I am delighted to share my review today for the 2nd book in this series. Broken Girls by Joy Kluver is a fabulously addictive crime, thriller read. My thanks to the publisher Bookouture for my copy via NetGalley.
My review of the first book, Last Seen, can be found HERE
Brambles catch her dress, scratch her legs. She has no option but to go barefoot if she’s going to outrun her hunter. They’d been laughing a few minutes before, but things can change in the blink of an eye. Then he’s on her, and the world goes dark.
The woman is young, judging by the short red dress, and dark-haired. Any other signs of her identity have been erased during her long wait to be found, but it’s clear she has been strangled: this was a vicious and personal murder.
D.I. Bernadette Noel knows that every second counts if they are to catch this killer, but they have no leads – until the discovery that the dead woman’s rings match a stolen property report, and the rings’ owner mentions a missing Italian au pair.
Then a shocking discovery about their victim – and the news that another girl, also young and dark-haired, has been abducted – changes everything the team thought they knew about the case.
Piecing together witness statements, Bernie notices key similarities between the description of the person last seen with their murder victim, and someone the missing girl was messaging online. She is convinced they’re looking at the same perpetrator – and if that’s the case, Bernie’s job is no longer just to catch a killer: it’s to save a life.
With few options left, and time running out, she makes a desperate plan. She’ll risk everything on one shot to force their suspect’s hand and push him into making a mistake. But traps need bait – and if her plan fails, a third girl could die…
A gripping crime thriller with a nail-biting climax. If you like Angela Marsons, Susie Steiner or D.S. Butler, you’ll love Joy Kluver.
Purchase Link – AMAZON UK
I read the first book in this series a while ago, so when I saw the second book I was definitely interested. You could read this as a stand-alone, but you would miss some of the backstories between a couple of the characters. The character development is something that does continue across both books.
Bernie Noel is more than frustrated when she discovers that her boss, takes the lead on the case when a body is discovered in local woods. Worthy, or Worthless as he is named behind his back seems to want to take charge but doesn’t seem to have much oomph when another girl goes missing. Bernie knows her team, she knows their strengths and she also knows who to call for additional advice for this macabre case.
I do like Bernie, she is a worker, she really doesn’t stop thinking about the case, trying to piece clues and snippets together. She tries to join the dots as information is gathered. But, she is also being hampered, this adds to the frustration. She is a copper who knows the area, has a rapport with the residents and knows how to talk to them, unlike some!
This is a brutal case as regards the condition of the body, a young woman whose body has been abandoned and left for several days out in the open… I don’t think I need to elaborate on what Bernie found! But, the author does go into a good amount of detail, it is enough to convince this reader that what the Detectives see was not pleasant at all.
The author does have a very good way with the pacing of this story, at times when the case looks like it may stall she finds a twist to add, another clue or piece of information. This may sound convenient, but it doesn’t come across like that in the story.
AS I said this book does continue on from the previous, and I like that we get to see more of certain characters, perceptions and opinions are challenged and more things are discovered. It’s a great way of building a bond between reader and character.
This is a gritty police procedural, a fabulously addictive crime thriller and one that I read over the course of late afternoon and evening. A one-sitting read because I could not put this one down. I would definitely recommend it.
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