DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Livia Cutty is a medical resident training to become a medical examiner. About a year ago, her sister, Nicole, and her classmate, Megan, disappeared. Fortunately, Megan escaped her attacker and has managed to publish a best-selling, tell all book chronicling her journey. Unfortunately, Nicole still remains missing.
Through a series of clues found on bodies uncovered by various forensic technology and pathological processes, Livia begins to formulate a theory explaining her sister's disappearance. Enlisting the help of a few people along the way, she unravels one startling discovery after another. What happened to Nicole Cutty? Why was she never discovered? Is she still alive out there, desperately crying for help? It is these questions and more that push Livia to the edge of police detective work and modern day medicine in search to find answers, no matter how grave they might be. But as is the case with most mysteries, some questions are better left not asking, because the answers could be deadly.
I was first introduced to Charlie Donlea's work with his debut hit, Summit Lake, and before the first chapter had ended, I knew I had stumbled onto something good. After finishing that book, I couldn't stop talking about (and recommending) it. Family members read it and agreed: this guy is good. So when I saw he had a second book coming out, I jumped on it. And just as time repeats itself, I hadn't even made it out of the first chapter when I realized lightning had struck twice.
The book is fast-paced, full of twists and turns, and reads like a quintessential mystery novel. Donlea only gives the reader a few morsels making him/her continue to read and slowly peel back the layers of this novel showing that there is certainly more than meets the eye. Unlike many modern day murder mysteries, this book has such a rich and fulfilling ending leaving the reader satisfied that the author didn't rush to tie everything up. Donlea crafts a magnificent story here, taking his time for storylines to naturally unfold, and it shows that he truly is a master at his craft. There is no sophmore slump here as this book rivals his first.
One attribute for a great novel is how fast I read it. In the beginning, I read this novel slowly and carefully but as the pages started turning, my eyes and brain were devouring each page, rushing forward, having to know how it all ends. I never wanted to put this book down.
I foresee a long and illustrious career for Donlea. If the first two novels are any indication, we as the readers are certainly in for a long and wild ride. If you are looking for a fantastic novel that makes your heart beat faster, look no further.
I love to read and to discuss books. My preferred genre is sci-fi but I like to read mostly anything.