Title: Discarded (The Missing Children Case Files #4)
Author: M.A. Hunter
Published on: 4 March 2021
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers
Discarded is the fourth book in The Missing Children Case Files. If you have been following my blog for a while now, you would know I only have praises for this series.
Emma Hunter’s book on the sexual abuse at a boy’s home gains her fame and publicity. But Emma doesn’t want fame. All she wants is to find her missing sister Anna. Anna went missing twenty one years ago. Emma and Anna were playing on their lawn and a sisterly tiff led Anna to walk away from the house and she was never seen again. In the previous book, we saw Emma learning of a video which features her sister Anna. This intensifies Emma’s search for Anna.
The recurring characters of this series include Jack (Emma’s love interest), Freddie (one of the survivors of the boy’s home), Rachel (Emma’s best friend) and Maddie, Emma’s literary agent. Then we have DI Zoe Cavendish – she dislikes Emma for reasons unknown. In the previous book, we saw Zoe telling Emma that she and Jack are together – this puts Emma a little off-track because Jack also happens to be Emma’s love interests.
In the previous book – Trafficked – Freddie set a studio in Berkshire on fire (he and the other kids were filmed there). Discarded starts with Emma receiving a phone call from Jack saying a suitcase of bones is found in the ruins of the studio. Do the remains belong to Anna? Are Emma’s worst nightmares finally coming true?
The story alternates between THEN and NOW. The THEN is about a little girl called Joanna who runs away from home, only to find herself in the clutches of perverts. The NOW puts the spotlight on Emma’s present life. Maddie calls Emma to say she’s received a mysterious envelope with a photo of a little girl. On investigating, Emma finds the girl is listed in the mispers.
The only niggle I had with this story is Jo-Jo’s angle. Jo-Jo is missing from her home and her parents are frantically searching for the little girl. They want Emma’s help. The spotlight is on the mysterious envelopes and Joanna’s journey. Emma isn’t as actively involved as she was in the previous cases in finding the missing girl.
Also, the conclusion to Jo-Jo’s disappearance was a little dramatic (intended to be this way) – I felt the whole disappearance drama could have been avoided. But, looking at the brighter side of this angle, we have a new player on the pitch. *wink wink*. As the story ends, Emma has not one but two potential suitors.
Discarded is an unputdownable, engrossing page-turner. M.A. Hunter aka Stephen Edgar is a brilliant author and four books down this series, I must say I am loving the way the series is proceeding. How can I not mention the plot twist!! Boy, I did not see that coming! Believe me, you too will not see the twist coming.
Speaking of plot twists, things are going to change for Emma in the next two books. (This was originally a six-book deal with OMC; four down, two more to go.) I am eagerly waiting for the next book.
If you are new to the series, I highly recommend you start from book#1 – Ransomed. This is one of the best mystery series out there. And without any doubt, one of my favorite series.
Many thanks to One More Chapter and NetGalley for the ARC.