Today I am delighted to be one of the two blogs rounding off the tour for The Stolen Girls by Patricia Gibney. The book is number two in the Lottie Parker series and a dark and twisted tale to boot. I’m loving this series but you can find out just how much in just a moment. First up, here’s the all important book bits.
The Official Book Blurb
The young woman standing on Lottie’s step was a stranger. She was clutching the hand of a young boy. ‘Help me,’ she said to Lottie. ‘Please help me.’
One Monday morning, the body of a young pregnant woman is found. The same day, a mother and her son visit the house of Detective Lottie Parker, begging for help to find a lost friend.
Could this be the same girl?
When a second victim is discovered by the same man, with the murder bearing all the same hallmarks as the first, Lottie needs to work fast to discover how else the two were linked. Then two more girls go missing.
Detective Lottie Parker is a woman on the edge, haunted by her tragic past and struggling to keep her family together through difficult times. Can she fight her own demons and catch the killer before he claims another victim?
The Stolen Girls is a gripping and page-turning thriller that will leave you breathless. Perfect for fans of Rachel Abbott, Karin Slaughter and Robert Dugoni.
From the very dark and gruesome opening chapter to the shocking and high tension close, this book had me one hundred percent hooked. If you are looking for cosy crime, look away, as what happens in the prologue is enough to make you grimace. Although not gratuitous in any way, enough is implied to make the reader feel uncomfortable and yet not so much that it pushes you out of the novel. It is heartbreaking, sickening even, but the message is clear. What you are reading is just one of the many atrocities of war.
Now you’re probably wondering what the idea of war has to do with Detective Inspector Lottie Parker and her team in Ragmullin. Last time of checking Ireland were not at war with anyone and that is absolutely true here too. But I’m not going to spoil the story by telling you why this scene is important. You need to read that for yourselves. The prologue may see us in Kosovo in 1999, but the bulk of the action takes place in Ireland in the present day – most definitely not at war and yet the conditions and story are perhaps no less harrowing. When Lottie and her DS Mark Boyd are called to the a gruesome crime scene, they cannot begin to understand the nature of the case they are faced with or how personal it is set to become to one of them. To complicate matters, Lottie, who has only just returned to work, is distracted by her highly dysfunctional family who are still struggling to recover from the impact of her last case.
I really like the character of Lottie Parker. She is a single mother, still struggling following the death of her husband some years before, and trying hard to raise three children who seem unable or unwilling to communicate with her. Lottie is not without her faults and she turns to unsavoury methods in order to help her cope. Her son is traumatised, her eldest daughter heartbroken and her middle child uncharacteristically sullen. Her relationship with her mother is strained and with a ‘not quite’ romantic relationship with her DS, it is no wonder that Lottie is struggling. And yet she is so very human, so very real, that you can’t help but be invested in her and root for her to succeed. I love the way that Patricia Gibney has built the pairing with Boyd, his own personal life no less complicated than Lottie’s, complications which look set to impact upon their current case.
The Stolen Girls is a very timely novel dipping into key issues of today’s society. From the plight of refugees to the concept of human trafficking, there are no shocks spared by the author in this book. You get an idea very early on as to one of the main threads in the story, and the clear implications of a discovery that is made during the post mortem. But nothing can prepare you for how far this thread will run or how deep the secrets are buried. Certainly far deeper than the poor girls who are being found all over Ragmullin. What you do get is a highly engrossing and very emotive story, tension which will keep you on the edge of your seat and not just chewing, but chomping, at those finger nails and a brilliant chemistry between Lottie and Boyd which you can’t help but hope will finally lead somewhere.
I know one thing though. Lottie Parker deserves a break. A long and relaxing one. But with the recent announcement that book three, The Lost Child, is due for release in October, it doesn’t seem much like she’s going to get one. And you know what? I can’t wait. You can preorder a copy of the book here.
My thanks to publishers Bookouture and Netgalley for the advance copy of The Stolen Girls for review, and to Kim Nash for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. The Stolen Girls is available now from the following retailers.
About the author
Patricia yearned to be a writer after reading Enid Blyton and Carolyn Keene and even wanted to be Nancy Drew when grew up. She has now grown up (she thinks) but the closest she’s come to Nancy Drew is writing crime!
In 2009, after her husband died, she retired from my job and started writing seriously. Fascinated by people and their quirky characteristics, she always carries a notebook to scribble down observations.
Patricia also loves to paint in watercolour and live in the Irish midlands with her children.
If you haven’t yet then why not go and take a look at some of the other fabulous blogs that have taken part in the tour.