The couple that offers the highest amount will see their daughter again. The losing couple will not. Make no mistake. One child will die.
When nine-year-old best friends Charlie and Amy disappear, two families are plunged into a living nightmare. A text message confirms the unthinkable; that the girls are the victims of a terrifying kidnapping.
And when a second text message pits the two families against each other for the life of their children, the clock starts ticking for D.I. Kim Stone and the squad.
Seemingly outwitted at every turn, as they uncover a trail of bodies, Stone realises that these ruthless killers might be the most deadly she has ever faced. And that their chances of bringing the girls home alive, are getting smaller by the hour…
Untangling a dark web of secrets from the families’ past might hold the key to solving this case. But can Kim stay alive long enough to do so? Or will someone’s child pay the ultimate price?"
Lost Girls is the third novel in the DC Kim Stone series. I find it pretty mind-blowing that this is the third book Angela Marsons has released this year - what a massive achievement! I absolutely loved the first book in the series, Silent Scream, and thought the sequel, Evil Games was even better, so I had high expectations for Lost Girls. I honestly think that it's the best of the trilogy... Angela's writing is even more descriptive and flowing, the plot tense and gripping and it's a brilliant, tense and fast-paced thriller.
The story follows DC Kim Stone as she investigates the abduction of two young girls, doing all she can to bring them home safe. The case is on a press and police force blackout, meaning no-one except the officers assigned to the case can no about it. This is for the girl's safety, but does create some major barriers for the investigation. The stress and strains of the investigation are heightened as the force look back to a similar abduction case the previous year that didn't end well... one of the girls didn't make it home. This thought is constantly playing on Kim's mind and she is determined for it not to happen again. Things are made even worse when the kidnappers send on a ransom demand to the to families - the highest bidder wins and will get their daughter back. The lowest won't. This horrible situation creates even more twists and turns for the families and plays on their already heightened emotions. It's a terrible situation but, as a reader, an amazing idea from Angela Marsons. It makes what would be a difficult abduction case even more tense and uncomfortable and you can see the close relationship between the families unravel - secrets are revealed and sturdy relationships fractured, which makes for great reading.
As usual, Kim Stone goes above and beyond to find the girls. She is a fantastic, realistic character. I've loved her since the start of this series, but I enjoy seeing her character develop and learning more about her. She just seems so real - it's hard to remember that you're actually reading a book. She's still just as stand-offish and cold, not wanting to make anything too personal, but I still really, really like her. She throws herself into her work and wants to do all she can to solve the case, and not just for her own personal satisfaction, but to genuinely help the victims and their families. She goes to great lengths to protect people and isn't afraid to bend the rules to succeed, usually to her boss's dismay, but for the right result. Towards the end of the story we see a big development in her personal life that's rather unusual for Kim. I must admit, I did see it coming, but I was still really pleased and I'm eager to see what happens next with that.
As usual with Angela Marson's stories we also get an insight into the mind of the abducter. This didn't make for easy reading, especially as one of the kidnappers is extremely violent. However, these chapters add another gripping layer to the story and really ramp up the tension. It makes you want to scream at Kim Stone 'I know who they are!!' and will her on to find them. Despite it not being the most comfortable topic to cover, Angela Marson's writing talents shine through - she creates a gripping, mind-whirring read that has you hooked from the very start.
If you've read and enjoyed the rest of this series, then you will love Lost Girls. It really is brilliant. If, somehow, you've missed out on the wonder that it Angela Marsons then I'd suggest you rectify that immediately! Purchase the others as well as Lost Girls and catch up on these gripping thrillers. If you love crime and mystery novels then these are the books for you. Saying that though, I started Silent Scream when I didn't read many crime books, and I loved it. So if you're looking for something a bit different or want to delve into a new genre, give this series a whirl! I'm pretty sure you won't be disappointed.
So what are you waiting for?! Go and download all three books in the series and devour them as eagerly as I did - I have no qualms in recommending this series to anyone that will listen, it really is that brilliant. I can't wait to see what's next from Angela Marsons, but I have no doubts that it will be fantastic.
*A big thank you to the publishers of Lost Girls, Bookouture, for an advance copy of the story in exchange for an honest review.
Buy Silent Scream (book 1)
Buy Evil Games (book 2)