When a woman disappears from Forest Pines campsite, Detective Morgan Brookes scrambles a search party. Sara Fletcher has never missed a lunch date with her best friend and when Morgan finds a large rip in Sara’s tent, she knows that something terrible must have happened. About to lose hope after hours combing through the acres of dense forest, the excited bark of a tracker dog leads Morgan to female remains, partially covered by leaves and dirt – but the bones don’t belong to Sara.
Morgan trawls through missing persons files until she finds three cold cases with chilling similarities – three other victims dating back twenty years who were taken from campsites while they slept, by a killer the police called the Travelling Man. The post-mortems indicate he kept them alive for 72 hours, meaning every second is crucial to find Sara alive.
Morgan’s team is terrified that this twisted murderer has returned. But Morgan also can’t ignore the fact that a merciless killer from her own past has recently escaped from prison… Could they be chasing the wrong man? If she’s correct, how deep will she have to dig to save Sara and other innocent women like her before time runs out for them all?
This was a chaotic adrenaline junkie read!
I had a very bad headache and was trying to make it to the end of the day, and reading this certainly helped me to achieve that. My hand has been very bad lately, so being able to read on Kindle versus holding an actual book has been very beneficial for me.
I read this straight off the back of finishing book 4 in the series and after reading this I honestly believe that had Morgan Brookes been a person in real life, she would definitely be dead by now. Some times the amount of drama a character endures is downright shocking.
If you didn’t think Morgan had been through it in the last four books then this one will surely change your mind. Within the first few chapters you have a missing person and a dead body. Further into the book you have three crimes being investigated at the same time. It’s a lot for a book and I think ordinarily this would be something to confuse the crap out of me, but within this book the chaos oddly works.
There is a look into part of Morgan’s past as well as a glimpse of her future. I think this book acts as a turning point of the series. Like the interval in a theatre show, I think that whatever book comes next will be sung on a different note.
As I said, the chaos was something I could handle and it actually made for a very intense read that I don’t think I was expecting. Morgan is a very determined character and someone who can’t blankly process the injustices of the world. It does make her a little reckless and has given her a slight hero complex but she has a good heart and she feels for every victim she comes across.
In my review for book 4, I did touch upon the blossoming ‘will they/won’t they’ between Ben and Morgan. THIS IS NOT A SPOILER ANSWER FOR THAT.
There was a lot of good dialogue between the two characters and more of an exploration into the feelings and emotions of the both of them. Yes, there is still room for improvement and growth but I think the two character are moving towards something that will fit nicely.
I am sure it was mentioned before and I just didn’t register the fact but I had always pictured Ben as being in his late 30s. Morgan is stated to be 23. This book notes Ben’s age as being late 40s. In real life, age gaps between people haven’t ever bothered me. But knowing this between Morgan and Ben, I don’t know, it sort of irked me somehow.
I think because it shattered the image I had in my head and somehow made some of their interactions feel off.
As with all crime books that are set in ‘small towns’, the amount of murder that goes on there is disturbing and wouldn’t make anyone want to live there. I think this style of crime works quite well in a book and not so much as a television programme (Midsummer Murders *cough, cough*). Although, I am knowledgeable enough to know that a more sedate pedestrian approach would be downright boring and the need for the adrenaline fuelled drama in a crime novel is needed.
As ever, there are some new characters introduced purely for plot benefits but as ever, Phifer has done the job well in creating a substantial backstory for the character and weaving them into the plot fully instead of leaving them on the outskirts.
On Kindle, the book is 305 pages long. It took me roughly 5 hours to read. It would have taken me less if I wasn’t battling the headache from hell (I actually ended up going to bed ridiculously early at 8:30!).
This fantabulous addition to the series gets: ✨✨✨✨✨