Title: Stolen Daughters (Detective Amanda Steele #2)
Author: Carolyn Arnold
Published on: 6 April 2021
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers | Police Procedural
Stolen Daughters is the second book in Detective Amanda Steele series by Carolyn Arnold.
In the debut novel of this series, we saw Amanda Steele coming to terms with the loss of her husband and daughter – they were killed when a drunk driver crashed into their car. The driver got five years in jail and was released earlier than his time accounting to ‘good behavior’. The man is found dead and Amanda becomes a suspect in his murder. The night he was killed, Amanda was with a man (one-night stand) and has no alibi as she did not bother to ask details of the man she slept with. (Not even his name.)
Finally, Amanda had no other option but to arrest her mother – she killed him as he had destroyed her daughter’s life. Stolen Daughters begins with Amanda at the court with her mother and her mother’s lawyer, waiting for a plea deal. She receives a call from her department, asking her to come over to a scene of crime – an empty house was set on fire and a body of a young girl was found. The girl looked hardly sixteen and had a mark on her chest – a branding mark that indicated she was a victim of sex trafficking.
The 911 caller turned out to be a nurse – she called just in time and the authorities were able to ‘rescue’ the body before it burned to a crisp. The killer is annoyed his work remained incomplete – the nurse becomes his next victim. Amanda receives a note from the killer, claiming his innocence and trying to convince he’s doing the right thing by killing the girls. As bodies continue to pile, Amanda must work harder than usual and catch him before it is too late.
Stolen Daughters is a mind-numbing, gripping and riveting police procedural! Reading this book before bedtime gave me nightmares!
Amanda has a lot on her plate already – her mum’s conviction, a Lieutenant trying to demote Amanda for no reason and Amanda coming to terms with losing her family. To add to these woes is a serial killer on loose! As bodies start to pile up, Amanda realizes the victims are connected – particularly to a case from the past, namely the sex-trafficking ring.
The spotlight is on the chase – between Amanda and the killer. He’s eliminates those who try to ‘ruin’ his work – the nurse who called 911 after seeing the fire, for instance. We have a massive twist at the end – time’s ticking for Amanda, she might have to risk her own life for the sake of saving innocent victims.
The suspense is well-maintained throughout the story. The character portrayal is excellent. The story keeps one on the edge of their seat. I have read the first book of this series and I can now say this series is slowly making its way into my favorite list. Be it Amanda’s role in the series or the past case that haunts her at night or the trauma of losing her loved ones, Carolyn Arnold has written a fantastic story (and series).
If you love to read gripping and spine-chilling police procedurals, you might want to give this book a try. I highly recommend you to read this book, believe me, you won’t be disappointed.