If you're reading this, I'm already dead…
That's the note seventeen-year-old Haley Cooke leaves behind when she disappears from inside her high school. FBI profiler Evelyn Baine is called in to figure out who had reason to hurt her. On the surface, the popular cheerleader has no enemies, but as Evelyn digs deeper, she discovers that everyone close to Haley has something to hide. Everyone from estranged parents, to an older boyfriend with questionable connections, to a best friend who envies Haley's life.
Secrets can be deadly…
One of those secrets may have gotten Haley killed. If she's still alive, Evelyn knows that the more the investigation ramps up, the more pressure they could be putting on Haley's kidnapper to make her disappear for good. It's also possible the teenager isn't in danger at all, but has skillfully manipulated everyone and staged her own disappearance. Only one thing is certain: uncovering Haley's fate could be dangerous—even deadly—to Evelyn herself.
The intense investigation that burst into a riveting action at the moment's notice as the investigators put their own lives at risk as they are trying to solve the myriad of crimes that come to the light while trying to profile the kidnapper of the missing girl.
If you are a fan of the early production of Patricia Cornwell and her Scarpetta novels like I am, you are going to enjoy the profiler series, as they echo the same kind of atmosphere, darkness, and female lead who is not afraid of taking the dangerous leaps that are required in her job, while struggling with her personal life and with her formerly somewhat secretive romantic life.
The book is built upon the investigation of the multiple crimes as the team digs deep in, to find who, what, where, and when. I loved how their actions and the conversations build the case, revealed the clues, and at the same time made my mind work double as trying to figure it out in my head what had truly happened. The detail oriented structure of the story compelled to hang on every word, and not miss a moment to keep up with the clues and the evidence coming forward.
I felt that Haley had warmth and ease within her more than in the previous story, she was easier to approach and had more benevolence than before, and I liked that. It was easier to relate to her, like her and cheer for her. Her family issues brought a human side of her up front and made her more relatable. Kyle is such a natural part of her life now. I loved that they got to work together on the case and that through the story there wasn't a moment when Kyle pulled out superiority on her, they were true equals, even in a gun fight.
In spite of being a part of a series, I think it would be easy to jump into the action from this title on. The author gives enough back information to make it easy to follow the story without having read the previous books, yet the story doesn't feel repetitive to those who have been following the series.
Vivid images of a cruel and callous crimes, the kind that seeps into your dreams, vigorous and determined investigation with brisk energy that kept me on the edge and deliberating on the evidence, kept me guessing and in awe with Haley's ability to turn tidbits of information into a solid lead, and her ability to keep on going despite a several severe attacks towards herself as well.
A story that left me eagerly waiting for more in the series!
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side