Rain rattles through the trees as she leans into the car, careful not to touch anything. Two pretty blue eyes stare back through the dark, wide with relief, or maybe fear. A baby girl, wrapped up in a pink snowsuit, reaches out a tiny hand. Her mother is nowhere to be found…
An abandoned baby is the last thing Detective Madison Harper expects to find as she drives to her first day back at work since the case that ripped her life apart. But as she cradles the shivering child close, all her instincts tell her there’s something more sinister at play. Then she finds a lone sneaker down a muddy trail nearby, the laces spattered with blood…
In a town as small as Lost Creek, Colorado, the baby and the shoe are quickly identified as belonging to Kacie Larson, a waitress at the local diner who quietly stashed away her tips to make a better life for her daughter. A mother herself, Madison can’t believe that Kacie would just abandon her child, but she also can’t convince her new team. Not for the first time, Madison feels she must go it alone to get the job done.
But when a body is pulled from a nearby lake, and it’s not Kacie, the case takes an agonizing turn. Is this missing mother really who she says she is? Is there a chance she’s still alive? Madison barely has time to think before the sweet little girl she rescued is snatched on a crowded street. Gone, in the blink of an eye.
To break this case and earn her place back on the force, Madison must learn to trust her team, and herself again—and fast. If she doesn’t find this twisted individual in time, a little girl could die…
Title: Little Girl Taken
Series: Detective Madison Harper #3
Author: Wendy Dranfield
Published: July 29, 2021
My Rating: 4.5 stars
Oh. My. Goodness! Returning to the Detective Madison Harper series for the third title, Little Girl Taken, was an emotional, suspenseful, chilling roller coaster ride from start to finish. This series just gets better as it moves forward and I am here for the long haul as Madison Harper’s world gets more involved, more intense, and certainly, more dangerous. While this one “could” stand on its own I believe you’d really get a better feel for what the main characters have gone through to get to this point by starting the series from the beginning, if you can.
As Little Girl Taken is a Crime/Suspense/Thriller novel you will not find details about the storyline in this review — you can find everything you need to make the decision to pick this one up in the cover blurb. I so dislike when a story is spoiled for me by too many details in reviews, so you’ll enjoy this one more by diving into it firsthand. But I will say that if you love a story that will have you flipping pages quickly to get more information all the while holding onto something solid as the suspense and danger increases… well, you’ve found the perfect book for that.
Madison’s first day back on the job is more harrowing than simply facing her co-workers at the police station. She’s come across a damaged car with an abandoned baby inside… and not too far away, a blood-splattered sneaker. Nate isn’t having the greatest of days either as he is about to face his past as his future becomes threatened. They’d hoped that the worst was behind them only to discover that evil has no expiration date.
Little Girl Taken is full of twists, turns, red herrings, danger, intrigue… and that ending! If you love putting together intricate puzzles then you will feel right at home with this story. This case is so full of sub-plots that slowly come to the surface to surprise not only the reader but the investigators as well. I love this author’s way with words, she truly will weave a world around you and draw you in so subtly that the ending of the story has arrived before you realized you’d been awake long beyond bedtime to finish. When an author can draw me in like that then I’ll gladly follow wherever their books lead me. I would not hesitate to recommend the latest story in the Detective Madison Harper series to anyone who loves a good story. If you love suspense, thrillers, or crime procedurals that’s a bonus but at the heart Little Girl Taken is a really good story that will capture your attention until the final page… and then wonder when the next book will be available.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
Available in print, audio, or the Kindle