Review of The Girl from Silent Lake (Detective Kay Sharp #1)
Blurb: Her daughter, with emerald eyes and the sweetest smile, is everything to her. Her whole world. “Mommy,” the little girl says, touching her mother’s face with trembling fingers before she’s torn away. “Don’t cry.” Will she ever see her again?
When single mother Alison Nolan sets off with her six-year-old daughter, Hazel, she can’t wait to spend precious time with her girl. A vacation in Silent Lake, where snow-topped mountains are surrounded by the colors of fall, is just what they need. But hours later, Alison and Hazel vanish into thin air.
Detective Kay Sharp rushes to the scene. The only evidence that they were ever there is an abandoned rental car with a suitcase in the back, gummy bears in the open glove compartment and a teddy bear on the floor.
Kay’s mind spins. A week before, the body of another woman from out of town was found wrapped in a blanket, her hair braided and tied with feathers. Instinct tells her that the cases are connected––and it won’t be long until more innocent lives are lost.
As Kay leads a frenzied search, time is against her, but she vows that Alison and little Hazel will be found alive. She works around the clock, even though the small town is up in arms, saying she’s asking too many questions. Then she uncovers a vital clue – a photograph of the blanket that the first victim was buried in.
Just when Kay thinks she’s found the missing piece, she realises she’s being watched. Is she getting too close, or is her own past catching up with her?
With a little girl’s life on the line, Kay will stop at nothing. But will it be enough to get inside the mind of the most twisted killer she has ever encountered, or will another blameless child be taken?
Review: When Kay Sharp's brother is sent to prison for an over-trumped charged, she leaves her job as an FBI profiler and returns home to be near him. He's all she has left in the world, but returning home to the town she promised never to go back to brings back nightmarish memories. To take her mind off these memories, Kay focuses on a murder case in the area and ends up helping handsome detective Elliot Young. Kay pieces together a profile on the killer and it leads down dark memories. Can they find the killer before Kay becomes the next victim?
This is the first book in the crime thriller series, Detective Kay Sharp. I really like Kay's character. She's smart, compassionate, and uses reason even when her emotions are running wild. She's far from perfect, but I appreciate when a protagonist in these types of books can get out of a situation with intelligence and courage rather than luck. The tension between Kay and Elliot was fun. Both of them did their best to remain professional. Though I did think Elliot's sudden fixation on her was creepy. I'd guessed who the killer was early on, but it was still an exciting journey. I liked the unusual signature of the serial killer as I've not read anything like it. There needs to be a trigger warning for this book. There is child and mother abduction and torture.
Speaking of content warnings, I recently typed up my first one for my upcoming release this fall. While I write a lot of dark fiction, this story does involve suicide and grief. I didn't want any readers to be suddenly struck by it. It makes me wonder if I should go back through all my stories and see if I feel they might need content warnings. How do you feel about content/trigger warnings at the beginnings of books?