Thursday, June 6, 2024

Review: The Stolen Girls by Jez Pinfold

by Jez Pinfold
Release Date: April 30, 2024
2024 Joffe Books
Ebook ARC; 299 Pages
ISBN: 978-1835264867
Genre: Fiction / Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher

3.5 / 5 Stars

Eight years ago, three girls went missing. Only one was found. Dead. Her body dumped in the street. No drag marks, no blood.

It was Detective Bec Pope’s first case. And she has never given up hope of finding the others alive.

Now. A young woman stands in the doorway of the police station, silhouetted against the fierce sunlight.

‘Help me,’ she asks Bec. Her pale yellow dress is drenched in blood. But it isn’t hers.
My Thought
The Stolen Girls is the second book in the Detective Bec Pope mystery series and it was definitely an entertaining, quick read. The pacing was quite good, and there were enough twists and turns to keep you engaged and entertained. 
Bec Pope is the main character in the series and is the detective in charge of the case. And while I enjoyed the characters, I didn't feel there was much depth to them nor did I feel like there was much character development. In fact, Bec drove me somewhat crazy with some of the decisions she made and I kept waiting for someone to overrule her and tell her it wasn't safe, but everyone just went along with her decisions. Oh, some of he characters argued with her, but everyone eventually gave way, placing people in serious danger, hence the drop in my overall rating. I just couldn't fathom the Chief of Police agreeing to some of the things she wanted. She is haunted by an episode at the beginning of her career, something that is actually relevant to what is occurring in this book, but it doesn't excuse her actions. I did like how the author incorporates the difficulties her job has on her relationships as well as on her mental wellness though. 
The pacing is good in the story and I enjoyed the overall story, especially how the past can catch up to you and create problems in the present, a sort of karma, if you will.  There were some twists and turns, and even though I found them kind of predictable, it was still fun to see the characters' reactions as they discovered what was really going on. Because I found the character development lacking, I didn't really empathize with them too much; in fact, I grew annoyed with some of Bec's decisions and how she spoke to some of her co-workers, resulting in consequences that were tragic. The whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth.  Because this was the second book in the series, and events carried from the first book, there were quite a few things going on in this book, a lot of which were left hanging at the end of the book. I did feel there was some conclusion, but the author is definitely intending to continue some concepts in the future books.

The Stolen Girls was an entertaining and quick read, but I am not a fan of books where so many threads are going to continue in future books, especially in mystery books. I know it may just be a personal thing, but I feel like I should be able to pick up a book in a mystery series and be able to have some sense of what is happening, but in this one, while you could get away with it, having read the first book gives you a better understanding of what is happening here. The twists and turn were good, if predictable, and while I would like to see more character development, it was still a fun mystery. There were a lot of things that were left hanging however, things that will continue in future books, and I am not sure if I am crazy about that. However, I will definitely pick up the third book when it releases.



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