Detective Josie Quinn Series
By Lisa Regan
Author’s Website: lisaregan(.)com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
She was close enough to see that the girl had written a word on the wall in bright, warm red blood. Not a word, actually. A name…
Everyone in the small American town of Denton is searching for Isabelle Coleman, a missing seventeen-year-old girl. All they’ve found so far is her phone and another girl they didn’t even know was missing.
Mute and completely unresponsive to the world around her, it’s clear this mysterious girl has been damaged beyond repair. All Detective Josie Quinn can get from her is a name: Ramona.
Currently suspended from the force for misconduct, Josie takes matters into her own hands as the name leads her to evidence linking the two girls. She knows the race is on to find Isabelle alive, and she fears there may be others…
The trail leads Josie to another victim, a girl who escaped but whose case was labelled a hoax by authorities. To catch this monster, Josie must confront her own nightmares and follow her instinct to the darkest of places. But can she make it out alive? (Goodreads)
Wow…. That is all I have to say!!! Okay – that is not true – let me say, this book caught my attention and I just could not stop reading it. A very auspicious beginning to what I am hoping is enjoyment from a long series ☺ (eight books at the time of this review writing). Right from the beginning, the author, Lisa Regan, reeled me in with her storytelling in this first book, Vanishing Girls, in the Detective Josie Quinn Series.
The story begins with Detective Josie Quinn viewing from the sidelines the investigation of a disappearance by a young woman (Isabelle Coleman) on a TV in the Stop and Go gas station. Josie still wondered why she could not help with the search parties, after all…:
“Surely being on paid leave for an alleged use of excessive force didn’t render her searching skills useless. It didn’t matter that she was showing up as a private citizen; her colleagues, most of whom she outranked, had sent her home. Chief’s orders.”
What ensues is a story about a detective who very much wants to solve this mystery, which seems to be related to other abductions from the past and how she accomplishes this feat all while being on suspension from the job she so loves, while also overcoming her fears and anxieties. She obtains information from her fiancée Luke, state law enforcement as well as other sources. As the story unfolds, Josie finds that no one is to be trusted – not even her soon to be ex-husband, Ray (whom she has known her whole life).
Throughout this story the reader is bombarded by surprise after surprise! First, are these seemingly random disappearances connected? If so, how? And who is going to such great lengths to suppress the truth? The only real tangible clue is Ramona. But who is Ramona? The magnitude of the wrongs that have been committed in this seemingly close knit community defies all logic (and in my opinion – human decency).
Speckled throughout are segments which detail the stories of the abducted girls. While at times a wee bit confusing, in the end it all makes sense.
Simultaneously, Josie is dealing with her aged grandmother, who is in a nursing home. Without giving anything away, I really enjoyed how the mystery came to touch upon various lives in Rockview Ridge, the only nursing home in Denton. And lets not forget, the trials and tribulations of trying to get her soon-to-be ex to sign the divorce papers! Additionally, Luke is shot, which definitely adds undue stress on Josie. Worrying about her fiancée all while trying to unofficially solve an abduction case, get her ex to actually become her ex and NOT being able to trust anyone… what a strong female character Josie turns out to be!
I was impressed at the strength of Josie while also letting her insecurities and flaws come to light. Her grit was one of the elements of the story that made me really come to like her as a character – flaw and all.
Thank you Lisa Regan for penning such an engaging and gripping thriller. Frankly, I had no idea as to who the bad guys were until it just couldn’t be hidden any longer.
I cannot wait to get the next book in the series, The Girl With No Name and learn what is in store for Detective Josie Quinn.