Oh sweet mother, did this book ever frustrate me.
On one hand, the premise is interesting – a girl shows up murdered in a forest; the lead detective on the case was involved in the suspicious disappearance of two of his friends when he was a child – in the exact same forest. Dun dun duuuunnnnn…. Who killed this girl? What happened to his friends all those years ago? Are the two cases related? 608 PAGES LATER AND ONLY ONE OF THOSE QUESTIONS WAS ANSWERED. WTF.
The modern day case was fine, a somewhat predictable and sorta infuriating ending, but still entertaining and well written. The part that kept me guessing was the tie-in to the original case…but then I got to the end and was shocked. The whole book was building to what happened years ago, and what happened to those kids… and then, nothing. I realize that in real life, missing persons cases aren’t always solved, but this is a book. A mystery book. WRAP UP THE LOOSE ENDS. Omg, so frustrating.
In addition, I wanted to sit our protagonist down and have a serious conversation with him about how much of a grade-A douche he is. I’m all for flawed and realistic characters… but the way he handled the falling out with his partner? Ugh, I hated it. For two people who had an abnormally close friendship, for it to blow up the way it did, and not have them sit down and have one honest conversation was infuriating. He treated her like dirt, and I lost all respect for him after that.
All that to say, I’ve heard great things about this series, and will press on, hoping that things improve in the second book. Where they will hopefully actually SOLVE ALL THE CRIMES, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.
(As an aside, if anyone has read the rest of this series, and would like to reassure me that somewhere down the road we find out what happened to those two kids, I’d appreciate it)
3.5 stars, rounded down to 3.