When a call comes in about a young girl found dead at a high school prom—her life drained away from a fatal stab wound—Detective Josie Quinn drops everything to attend the scene. Taking in the girl’s neatly braided hair, Josie feels a flicker of recognition. But no one comes forward to identify this innocent child, murdered on what should have been the happiest night of her life.
Trawling missing persons files, Josie realizes where she has seen the girl before. Gemma Farmer disappeared a few months ago, shattering her family. But why would her body appear now, on her sixteenth birthday? Josie’s only clue is the five neat little cuts on Gemma’s pale arm. Days later, another missing girl shows up, tucked neatly into her bed on the morning of her birthday, her favourite teddy beside her, her skin as cold as ice—and the autopsy reveals scars on her arm matching Gemma’s.
Her head spinning, Josie fears the marks are a serial killer’s twisted way of counting his victims. But where are the other girls he’s killed, and how many more could follow? The case takes a terrifying turn when a local teen goes missing just days before she turns sixteen.
Clock ticking, Josie turns the town upside down in search of answers. But when her own chief comes forward with a missing piece in this devastating puzzle spanning decades, will it be enough to get inside the mind of the most unexpected and elusive killer she has ever encountered, or will another precious life be taken?
I almost can’t believe that we are already at book 14 of the Josie Quinn series. Each time a new book comes out I find myself devouring the book in less than a day, discarding all the unread books on my shelf.
It still amazes me that I am as infatuated with the series now as I was with the first book. This series keeps on giving.
In this book we get to see the Chief at the forefront. I actually wasn’t expecting him to be featured and almost felt shock when I realised, we’d never heard his story. He’s been a character in the series for so long that I assumed I knew everything about him – I did not.
The past intertwines with the present in this book with Chief’s past coming to a raging head with the present case. It was craftily written because it kept me guessing from page one and presented many options for me to sink my teeth into and theorise against.
With book 13 being centered on Amber, we didn’t see much of her in this book, though she was present. What I found interesting was the attitude of Mettner, who seemed to have forgotten all his training and become a whiny detective who only saw what was in front of him. To be honest, this could just be me, but it startled me so much that it became something I couldn’t overlook as I read.
In some ways, this book was more sedate for Josie Quinn, which was a blessing. Regan has a very artful way of showing Josie through all her ups and downs but in also realising that not every story need to be an “in your face adrenaline serial killer”. I think also that this book moved a little slower as there was lots to investigate and that allowed the reader to absorb what was being learned from Chief and it allowed the character of Josie to catch a break within the case she was working.
There are many themes that overlap in this book to create a mystery that needs to be unravelled. The killings happening aren’t so cut and dry and there is a lot of psychology behind what is happening. When it came to the final reveal – I had figured half of it out but only moments before the reveal came. It was somehow more difficult to process because it wasn’t a clean reveal. I won’t explain more than that, but it will definitely make you think a lot.
It was fascinating learning about Chief and in doing so I realised how little I knew about him as a character. It was good to see who he was behind the stern exterior we see so often. I think Josie also healed a lot more in this book. She still grieves Lisette, but it isn’t as all consuming as it has been.
I think Josie has a lot to live for and I think she’s finally realised that. It will be very interesting to see what direction the series will now take as it continues.
I give this book: ✨✨✨✨✨