Title: Exposed (The Missing Children Case Files #6)
Author: M.A. Hunter
Published on: 1 July 2021
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers
Exposed is the sixth and final book in M.A. Hunter‘s The Missing Children Case Files series.
Story so far: It has been over eighteen months since Emma Hunter, an investigative journalist, started her fight against the child trafficking ring. Her debut book, an exposé of sexual abuse at an orphaned boys home caught the attention of general public. Since then, Emma has helped rescue many children who were once tormented and tortured by their abusers. With each case, Emma and her friends Rachel and Jack come one step closer to finding the truth behind Anna Hunter’s disappearance. Anna, Emma’s elder sister, was 11 when she walked out of the house and was never seen again…
The previous book – Repressed – ended with a cliffhanger. Emma and Jack’s phones were bugged and the investigation into the child trafficking ring was stalled. Emma receives a call from a police sergeant soon after the news of a shooting in broad daylight. The victim of the shooting is Anthony Tomlinson, one of the (possible) members of the abuse ring. The shooter is Kylie Shakespeare. Kylie tells the police officers she will only speak with Emma.
In Exposed, the story starts with Jack dropping Emma at the police station. Instead of being escorted to the interview room where Kylie is held, DI Oakley interrogates Emma. First comes the questions of Emma’s involvement in Kylie’s plan. Then comes the shocking news…
I have been following this series from the beginning. I was one of the first few reviewers of Ransomed on Netgalley. Harper Collins had mentioned my review on their Facebook page – one of my achievements as a reviewer.🙂 I had absolutely loved Ransomed and I knew right then I will be following this series. Five books later, here we are, saying goodbye to Emma Hunter one last time. The Missing Children Case Files is one of the best series ever written and no amount of praises seems to do justice to the amount of research and hard work Stephen Edger aka M.A. Hunter had put into this series.
I am a little sad that I won’t be getting to read more of Emma’s adventures. But like the saying goes, Best for the Last, M.A. Hunter has certainly ended the series with a bang! So many twists, closures for Emma and Anna, and a long-kept family secret that nobody ever expected! Gosh! I was hooked on to the story and could not put it down until the end.
Just when you think this is it, the bad guys have won… there’s a twist. The shocking part of the story was the family secret. Not only was it unexpected, it also brought shivers down my spine – though it brought around a few closures, I felt sad for the misery and grief the Hunter family had to go through.
The story alternates between Now and Then. Now deals with Emma’s fight to bring down the abusers. Then deals with events leading up to Anna’s disappearance, the first few days after her disappearance and how it affected Emma and her parents, Emma’s mother’s fight to bring back her lost daughter, Emma’s dad’s work trouble and much more… In the first five books, we readers were only given a gist of what went wrong on that fateful day (the day Anna went missing.) But now, we are given a detailed view of every single emotion, every single struggle the family faced soon after Anna’s disappearance. It was heart-wrenching to read young Emma being exposed to such grief and misery.
Apart from closures, we also have some happy and some not-so-happy endings. Given that this is the final installment of the series, all loose ends are tied up. We get to see all the characters – Freddie, Rachel, Danielle, Jack, Rick, DCS Rawani, DI Joe Cavendish and Emma one last time – we readers couldn’t have asked for a better finale.
This series sends out a strong message on child trafficking and abuse. Though a difficult topic to talk about, the author has written about it with utmost care and sensitivity. M.A. Hunter is a master storyteller and one of the best authors ever! The Missing Children Case Files will always remain one of the best mystery series I have ever read. I highly recommend you to read this series.
Many thanks to the lovely Sara Roberts of Harper Collins UK/ One More Chapter for the ARC.