Three college freshmen go missing from their rural hometown of Kelly’s Falls while on Christmas break. Their cell phones, coats, and purses are left behind, but the girls have disappeared without a trace. As the days turn into weeks and the investigation grows cold, twenty-three year old Buffalo police officer Shea O’Connor is called on to dig up leads undercover.
Still bearing the emotional and physical scars of a previous case, O’Connor infiltrates as eighteen-year-old Shea Anderson, a college freshman and the “niece” of the town’s police chief. As she begins to immerse herself in the missing girls’ world, befriending their friends and family, and doing whatever it takes to maintain her cover, O’Connor realizes the track is far colder than she initially thought. But whoever was behind the girls’ disappearance was only warming up, and they have set their crosshairs directly on her.
I enjoyed this thriller/murder mystery. I like reading police procedurals, and with Shea going undercover as a teenager, that just made this even more interesting. I might have figured out who did it, but that’s mainly because I usually pick the least likely suspect and go with that while reading mysteries or watching stuff like NCIS. But there were a lot of red herrings in this one.
Shea herself was an interesting character. I can’t imagine doing undercover work and how hard that would be, and Shae experiences the struggles as she comes to care about people who think she’s someone she’s not. And excellent pick to distract yourself from everything going on around you!
Lissa Marie Redmond is a retired detective. The Secrets They Left Behind is her newest novel.
(Galley courtesy of Crooked Lane Books in exchange for an honest review.)