Saturday, September 29, 2012

Book review: Vanishing Girls by Katia Lief

This book I was initially hesitant to read because the story seemed really dark, but the book was a real page turner that I truly enjoyed.

Who says women are the weak gender? Meet Karin Schaeffer and her creator Katia Lief. In this third installment of the Karin Schaeffer series of crime thrillers taking place in New York City, private investigator Karin Schaeffer deals with two mysteries at the same time, young women are found murdered in the streets of New York City, while young girls disappear from the same streets.
Karin is drawn into the investigation of these crimes when she meets Billy Staples, a close friend of hers and her husbands, one night near a crime scene. Billy sent a text to Karin’s husband Mac indicating that he needed help and with Mac suffering from the flu, Karin wanted only to fill in for Mac and be a good friend to Billy. But Karin gets drawn into the investigation in part because she is a private investigator, but also because she wants to keep an eye on Billy, who suffers from PTSD and refuses to seek help.
What started as an act of friendship for Billy, turns into an action-packed nail biter for Karin (and the reader), when the crimes hit closer to home than either Karin or Mac really want. Karin, still suffering from the trauma of miscarrying a baby girl, meets Billy on a double crime scene. A young girl was found on a street, victim of a hit and run, not far from the location at which a young woman is found murdered. The murder seems to fit the profile of the "Working Girl Killer." Billy has been working on the case for two years without a finding a break and now the killer seems to have arrived at Karin’s doorstep, her Brooklyn neighborhood.
Are the two crimes related? The young victim of the hit and run, Abby, is too traumatized to talk and when another brutal murder is discovered in the same Brooklyn neighborhood, finding the killer becomes more urgent than ever. As Karin tries gain information from the slowly recovering Abby, her personal life is entered by another young girl, Dathi, the daughter of her housekeeper, soon to arrive from India. Unbeknownst to Karin, Dathi will soon need Karin’s help and protection as much Abby, as both girls are integral parts of the mystery that is at the center of this book.
Well written, with an emphasis on the psychological development of the protagonists, Lief creates a fast-paced action thriller that makes it impossible for the reader to put the book down since each page adds a novel aspect to the mystery that from a friendly gesture to Bill turns into murder and mayhem threatening those closest to Karin.

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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely my own and have not been influenced by or any other third party.

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