I received an arc copy via the publisher in return for an honest review
A Map Of The Dark by Karen Ellis
A girl missing
A woman, searching
A killer, planning…
A thrilling new FBI series for fans of Tess Gerritsen and Karin Slaughter.
FBI Agent Elsa Myers finds missing people.
She knows how it feels to be lost…
Though her father lies dying in a hospital north of New York City, Elsa cannot refuse a call for help. A teenage girl has gone missing from Forest Hills, Queens, and during the critical first hours of the case, a series of false leads hides the fact that she did not go willingly.
With each passing hour, as the hunt for Ruby deepens into a search for a man who may have been killing for years, the case starts to get underneath Elsa’s skin. Everything she has buried – her fraught relationship with her sister and niece, her self-destructive past, her mother’s death – threatens to resurface, with devastating consequences.
In order to save the missing girl, she may have to lose herself…and return to the darkness she’s been hiding from for years.
A new series and a new feisty female protagonist, perfect to kick off the new year! Introducing FBI agent Elsa Myers, who is part of the child abduction, rapid deployment division. This novel does read like an episode of criminal minds. But as always, the author has cleverly woven a secret into the novel, which slowly unravels.
The prologue opens with a kidnapping, so the reader is left in no disillusion about the central plot of this novel. A missing teenage girl and a devastated family!
Elsa is at the bed side of her terminally ill father when she is summoned to the case. She is warned by her superior that the detective handling the case is newly transferred from vice. To cut it short, he is out of his depth and desperately needs Elsa’s expertise.
The missing teen is Ruby Haverstock, a 17-year-old teenager. Ruby has no apparent motive to have run away and nobody seems to hold a grudge against her. She does have a local ex-boyfriend, maybe he can shed some light onto the disappearance?
Detective Alexei ‘Lex’ Cole is the newly transferred detective assigned to the case. Elsa and Lex work incredibly well together as fictional characters, they are polar opposites, yet with so much in common. The tackle the case by following the evidence and interviewing those known to Ruby. When more and more leads don’t pan out. The investigation becomes a slow burner.
There is a fascinating back story into Elsa’s past. Elsa’s mother died in a home invasion gone, deadly! When she was just a young girl. Leaving her and her big sister Tara to be brought up by single father Roy. A father now slowly slipping away due to cancer. The depth in the backstory is drip fed to the reader throughout the novel. I found it absolutely fascinating!
Elsa’s niece Mel, tries to insinuate herself into the investigation. This frustrates Elsa and causes disagreements within their relationship. Elsa tries to be both Mel’s aunt and best friend. But she is completely oblivious to the perilous world, modern teens live in.
The novel has various spin-off themes, mainly surrounding the relationships of the central characters. It works well as a basis to set up a series. Elsa is a strong and capable woman, but at time is broken and vulnerable.
I am keen to see where the author takes her next!
This novel is perfect for fans of TV series CSI, Criminal Minds or Law & Order SVU.
Katia Lief aka Karen Ellis