The Forgotten Girls
(Stevens & Windermere #6)
By Owen Laukkanen
Audio Book Publisher: Recorded Books
Unabridged: 9 HR 45 Min
Genre: Crime Thriller/Mystery
They are the victims no one has ever cared about, until now. Agents Stevens and Windermere return in this new crime novel.
She was a forgotten girl, a runaway found murdered on the High Line train through the northern Rocky Mountains and, with little local interest, put into a dead file. But she was not alone. When Kirk Stevens and Carla Windermere of the joint FBI-BCA violent crime force stumble upon the case, they discover a horror far greater than anyone expected—a string of murders on the High Line, all of them young women drifters whom no one would notice.
But someone has noticed now. Through the bleak midwinter and a frontier land of forbidding geography, Stevens and Windermere follow a frustratingly light trail of clues—and where it ends, even they will be shocked.
First of all, I want to admit that this was my first encounter with the Stevens & Windermere series, and it worked beautifully as a standalone. I enjoyed the detectives, even though I know it is probably more beneficial to follow them from book one. I am sure that an even stronger connection can be established.
Sixth in the series, The Forgotten Girls takes us on a journey to uncover a killer who is targeting young female drifters. When Kirk Stephens and Carla Windermere find themselves at the center of a murder investigation involving a young woman who was train-hopping in a last-ditch effort to return home, they uncover a larger set of crimes. A killer is claiming victims that have tragically flown under the radar. While working hard on a trail of vague clues, another young girl Mila, is also hunting down the unknown assailant. But her intentions are to avenge her friend, lost at the killer’s hands. As their paths come to an ultimate crossing point, will they find the answers they seek in time?
“You don’t ever surf trains on the high line.”
As with any mystery, dissecting the plot can is almost impossible. After all, the big pay off is that key revelation. And I have no intentions of spoiling it. But this one did work beautifully for me with only the minimal hiccups.
- Clear and precise navigation carried the story with incredible ease. The alternating POVs were an enhancement, in this case, adding a welcomed addition of depth. The author writes with an air of intelligence that speaks of research done and even feels familiar of real-life cases.
- An original plot tackles relevant issues surrounding the dangers many transients face ranging from harsh environments to the more unseen, those who prey on isolated victims. It offers insight into a life many have little understanding of.
- A fascinating approach to police procedure supplies the reader a refreshing and realistic glimpse into the struggles and challenges of tackling a difficult case and relying on a partner.
- The atmospheric writing easily immerses the reader into the heart of the story.
- A wonderful audio narrative from
Those small hiccups..
- This was an initially uphill start that required a few chapters to really engage me. The connection with Stevens and Windermere took longer to establish than I would have liked. However, once it happened, I really enjoyed it.
- The ending, while complete, felt excessively emotional and a touch overdone. But I am sure many will find gratification in it.
The end result was a worthwhile read that fostered a desire to explore this series further. Fans of crime fiction will likely find an appreciation for Laukkanen’s sophisticated and intricate style of writing that delivers a well-balanced plot and mystery.
*I would like to thank the publisher and Audiobook Jukebox for this copy. The above review is my own, unbiased and honest opinion.
Serves well with a nice cup of hot black tea (I favor Earl Grey) and a hint of warm milk to carry you through the descriptively cold world building.
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