Taken Girls | Carolyn Arnold

#detectiveamandasteele #womensleuths #policeprocedurals #carolynarnold

Music from the busy dance floor echoes into the deserted room where the Prom Queen lies deadly still. A tiara rests on her soft blonde curls, but her face is frozen with fear, and her painted red lips are forever sealed shut in a silenced scream…

When Detective Amanda Steele’s niece, Ava, begs her to look for a missing schoolfriend, she immediately agrees to take on the case. Eighteen-year-old Reece left home three nights ago after fighting with her mother and hasn’t been seen since. But when the teenager’s body is discovered brutally murdered, poised dramatically at the prom venue, Amanda is devastated she didn’t save the girl in time.

Haunted by the scene, Amanda dives headfirst into the case. Chasing every lead, she is horrified when she discovers a potential key witness strangled in her own home. It soon becomes clear that the killer will stop at nothing to silence anyone who might reveal their identity. So when Ava mentions she saw someone acting strangely at the prom venue that night, Amanda’s heart stops.

And when Amanda’s worst nightmare comes true, and her beloved niece is taken, she knows that every second counts to uncover this twisted killer’s identity and bring Ava home safely. But can she crack the secrets of this killer’s deadly game before it’s too late?

A completely pulse-pounding and unputdownable crime thriller, perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Robert Dugoni and Rachel Caine.

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My Thoughts:

Amanda Steele may not have started off as one of my favorite characters, but Carolyn Arnold has created a phenomenal character arc and developed her into a woman I can’t stop reading about! Her life is settling down into a sense of normalcy when another case sneaks in and puts a death grip on the entire Steele family!

I love how Amanda is settling into being a mother to Zoe. Even with her demanding job, she makes time for the sweet girl and now that Logan is a more frequent part of their lives, he is stepping up to the plate as well. As much as I wanted to see Amanda and Trent transition into more than work partners, her and Logan are a surprise puzzle piece that fit together quite nicely. Zoe is beginning to spread her wings a bit and because Amanda’s time with Lindsey was cut short, this is all new territory. This is where I really see her character’s transition shine!

Amanda’s niece, Ava, is following in the footsteps of her grandfather and aunt, much to her mother’s dismay. She has a nose for crime and the Steele brains that help guide her through the clues. My heart was non-stop pounding through the scenes of the young girls being taken. The possibilities of suspects were sprinkled throughout with hints of their involvement, but the twist is, by far, one of the best Carolyn Arnold has ever been able to spin on me.

I have been reading Arnold’s books for a while now, but this one took my number one spot as a favorite. Absolutely a visceral read that sticks to your bones!

I received an ARC to read. All opinions are my own.

About the Author:

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has several continuing fiction series and has many published books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from police procedurals, hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures. Her crime fiction series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining. This led to her adopting the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives near London, Ontario, Canada with her husband and two beagles.

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