What’s it about?
When a young mother is found drowned in the bath, clutching a receipt saying ‘all debts paid’, Detective Robyn Carter knows it’s just the beginning of a harrowing case. She recognises the signs of a serial killer, and a second victim with a receipt confirms her worst fears.
There are no witnesses. The victims had no debts. With the body count rising and the local press whipping the public into a frenzy, Robyn is under pressure to solve the crime in record time. But her team can’t find a link between the victims, and the cracks are starting to show.
Just when her leads have dried up, Robyn discovers photographs in two of the victims’ houses, which she thinks could unlock the case. But as she hones in on the killer’s shocking motive, one of her own is put in terrible danger.
Can Robyn stop the most twisted killer of her career before it’s too late?
Little Girl Lost was Carol Wyer’s first attempt at writing in another genre, if I can even call it that. I didn’t know this so when I read Little Girl Lost I actually thought she’d been a thriller writer for ages, I really was so blown away with her debut thriller. I’ve taken a big liking to DI Carter, her team and the complex case she tackled then and I’m thrilled to report that the sequel keeps up the same high standards as her first novel. I am one very satisfied reader for the second time.
The first strangeness ripples through the pages when a manager of the Bronwin Hall spa hotel is found in a sauna, burnt to a crisp. Did he die of a heart attack as reported by the police, or not? A family friend is convinced he wouldn’t go into a sauna of his own volition and DI Carter agrees when she’s heard all of her arguments. She sends her cousin Ross, a private investigator, to investigate further. A few days later, a bar owner is found with a bizarre note on him and her attention is focused on solving this case. She discovers the smallest detail about the bar owner that could tie the two victims together though, even if they don’t seem to have anything other in common; there was no note on the first victim after all and the body of the manager showed no wounds at all. What’s more, he was caught on camera going into the sauna.
I’m not going to say any more than that Carol Wyer has the amazing capacity to think up yet another excellent plotline that’s keeping the reader on its toes again. She’s great at launching a thread, then leaving it to rest for a bit, keeping the reader more than occupied with something that is very attention-grabbing, only to get back to it later on, with the most perfect timing. I loved the whole idea of the calling card left behind by the killer, which was a great way to speculate about who was next and how many there were still to come. I also enjoyed the fact that I really got to know the victims, even if it crushed me every time one of them was killed off. That brief personal connection is what really makes it all the more engaging. There was one person in particular, who I cared and sympathised with right from the start and while his plotline kept returning, I realised there was a big chance he could be next 😉 which made me a bit sad already.
All along the investigation the reader is rewarded with snippets of the killer’s past. Even though his youth was one of bullying and torture, I never sympathised with him at any given time. I found a clue in his past when he relays certain events that happened to him and figured out who DI Carter was after but I’m sure many readers will still be surprised.
The killer’s mind in this novel is quite simple and he’s just a disturbed and weird individual, so even though I did really liked this one I still like the first novel just that eetsy little bit more.
I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher Bookouture via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.