If y’all have followed me for any length of time, you know how much I love Lisa Regan’s Detective Josie Quinn series. So you won’t be surprised to hear that I’m thrilled to be on the Bookouture tour for #18 in the series, My Child Is Missing.
The little girl’s bright blue eyes are wide with fear, her hair tousled, her tears making tracks in the dirt smudged across her cheek. Curled tight in a tiny ball, it’s as if she wants to hide away forever. “He took her!” she cries. “He took my sister!”
When a desperate mother calls Denton police department to report her children missing, Detective Josie Quinn races to investigate. Sixteen-year-old Kayleigh and her little sister Savannah went for a walk in the woods but never came home. They are good girls and know not to go far, say their frantic parents. Kayleigh always looks after Savannah and brings her home safely. Until now…
Even as she vows to bring the sisters home safely, Josie’s blood runs cold: because they are not the only missing children. Rumors are spreading about the legend of “The Woodsman”: when pairs of children go into the woods, The Woodsman takes one of them and only one comes out alive. With local teenagers daring each other to walk into the woods at night in pairs, Josie knows that nobody is safe from the hysteria sweeping Denton. Little Savannah Patchett is soon mercifully found alive, alone and terrified, but she tells Josie “The Woodsman has taken my sister.”
All Josie’s leads seem to reach dead ends: her team traces Kayleigh’s scent to a dank, dark cabin in the woods, but the owner has an alibi and there is no evidence that Kayleigh has been inside. When Josie persuades Kayleigh’s classmates to talk, she learns that Kayleigh herself had a secret boyfriend whose identity is a mystery. Josie is desperate to track him down and to work out if he could hold the key to solving the case.
Then Josie’s worst fears come true: another pair goes missing and one of them is found dead soon after. Another teenage girl, lying straight and still, a halo of blood surrounding her beautiful blonde hair.
Josie knows that the legend of The Woodsman is nothing more than a story, but the truth is far more horrifying… With Kayleigh still out there somewhere and the TV news filled with stories of a serial killer at large, how far will Josie have to go to find the killer before more innocent lives are lost?
Lisa Regan has done. it. again.
Teenagers in Denton, Pennsylvania are scaring themselves silly with tales of the Woodsman, a bogeyman who takes children when they go into the forest. Two go in, only one comes out alive, so the story goes, and now children are daring themselves and each other go to into the woods. Kayleigh Patchett goes out with her little sister Savannah to prove that the Woodsman is just a myth. Josie, Noah, and the team are called in when their parents report them both missing. But Kayleigh is nowhere to be seen, and Savannah claims that the Woodsman took her sister.
The team struggles without Mett’s presence and helpful insights, and they push themselves past the point of exhaustion, working nearly around the clock to keep the case moving. Lead after lead fizzles out. Frustration mounts, and the more time that passes, the more they fear what they’ll find will be Kayleigh’s dead body – especially once another teenager is found dead.
In case I haven’t said it, Lisa Regan is the absolute master of suspense. She uses every word, every comma, every bit of dialogue to maximum effect. The snippets of the villain’s point of view interspersed throughout really ramp up the tension.
This story is about a mystery and the hard work the police put into solving it. But it’s also a study in family dynamics and a most excellent thriller with a plot twist that had my jaw hitting the floor. If you love a compelling work of detective fiction that doesn’t give the ending away, with characters you will come to love as old friends (after eighteen books, they’re practically family!), get to know Josie Quinn.
About the author:
Lisa Regan is the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Detective Josie Quinn series. Lisa is a member of Sisters In Crime, International Thriller Writers, and Mystery Writers of America. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University. She lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the U.S. with her husband, daughter, and Boston Terrier named Mr. Phillip. Find out more at her website: www.lisaregan.com