Tag Archives: missing persons

Review: Pursued, by Lisa Harris

Pursued, by Lisa HarrisPursued, by Lisa Harris (Revell, 2017)

Special Agent Nikki Boyd is a missing persons investigator in Nashville. Usually she hunts for strangers, but this time it’s more personal: she met Erika, the missing woman, on a plane, just before it crashed. Erika disappeared from the crash site, and Nikki must help the FBI find her before she’s found by the man who wants her dead.

I’ve enjoyed this series, and each book is better than the last. The pacing in this one is relentless, with the entire story packed into 48 hours. As the case becomes even more personal, Nikki can’t back away, despite being pushed beyond her physical and emotional limits.

At the same time, she’s trying to discover the next step in her relationship with Tyler, the friend she’s fallen in love with, and to process some devastating news from her doctor.

One of the things I most appreciate in this series is how Nikki faces the darkness of her cases with faith that God will help her do her job, and that He can take even the broken pieces and make something beautiful. This is never superficial, but grows out of deep struggle.

Pursued is book 3 in the Nikki Boyd Files series, and book 4, Vanishing Point, releases in the fall of 2017.

Author Lisa Harris writes romantic suspense and romance. For more about the author, visit lisaharriswrites.com. To follow the conversation about this series on Twitter, look for the hashtag #nikkiboydfiles.

[Review copy provided by the publisher.]

Review: Traces of Guilt, by Dee Henderson

Traces of Guilt, by Dee HendersonTraces of Guilt, by Dee Henderson (Bethany House, 2016)

Evie Blackwell has a different take on cold cases: the intervening years are a bonus, because they’re full of opportunities for the criminal to have left further clues to this and other crimes. Her approach is methodical and effective, and her time in Illinois’ Carin County is a test-run for a soon-to-be-announced cold case task force.

Her two assignments: an abducted child, and a missing family. The child belonged to a family who were passing through, but the family were local. In both cases, the locals are reluctant to revisit past pain if all it brings is more disappointment.

Long-time fans of Dee Henderson will recognize beloved characters from her previous works: Ann Silver and Paul Falcon. The Thane family sounds like they’ve appeared before, too. Everyone was new to me, and other than being a bit confused by the references to so many key people in the first chapter or two, I was fine.

One challenge about solving cold cases is that in the re-thinking and new investigating, multiple possibilities must be considered before the truth is found – if it can be found. These two cases bring up others, which may or may not be related and which may show up in future books in the series.

Although this is a romantic suspense series, for this first book those relationships are more in the cautiously-developing stages. That’s one benefit of a series: love doesn’t have to be instant.

Relationships are a key part of the novel – friendship and families more so than romance. This adds the heart to balance the mental, puzzle-solving aspects of the police work.

Traces of Guilt provides a twisting plot and deeply-drawn characters to care about, and it kept me turning pages. I did find that one character who appeared near the end seemed too coincidental in terms of age, and the key players have a jarring habit of referring to one another by name far too often, the way people do when they’re trying to sell you something.

This is the Evie Blackwell Cold Case series, but clearly the Carin County sheriff, Gabriel Thane, will be an ongoing connection no matter where Evie’s work takes her. All three Thane brothers make appealing romantic leads, and we may see more of the other two in future books as well.

Dee Henderson is a long-time favourite author in the Christian romantic suspense genre, and Traces of Guilt is sure to be well received. For more about the author and her books, visit www.deehenderson.com.

[Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.]




Review: Missing, by Lisa Harris

Missing, by Lisa HarrisMissing, by Lisa Harris (Revell, 2016)

Nikki Boyd and her partner, Jack Spencer, specialize in finding missing persons. Their newest case also involves murder, and the body count keeps growing. Can they find the missing woman before her enemies do?

Complicating the issue is the fact that Nikki’s good friend Tyler Grant and another man she knows are both linked with the crime. And somewhere in the process of comforting Tyler after his wife’s death, she’s fallen for him, even though he’s not ready to move on.

Missing is a fast-paced suspense novel that starts with action and doesn’t slow down. Nikki and Tyler are realistic characters with depth and struggles, learning to live with crippling loss. And learning not to blame themselves for what happened. In Nikki’s case, her younger sister’s abduction is the reason she’s in this line of work. It lets her empathize with victims’ families, but it also takes an emotional toll.

This is book 2 in the Nikki Boyd Files series. You don’t have to have read book 1, Vendetta, first, but it’s a series worth starting at the beginning. For more about author Lisa Harris and her novels, visit lisaharriswrites.com.

[Review copy provided by the publisher for an unbiased review.]

Review: Vendetta, by Lisa Harris

Vendetta, by Lisa HarrisVendetta, by Lisa Harris (Revell, 2015)

Missing persons investigator Nikki Boyd brings an extra empathy to her cases, since it was her own sister’s disappearance that led her to this career. Ten years after the fact, logic says her sister can’t still be alive when the other victims have been found dead, but Nikki’s heart won’t give up hope.

When Nikki and her friend Tyler are called to investigate a missing teen girl, it doesn’t take long for similarities in the case to make Nikki wonder if her sister’s abductor is back in action after years of silence. If it’s the same man, he’s grown sloppy. Or he’s playing with them.

Vendetta is a fast-paced, well-plotted novel, as Nikki, Tyler and their team race the clock to find the missing girl. A large part of the chase is set in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

As always, author Lisa Harris gives us lifelike characters with issues of their own. Nikki can’t let her personal pain affect her investigation, no matter what mind games the abductor plays. And Tyler’s still grieving for his dead wife, who’d been Nikki’s best friend. Nikki and Tyler are both struggling to know where God is in their hurts.

Although the novel is a really good read, I didn’t feel as drawn in as I did with the author’s Southern Crimes series. There may be too many flashback scenes, snippets of Nikki’s past, or perhaps it’s the number of characters. I did have trouble keeping the search team and volunteers straight, although the narrative only focused on a few. Nonetheless, Vendetta is the start of a new series I’d definitely recommend.

Award-winning author Lisa Harris has written almost 30 books, including the Southern Crimes series (Dangerous Passage, Fatal Exchange, and Hidden Agenda.) She and her family are missionaries living in Mozambique. For more about the author and her books, visit lisaharriswrites.com.

[Review copy provided by the publisher.]

Review: The King James Murders, by Linda Hall

The King James Murders, by Linda HallThe King James Murders, by Linda Hall (Linda Hall, 2015)

Teri Blake-Addison is a former cop turned private investigator. When she accepts an assignment to locate a missing woman, she has no idea how closely it will tie in with the case that made her quit the police force: the one the media dubbed “The King James Murders.”

The missing woman, Kim Shock, is the sister of Barry Shock, who murdered four teenage girls before killing himself. Kim had moved on from her brother’s death, and become a lawyer. Kim’s friend, Glynis, hasn’t heard from her since she went away with a man she met online.

While Teri investigates, Glynis is falling for the leader of an online ministry. Readers can see how manipulative he is, but Glynis sees only what she wants to see.

Along with a well-constructed mystery, we have the story of Glynis: will she pierce the deception, and will she discover her potential or draw even further into her online world? We also have Teri, her older husband, and her struggle to find a place in his world.

I always enjoy Linda Hall’s mysteries. Her characters and descriptions make them feel real. The King James Murders is an updated version of her previous novel, Chat Room, reflecting the changes to online communication since the first version was published in 2003.

This is book 2 in the Teri Blake-Addison Mysteries series. Book 1 is Steal Away, and while you don’t need to read it to appreciate The King James Murders, it’s also a good read.

Linda Hall is an award-winning author whose novels often feature a connection to the sea. She has written a number of Christian suspense stories and has recently published a mainstream mystery, Night Watch, book 1 in the Em Ridge Mystery series. For more about Linda Hall and her novels, visit writerhall.com.

[Review copy provided by the author.]