Kensington | April 2017 | 320 pgs
Source: Library

I read Charlie Donlea's Summit Lake a while back and thought it was a good read but his latest, The Girl Who Was Taken, was even better.

In August 2016, Nicole Cutty and Megan McDonald disappeared from a beach party in their small town of Emerson Bay, North Carolina. Both are high school seniors and though they aren't the best of friends, each is popular with her own cliques of friends and while Megan is a good student with big dreams, Nicole is wild and an attention seeker who would do anything for the sake of fun and rebellion. Two weeks later, Megan miraculously escapes from a secluded bunker which kept her hidden from the world but not Nicole who remains missing.

A year later Megan shot to fame through her book about her harrowing escape and how her survival becomes an inspiring story to many. Nicole's older sister, Livia, still feels regret for not answering Nicole's call on that fateful night and as a fellow in forensic pathology now, she is hoping that one day soon Nicole's body and answers will be found through evidence of forensic science and a closure for good. What Livia didn't expect is a young man's body lying on her exam table and he is the first clue to Nicole's disappearance since Nicole was acquainted with him before tragedy strikes. Casey's death isn't a suicide as speculated by the police and the more Livia finds out through her job she finally came to a conclusion that Casey was murdered but what happened to Nicole? Driven by this new discovery and that urge of finding the truth surrounding Nicole's disappearance, Livia approaches Megan and hoping that she would help her out in giving her a more specific account of what really happened that night and if their cases are connected to a few other missing girls as well.

The Girl Who Was Taken wowed me in many ways. For starters, it was a fast-paced and a very suspenseful read. I was sucked into the story quickly and while I was intrigued by Nicole as a person as well as her disappearance, I was also drawn to Livia as a fellow in forensic pathology and the challenges she has to face on job as well as her wish in finding her younger sister. The author has done a great job in detailing Livia's profession and while I was fascinated by all the works and challenges, I was also aware that it isn't a job for everyone as it requires both courage and meticulousness (and not to mention a strong stomach) as well. Overall it was a compelling psychological thriller mixed with a dose of forensic science and I can't wait to find out what is in store in Charlie Donlea's next book. 

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8 Responses
  1. Lark Says:

    I liked this one, too. In fact, I'd love to read another book with Livia as the main character. :)

  2. Melody Says:

    Lark - Yes, I'd love to read Livia's story! I hope the author will do so in the near future. :)

  3. Jenny Says:

    Sounds like a great read. I love when an author wows you again and again.

  4. Melody Says:

    Jenny - I totally enjoyed reading this one; so intense!

  5. jenclair Says:

    I abandoned Summit Lake, but I enjoyed this one. Livia was an intriguing character and the story was compelling. It sounded like Donlea might develop featuring Dr. Livia Cutty--and I'll be in if he does. :)

  6. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Yes, Livia was an intriguing character, wasn't she? I really hope there'll be a series featuring her for his upcoming books. :)

  7. I am glad you liked this one so much, Melody! I haven't read this author before, but I would really like to give this one a try.

  8. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I hope you'll give his books a try one day. I'd recommend this one to start with, though. :)

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