Rating: 4 ♥’s
April 6, 2021
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 362

The girl looked so peaceful, she could have been asleep. Except her eyes were open, blankly reflecting the flickering flames spreading towards her…
When firefighters discover the body of a teenage girl at an abandoned house, Detective Amanda Steele hurries to the scene. Dumfries, Virginia is a small town, yet no one seems to have any idea who the dead girl is until Amanda finds a dragonfly pin with the name Crystal engraved on it.
Working tirelessly, Amanda traces the pin to Crystal Foster, a thirteen-year-old who disappeared three years ago from her wealthy parents’ home. Breaking the news to the distraught parents won’t be easy, but the loss of her own daughter still haunts Amanda, and she knows this will bring them closure. But when Amanda goes to see the Fosters, they do not recognize the girl. She isn’t Crystal.
Before Amanda can react to this new development, she gets an urgent call. A fire has consumed another vacant house, and the remains of two more girls have been found. Who are these girls, and why are they being picked off? Amanda must stop this killer before the pattern continues, and the death toll climbs.
When Amanda receives a taunting note from the killer, she realizes that she holds the missing piece of this puzzle. The victims are connected to Amanda’s past, to a case she can never forget, and which almost claimed her life. As she follows the clues to their deadly conclusion, can she save more innocent lives… even if it risks her own?

I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley/The Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I was very excited that I was able to read the next book in the Detective Amanda Steele series. I enjoyed the first one and wanted to see what case would be up next for Amanda and just see more of how her life, in general, was progressing since we learn a lot about how she is dealing with the grief of her husband and daughter being killed. It was good to keep seeing how she is opening up more and slowly getting her life back.

The book takes off not too long after the first book. Amanda is still dealing with what is going to happen with her mom’s murder trial. We don’t see much of that because right away Amanda is put onto a case of another serial killer. I am glad that Trent is still her partner because I like them working together. They have good chemistry. I am still slightly wanting to see if they get together. I know right now she is dating Logan…but not sure what will happen with that in the next book (not going to give too much away). I liked that this case is still entwined with the one from the first book because they are both connected to the “DC sex trafficking” ring. I have a theory that Hill is involved in it somehow and that is why she hates Amanda so much and wants to get her out.

I like that you are still seeing Amanda grow in this book. She is still obviously really upset about her husband and daughter’s death, but she is letting herself be happy again and doing more things to get her life somewhat back to normal. We learn a little bit more about Trent, but I want to know more about him. This case obviously resonated with him and I want to know why.

The plot of the book was good and it moved along nicely. It didn’t have giant twists but it had some good ones. The biggest was at the end, which is always fun to have in a mystery book. You will have to read it to find out! The writing was well done and I liked trying to guess who I thought the serial killer was. It was interesting to have one where they thought they were like Amanda and were doing good work by their killings. One part of it totally reminded me of Psycho and then I later find out that indeed there is a little bit of what I thought in there!

Overall I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to continuing the series and see what happens to Amanda in the next book. I know she will put up a fight!

Book Challenges:

  • Around the Year in 52 Books #38 – Related to a word given by a random word generation – Tense
  • 52 Books in 52 Weeks #10 – Related to the word “fire”
  • Popsugar #50 – Free book on TBR
  • Magic in the Books #7 – Read a book with a brave character
  • Linz Bookworm #11 – With exactly two words in the title
  • A-Z Title – S
  • Booklist Queen #41 – A sequel
  • The Nerd Daily #4 – Two-word title
  • Wizarding World Tour #21 – That includes a villain
  • Mount TBR, Virtual Mount TBR, Cloak & Dagger, & Netgalley/Edelweiss
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