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The Girl Who Was Taken by Charlie Donlea
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The Girl Who Was Taken (edition 2017)

by Charlie Donlea (Author)

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297378,207 (4.31)1
Member:ElyPublicLibrary
Title:The Girl Who Was Taken
Authors:Charlie Donlea (Author)
Info:Kensington (2017), 320 pages
Collections:New Books
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The Girl Who Was Taken by Charlie Donlea

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Having really enjoyed Charlie Donlea's debut novel Summit Lake last year, I was looking forward to his new thriller. It didn't disappoint. Even if you've sworn off any more "Girl"-titled novels this one is a well-written and original mystery that is worthwhile adding.
The main character, Livia Cutty, is training as a medical examiner. A career aspiration attributable to the loss of her younger sister, Nicole, whose disappearance over a year ago has since turned into a cold case. When Livia finds out that a body on her autopsy table had links with her missing sister, Livia starts investigating on her own.
The story switches back and forth between the present day and the time leading up to Nicole's disappearance. In addition, there are several points of view. On the same night Nicole disappeared, one of her classmates, Megan McDonald, was abducted, but she made it back home a couple of weeks later.
I thought the alternating timeframes and perspectives worked well and were straightforward to follow. The shortish chapters kept the momentum going and I was pretty much gripped the entire way through. I enjoyed reading about Livia's work as a forensic pathologist. She was an interesting and strong character.
Mr Donlea threw plenty of red herrings and I'm afraid I fell for all the 'clues'. The finale was an exciting surprise. In the end, there were a couple of things I would have liked more information on, e.g. the relationship between Megan's dad and Casey wasn't fully explained.
Overall, a solid mystery with a very intriguing plot and well-developed characters.
I received an ARC via NetGalley. ( )
  Pet12 | May 16, 2017 |
I enjoyed reading Charlie Donlea’s debut novel, SUMMIT LAKE, last year, and I’m thrilled to say that his second book, THE GIRL WHO WAS TAKEN, exceeded my expectations. It’s suspenseful, twisty, and chilling, which all together make for a riveting read.

Two young women were abducted the summer after their high school graduation. Megan escapes after two weeks, but Nicole is still missing a year later. What became of Nicole? Her older sister Livia is haunted by that question daily. While completing her fellowship to become a forensic pathologist, Livia wonders if a clue to her sister’s disappearance will end up on her exam table – and then suddenly, one appears.

I was fascinated by Livia’s job as a medical examiner, though I had to cringe several times! Yep, the descriptions could be gruesome, but clearly forensic pathology was well researched for this book.

The story jumps around in time, and is told from different POVs. What does Megan know about her time in captivity that her mind has repressed? There’s something dark and terrible in there that’s trying to get out. This was a puzzling and well constructed mystery that tripped me up more than once. The pace got faster as the story progressed, and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough as the pieces were coming together toward the end. Speaking of the ending, I thought it was perfect and haunting and fitting for this harrowing tale.

Second novels can be tricky, but Charlie Donlea knocked this one out of the park. Five big stars!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  bookofsecrets | May 16, 2017 |
THE GIRL WHO WAS TAKEN by Charlie Donlea is haunting story of the abduction of two girls, one who escapes and returns home and one who is still missing. The missing girl's sister, Dr. Livia Cutty, is an aspiring medical examiner who has dreamed of finding the answers to mystery of her missing sister, Nicole, and hoping maybe through her job the answers would come. A clue shows up in the form a dead body that is identified as a guy that used to date Nicole. Dr. Cutty, along with the escaped abductee, Megan McDonald, uses that clue to find more and more clues to lead them to what happened to Nicole.
Donlea carries the reader through many layers of discovery throughout the book, including several misdirections, and while the ending was a bit predictable, THE GIRL WHO WAS TAKEN was a good read that several times I found myself not wanting to put it down. Donlea's supporting cast, for the most part, was an interesting bunch and I felt them to be real and believable. The book slowed down some in the middle, as most mystery thrillers tend to, and I wanted maybe one more major twist that never quite came.
I would definitely read another book by Charlie Donlea, and being from North Carolina myself, I appreciated the way Donlea depicted the attitudes of the region and small town perspectives on the world.
Thank you to Kensington, Charlie Donlea, and Netgalley for a copy of the this book in exchange for an honest review! ( )
  EHoward29 | Apr 26, 2017 |
"The Girl Who Was Taken" Chronicles the trail taken by pathologist Livia Cutty to locate her sister Nicole. Novel chapters sweep back and forth in time from abduction to a year in the future and back again. Also different character narratives give depth to this crime drama and add insight to happenings and personality traits. Normally these techniques would be confusing but Donlea has a style and ease of writing that is effortless to understand. Look forward to more from this author. This would make a great movie! "A copy of this book was provided by Kensington Books Via Netgalley with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read and my comments here are my honest opinion. ( )
  marandajo | Apr 25, 2017 |
I absolutely LOVED Summit Lake and when I found out Charlie Donlea had another book, I couldn't wait to read it. It definitely disappoint. It was one of those books I didn't want to put down. When I got to the last page I couldn't believe it was over.

Nicole and Megan both went missing at the same time, but only Megan was found. The book alternates between before the abduction and after Megan escaped. Nicole's sister Livia is a central character and has just started her fellowship with the county medical examiner. She blames herself for not taking that last phone call from Nicole. I kept thinking Nicole's body was going to show up on her table for an autopsy as an unidentified person.

Megan and Nicole were extreme opposites. Megan was the nice girl with the bright future. Nicole on the other hand had the nickname Slutty Cutty and was fascinated with the Capture Club.

All I can say is that ending was something!!! I had a few suspicions on who might be behind everything but I never really thought it would be that person. When it ended I wanted to scream NOOOO!!! I wanted to read more and see if Livia finally found what she was looking for. I definitely recommend this book and look forward to the author's next book!!!

Thanks to NetGalley, Kensington Books and the author, Charlie Donlea, for a free electronic ARC of this novel. ( )
  JenniferLynn | Mar 30, 2017 |
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