I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Drowned Girls by Loreth Anne White
Series: Angie Pallorino #1
Published by Montlake Romance on June 20, 2017
Genres: Mystery, Suspense
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He surfaced two years ago. Then he disappeared ...
But Detective Angie Pallorino never forgot the violent rapist who left a distinctive calling card—crosses etched into the flesh of his victim’s foreheads.
When a comatose Jane Doe is found in a local cemetery, sexually assaulted, mutilated, and nearly drowned, Angie is struck by the eerie similarities to her earlier unsolved rapes. Could he be back?
Then the body of a drowned young woman floats up in the Gorge, also bearing the marks of the serial rapist, and the hunt for a predator becomes a hunt for a killer. Assigned to the joint investigative task force, Angie is more than ready to prove that she has what it takes to break into the all-male homicide division. But her private life collides with her professional ambitions when she’s introduced to her temporary partner, James Maddocks—a man she’d met the night before in an intense, anonymous encounter.
Together, Angie and Maddocks agree to put that night behind them. But as their search for the killer intensifies so does their mutual desire. And Angie’s forays into the mind of a monster shake lose some unsettling secrets about her own past . . .
How can she fight for the truth when it turns out her whole life is a lie?
Detective Angie Pallorino is part of the Victoria Metro Police Department sex crimes unit and answers the call for a young woman desecrated in a nearby cemetery. She and her new partner are still finding their way with each other (mostly not) and haven’t created “team” yet. She’s got LOTS of baggage and being the only woman in the detective ranks doesn’t make things easier. When they determine that this case has a lot of similarities to two she investigated a few years ago, both are included on a special task force created when a homicide occurs. Homicide detective James Maddocks, new to the department, is in for a rather big surprise when he’s teamed with Angie.
I’ve seen quite a few fictional damaged female detectives over the years and Angie ranks high on that list of most flawed. Combined with her risky behaviors and tendency to be a lone ranger, she makes for a dangerous cocktail. Her relationship with Maddocks, who got her in one, was a highlight of the story as he had the ability to read and disarm her despite the boulders she constructs. The case was distressing with its sexual overtones involving young girls but captures your attention from the onset. The secondary plot related to Angie’s family just made for a strongly layered story.
I enjoyed the story, especially as the author is one who has the skill to create a vivid sense of place. The weather in Victoria, British Columbia is a critical part of everything and I just felt wet and cold for the duration. I’m glad not everything was resolved by the end (not including all the critical stuff) as what’s left is just intriguing. I’m looking forward to where the series leads.
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