Today it is my great pleasure to join the tour for Little Girls Sleeping by Jennifer Chase, first in a brand new series featuring Californian Police officer Katie Scott. My thanks to Kim Nash of Bookouture for including me in the tour and to the publisher for the advance copy for review. Here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
He looked down at the little girl, sleeping peacefully, her arms wrapped around a teddy bear. He knew he was the only one who could save her. He could let her sleep forever.Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Google Play| Apple Books
An eight-year-old girl, Chelsea Compton, is missing in Pine Valley, California and for Detective Katie Scott it’s a cruel reminder of the friend who disappeared from summer camp twenty years ago. Unable to shake the memories, Katie vows she won’t rest until she discovers what happened to Chelsea.
But as Katie starts to investigate, accompanied by her loyal ex-military dog, Cisco, the case reveals itself to be much bigger and more shocking than she feared. Hidden deep in the forest she unearths a makeshift cemetery: a row of graves, each with a brightly coloured teddy bear.
Katie links the graves to a stack of missing-persons cases involving young girls—finding a pattern no one else has managed to see. Someone in Pine Valley has been taking the town’s daughters for years, and Katie is the only one who can stop them.
And then another little girl goes missing, snatched from the park near her home.
Katie’s still haunted by the friend she failed to protect, and she’ll do anything to stop the killer striking again—but can she find the little girl before it’s too late?
Compulsive and gripping crime fiction for fans of Lisa Regan, Rachel Caine and Melinda Leigh. Katie Scott’s first case will have you on the edge of your seat and gasping with shock.
Well, I do like to read a good police thriller and am always on the look out for a good series to follow and Little Girls Sleeping, the first book in the Katie Scott series by Jennifer Chase, makes a very promising start.
In the book we are introduced to Katie Scott, former Sacramento Police officer and, more recently, soldier. She has just returned from duty in Afghanistan and is about to restart her life in her former home town of Pine Valley. Suffering from anxiety and post traumatic stress, she takes a job working in the admin department of the Sheriff’s office to tide her over, alongside her Uncle Wayne, the Town’s Sheriff. Whilst there she comes across a file for a cold case – that of Chelsea Compton, a young girl who vanished on her way home some four years earlier. Drawn to the case on a personal level, Katie decides to do a little digging of her own, determined to find out what happened to Chelsea, and setting in motion a series of events which could prove deadly.
I really enjoyed this book and getting to know Katie. She is a strong and determined young woman, but not infallible, succumbing on occasion to bouts of anxiety which are almost paralysing. She is also stubborn and perhaps a little too independent, which sees her at risk quite often. I did love the way in which her partnership with Deputy McGaven developed, from being something strained and forced due to circumstance, to a proper trusting friendship. And despite some initial opposition to her appointment as a Detective, Katie soon wins a lot of people over with her tenacity as I am sure she will readers too.
The story is quite compelling with scenes shown from the perspective of the killer as well as following the investigation. You don’t quite know who it is, and there are a few suspects thrown at you to keep you guessing throughout. Their motives are … well, in the killers mind quite virtuous, but in truth quite chilling, and using both the killers perspective and the police investigation to bring out the truth is quite effective. You do get a sense of menace threaded throughout the book, sometimes subtle, sometimes quite blatant, but all adding to the suspense.
There is a lot of forensic detail in this book, all of which is drawn from the author’s own interest and experience and it works well. I think that, forensically speaking of course, Forensic Supervisor Blackburn will pique readers interests as he is quite an enigmatic character, if a man of very few words. There is a clear chemistry between him and Katie, even if things are a little complicated due to the reappearance of a former love in her life too, firefighter in waiting, Chad. I can’t help feeling this is an interesting love triangle in the making here and I’m intrigued to see which way it plays out.
The sense of place you get from the book is great and the author really put me at the heart of the action. I could feel the dense forest surrounding me, the paradoxically claustrophobic nature of the great outdoors, the trees enshrouding Katie as she strove to find out what happened to Chelsea. It added a layer of tension and suspense to the piece that worked really well.
For me the real star of this book though, the greatest heart throb and the one guaranteed to get readers all excited, is Cisco. He’s no ordinary fella. Excellent tracker, loyal to a fault, boundless energy and the most luxurious hair. I mean, who can possibly resist a German Shepherd? Loved him.
Full of twists and turns, some tense action and moments that will have you on the edge of your seat, if this is book one, I’m looking forward to seeing what more is to come. A really enjoyable read.
About the Author
Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning and best-selling crime fiction author, as well as a consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent psychopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists, and member of the International Thriller Writers.
Jennifer Chase was born and raised in California and still lives there with her husband, dogs and cats. In addition to writing and consulting, Jennifer enjoys spending time outdoors, both at the beach and hiking, and engaging in some amateur photography.