I’m on a roll! Thanks to Bookouture, I have spent a wild afternoon reading a story that made me shiver and introduced me to a new favorite detective! I received a copy of this book. This unbiased review is my thank you to the author and her lovely publisher!
Title: Vanishing Girls
Author: Lisa Regan
Date of publication: 17 January 2018
Number of pages: 334
“Please,” she whispered, rocking back and forth. “I want to go home.”
When Isabelle Coleman, a blonde, beautiful young girl goes missing, everyone from the small town of Denton joins the search. They can find no trace of the town’s darling, but Detective Josie Quinn finds another girl they didn’t even know was missing.
Mute and unresponsive, it’s clear this mysterious girl has been damaged beyond repair. All Josie can get from her is the name of a third girl and a flash of a neon tongue piercing that matches Isabelle’s.
The race is on to find Isabelle alive, and Josie fears there may be other girls in terrible danger. When the trail leads her to a cold case labelled a hoax by authorities, Josie begins to wonder is there anyone left she can trust?
Someone in this close-knit town is committing unspeakable crimes. Can Josie catch the killer before another victim loses their life?
Utterly gripping crime for readers who adored Angela Marsons, Helen Fields and Robert Dugoni. You will be sleeping with the lights on once you discover the first in this unputdownable new crime thriller series.
Girls are not the only thing vanishing when you open Lisa Regan’s book. Time ceases to matter, dogs get neglected, thirst is forgotten, hunger is a vague memory. Your condition as a human being disappears. Only the reader is left. A reader with awfully gripping chapters at the tip of their finger.
Don’t let the title mislead you. This book isn’t about your usual missing girls. You thought those were scary and right out of a nightmare? Haha, how innocent are you! Vanishing Girls takes the tragic, heart-stopping, unbearable and cold event of girls going missing and turns it into a tragically realistic and gruesome story around one of the most fascinating female police offer I’ve met since Angela Marsons’ Kim Stone.
I took a liking in Josie Quinn, our main character, very quickly. Her stubbornness and her bossy way reminded me of myself when I’m in work-mode (poor coworkers!) and her frustration about being left out of the pending missing girl case was palpable, it was too real not to feel genuine. Being suspended is difficult enough, but when things happen and you get caught in the middle, knowing you could actually help your coworkers, this is pure torture!
For the second time in the last five minutes, she felt like a stranger in her own world.
Having Josie stuck on the side, a cop with handcuffs, having to rely on herself, her connections, and her brain instead of being on the field, with a team and a complete access to the investigation was a great idea, but it would only have made an okay story hadn’t the writing been so personal, so spot-on and captivating. The combination of a lonely cop and a detailed, clever writing that doesn’t let anything to chance makes Vanishing Girls a story you devour faster than a baba au rhum! I was on Josie’s side, and Lisa Regan made sure it felt a lot like us against the world!
There are so many things I need to praise in this story that I don’t know where to begin. Hints are everywhere, but you need the right light to see them. A bigger picture is set for you and a chess game starts, with you wondering who are the other players. I was going to mention an OMG moment, but the book itself is an “OMG what the hell?!?” thing! The intricate but so plausible web the author weaved around Denton made me queasy and naively hope this would stay locked in the pages of the book and not happen in real life!
So, the OMG award is given to Vanishing Girls for maintaining a high writing quality throughout the entire book, a strong array of secondary characters, emotional moments that can’t leave you stone cold, and one of the most wicked plot I have ever read which makes me want to suspect everyone and move on the moon on my own!!!!
Love, loss, holes left by people who have been and gone, darkness, emptiness, hope, strength, guts, blood. You want it, you have it.
Another thing that makes Vanishing Girls special is the way the case envelops and smothers Josie in a professional and personal way. No part of her life is left untouched and it makes things personal for the reader too, making it even easier to fall for Josie Quinn. The barrier between the woman and the detective is blurred, forgotten even, as you go deeper into the investigation, deeper into the darkest places on Earth.
Lisa Regan offers a stunning characterization that makes you build an opinion on every protagonist you meet. You are bound to feel something, no matter which feeling it is, and your emotions evolve with the story, like a roller coaster, just as in real life. Actions and reactions, feelings on the spot, emotions after a good night of sleep, you get the difference, you get the burn of words spoken too fast, or sentences left unsaid. There is a weight to every relationship Josie has which brings a layer of authenticity to the book and takes Vanishing Girls on the highest rank of my book list.
Vanishing Girls is a hell of a book, a true crime story focusing on the right spots to make you beg for more! My first new favorite series of the year!