humphrey Oh I'm so glad Sarah!


Carol Irvin Just started this book and so far so good!!


Chelsea Humphrey Enjoy Carol!!!


Joanna I fell for a few of the red herrings and I had no idea the twist it was going to take! Good mystery for sure.


Chelsea Humphrey Joanna wrote: "I fell for a few of the red herrings and I had no idea the twist it was going to take! Good mystery for sure."

Ah so glad you enjoyed it Joanna!


message 32: by Kevin (new) - added it

Kevin Looking forward to this one! Excellent review Chelsea!


Chelsea Humphrey Thanks Kevin!


Christine Agree, agree, agree, and agree!


Chelsea Humphrey Thanks Christine!


message 36: by Holly (new)

Holly  B (semi-hiatus until Jan) Very Nice Review Chelsea!


Chelsea Humphrey Holly wrote: "Very Nice Review Chelsea!"

Thanks Holly!


Janelle Chelsea, if you like the medical examiner parts of this book, you should try Kathy Reichs, Elly Griffiths or early Patricia Cornwell. They are truly fascinating in regards to forensics. Only 115 into this one but intrigued.


Chelsea Humphrey Janelle wrote: "Chelsea, if you like the medical examiner parts of this book, you should try Kathy Reichs, Elly Griffiths or early Patricia Cornwell. They are truly fascinating in regards to forensics. Only 115 in..."

Thank you Janelle!


Jessie Ploscowe Read this book because of your review and absolutely loved it!!! Do you recommend any others written in a similar style? I really enjoy the third person narrator and multiple POVs


Chelsea Humphrey Jessie wrote: "Read this book because of your review and absolutely loved it!!! Do you recommend any others written in a similar style? I really enjoy the third person narrator and multiple POVs"

Oh I'm so happy to hear that! Let me think on it and I'll get back to you for sure. 👍🏼


message 42: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Jordan I just finished this one! This is the first book l've read in a long time with a medical examiner front and centre. l thoroughly enjoyed the mish-mashed narratives and timelines. Great review :)


Chelsea Humphrey Lisa wrote: "I just finished this one! This is the first book l've read in a long time with a medical examiner front and centre. l thoroughly enjoyed the mish-mashed narratives and timelines. Great review :)"

Thanks Lisa; I'm so glad you enjoyed it too! 🤗😍


Margitte Great review, Chelsea. I really love this author's writing style.


Chelsea Humphrey Thanks Margitte!


back to top