He looked down at the little girl, sleeping peacefully, her arms wrapped around a teddy bear. He knew he was the only one who could save her. He could let her sleep forever.
An eight-year-old girl, Chelsea Compton, is missing in Pine Valley, California and for Detective Katie Scott it’s a cruel reminder of the friend who disappeared from summer camp twenty years ago. Unable to shake the memories, Katie vows she won’t rest until she discovers what happened to Chelsea.
But as Katie starts to investigate, accompanied by her loyal ex-military dog, Cisco, the case reveals itself to be much bigger and more shocking than she feared. Hidden deep in the forest she unearths a makeshift cemetery: a row of graves, each with a brightly coloured teddy bear.
Katie links the graves to a stack of missing-persons cases involving young girls—finding a pattern no one else has managed to see. Someone in Pine Valley has been taking the town’s daughters for years, and Katie is the only one who can stop them.
And then another little girl goes missing, snatched from the park near her home.
Katie’s still haunted by the friend she failed to protect, and she’ll do anything to stop the killer striking again—but can she find the little girl before it’s too late?
Compulsive and gripping crime fiction for fans of Lisa Regan, Rachel Caine and Melinda Leigh. Katie Scott’s first case will have you on the edge of your seat and gasping with shock.
Little Girls Sleeping is published today (31st May 2019) by Bookouture. Many thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book via NetGalley and for inviting me onto this blog tour.
Little Girls Sleeping is the first book in a new series featuring Detective Katie Scott. Katie has just returned from military service and has a decision to make as to whether she returns to Sacramento PD – in the meantime her Uncle Wayne (aka Sheriff Scott) gets her working in his Pine Valley office within the records department. This is a welcome distraction for Katie as she adjusts to civilian life.
Whilst in her Uncle’s office, Katie finds a cold case file on his desk relating to the disappearance of a young girl 4 years ago which pricks her interest due to something from her childhood – what follows is Katie’s own investigation into the girl’s last known movements in order to find her and give her parents some answers. Due to Katie’s military training, and her wonderful canine partner Cisco, Katie has fantastic attention to detail and very much trusts her instincts and cues from Cisco. They are very methodical in their searches and this puts them in danger as someone clearly doesn’t want her finding out what happened to Chelsea, and will go to any lengths to stop the truth coming out.
Little Girls Sleeping is a great start to this series, introducing us to Katie, her family and her new colleagues. I really liked seeing the professional relationship build between Katie and Deputy McGaven (who was begrudging placed with Katie when the investigation is taken back over by the Sheriff’s office). Katie faces a lot of scrutiny and criticism due to her being handed a ‘detective’ title for this investigation so she really needs someone on her side.
Whilst the book is mostly told from Katie’s perspective, we do also hear snippets from the killer to understand why he is taking little girls. I would’ve liked to have heard more from the killer, to really understand the drivers behind the killings just to get inside his head a little more. That said, the reader is given some little nuggets of information about him and a number of suspects who could possibly fit the bill. As such, the author creates a number of possible suspects and red herrings – just as a good police procedural should do 🙂
Jennifer Chase has an extensive background in forensics and criminology which definitely gives this book authenticity and realism!
I enjoyed Little Girls Sleeping and look forward to the next book in the series.
Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning and best-selling crime fiction author, as well as a consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent psychopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists, and member of the International Thriller Writers.
Jennifer Chase was born and raised in California and still lives there with her husband, dogs and cats. In addition to writing and consulting, Jennifer enjoys spending time outdoors, both at the beach and hiking, and engaging in some amateur photography.