Tuesday 25 October 2022


Synopsis/blurb ...

Sheriff Jax Turner is staring down the barrel of his broken past. On the brink of ending it all, he feels like a failure following his daughter’s tragic passing and his subsequent divorce. But when a schoolgirl vanishes and her backpack is found in a sex offender’s backseat, the weary lawman drags himself into action and vows to nail one last sociopath.

Shocked to discover the teen’s aunt had lost her life in an abduction years prior, the devastating outcome that he’s taken personally, Jax believes the killer has returned with a vengeance. But as the desperate cop frantically hunts down a mysterious relative in search of a suspect, the girl’s time keeps ticking away…

Can the jaded sheriff take down the culprit in time to bring the young girl home alive?

An enjoyable enough read which got better as it went along. I had a bit of trouble gettting into the book, which might have been me and the mood I was in, or it could have been that the book was slow to get going and didn't immediately grab my attention. Probably a bit of both.

The main character, Sheriff Jax Turner has his issues and in fact is just about to kill himself when he gets a call about a missing girl. I suppose it made a change from the usual narrative of the hard-drinking, troubled protagonist, but it was still a bit of a cliche. As the book goes along we get his backstory of grief and loss with child bereavement and divorce.

A teenage girl has disappeared on her way to school. The clock is ticking. An urgent investigation kicks off involving family, friends, and community. Everyone seems to have secrets, including the missing girl and everyone including the girl's mother is less than straight with Turner. Information is not readily forthcoming. Turner also has to contend with the small town big man, the guy with money, power and influence who isn't happy with Turner questioning his son, a boy who has a connection to the missing girl. Threats are issued over Turner's badge, all of which is a distraction from the man doing his job.

There's some history involved as well, with a connection to an unsolved murder years ago when Turner was a homicide detective with a different police force. Obviously it's the case that haunts Turner, the one that was never resolved where another girl was failed. Or so he feels. The previous case impacts on the present and Turner believes it's a solve one, solve both situation, only this time the imperative is that the girl is saved.

I liked the book better the more I read. There were several twists and turns to the narrative with different suspects coming to prominence, then fading as the book went on. One of the twists completely blindsided me - hats off to Keliikoa; the other I saw.   

The main character grew on me as the book progressed, I sympathised with him a bit more, maybe because his head came out of his ass and he was focussing on other things as opposed to wallowing in self pity. He actually manages to let go of the past a bit. 

Overall it was a decent read, one which I enjoyed and came away from thinking... yeah that was a bit different, a bit better than I initially thought. 

3.5 stars from 5

Read - October, 2022
Published - 2022
Page count - 300
Source - review copy from Net Galley
Format - Kindle

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