I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from #Netgalley & Bookouture, in exchange for an objective review.
It’s autumn in the small Appalachian town of Crooked Creek, and the townspeople are finally starting to relax after the murders that took place there over the summer. Halloween is coming, and so is some snow – a winter storm is headed for the mountains. Detective Ellie Reeves & fellow Deputy Shondra Eastwood are meeting for drinks to celebrate Shondra’s transfer to the CCPD.
Ranger Cord McClain and his team are being called out to search for a missing 15-year-old girl and her dog who became separated from the family during a hike. After a short search, they locate the teen who had fallen off a small ridge, but she relates a troubling story – as she was heading back to her parents, a man with a knife began chasing her, causing her to fall. Meanwhile the family dog is digging nearby and comes back to Cord holding a human finger in its mouth. Further exploration reveals a frozen female body, and Ellie is summoned to the scene.
As the frozen solid body is brought to the morgue, Ellie begins her investigation, and believes her to be a woman that went missing eleven years ago. But where has she been all this time? And how did her body wind up buried in the woods? Ellie gets a lead from the Detective who investigated the initial disappearance and starts looking for a person of interest from all those years ago – but finds nothing but dead ends.
Meanwhile, Special Agent Derrick Fox is in Atlanta, GA working with Governor Weston, when the governor asks for his assistance in a personal matter. It seems his daughter Ginger had rented a cabin in Crooked Creek to get away from the media but has stopped returning his calls and he’s worried. Ellie heads out to do a well check, and finds evidence of foul play – and no sign of Ginger…
As the investigation heats up, Ellie and her team search for the Governor’s daughter, while attempting to discover what happened to the other victim all those years ago. As the body count climbs, it becomes a race against time to catch a killer who’s rapidly spiraling out of control…
This has been an awesome new series find for me, thanks to Netgalley & Bookouture! While this is the fourth book in the series, it can be read as a standalone, but there are references to earlier events and storylines that remain open ended, promising many avenues for future writings. The characters are likeable, flawed and the story doesn’t let up – this one will keep you flipping pages well after dark! Suspenseful, action packed and a very satisfying read!! I can’t wait for more!!!