Last Seen by Joy Kluver

5 Stars from me  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

I love beginning a new series and I always do so with the hope in my heart that it will be the first in a series of books that I come to love.

Joy Kluver has created a memorable cast of characters in Last Seen and I soon found myself engrossed in the story and enjoying meeting the police team.

Last Seen is a classic race against time with a sense of urgency as Detective Bernadette Noel and her colleagues try to find missing 5 year old Molly… and yet, contrary to all that you would expect, the villagers don’t seem willing to help look for her. But why?

The story unfolds in clever layers, with little snippets being released at various stages. Every time I patted myself on the back, sure that I had sussed out the culprit, it took another turn.

I greatly enjoyed Last Seen and can’t wait to read the next in the series – Broken Girls.

Blurb: I can see her, shouting with laughter as she swings as high as she can, her beautiful blonde curls flying out behind her. I can feel her tiny hot hand in mine, and my heart aches. My little girl. If only I’d listened to my gut. Then maybe she’d be safe here with me…

When five-year-old Molly Reynolds is snatched from the park in the small village of Otterfield, Detective Bernadette ‘Bernie’ Noel throws herself into the search, sick with worry for the quiet, sensitive little girl and her distraught mother.

Wasting no time, Bernie finds a small green cardigan under a bush in the park. It still has the smiley face sticker Molly won that week at school. It’s the first in a chain of clues – and Bernie can’t shake the feeling that it was left deliberately, as a message.

But Bernie encounters a wall of silence. Otterfield is a close-knit community, yet no one in the village seems to care that Molly is missing at all. Why?

And then Bernie makes a chilling discovery: twenty-five years ago, another little girl went missing from the area. Her name was Sophie, and all they ever found of her was her teddy bear, hidden under a bush. Now Bernie knows she’s in a race against time to save Molly’s life.

Bernie’s team work round the clock to find a connection between the two girls, and just when they think they’re making progress a devastating tragedy strikes at the heart of the case. Molly’s family have been hiding a secret, and now their little girl is in greater danger than ever.

Can Bernie outwit the most warped criminal she has ever faced and bring Molly home safe, or will another innocent life be lost?

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