He surfaced two years ago. Then he disappeared …
But Detective Angie Pallorino never forgot the violent rapist who left a distinctive calling card—crosses etched into the flesh of his victim’s foreheads.
When a comatose Jane Doe is found in a local cemetery, sexually assaulted, mutilated, and nearly drowned, Angie is struck by the eerie similarities to her earlier unsolved rapes. Could he be back?
Then the body of a drowned young woman floats up in the Gorge, also bearing the marks of the serial rapist, and the hunt for a predator becomes a hunt for a killer. Assigned to the joint investigative task force, Angie is more than ready to prove that she has what it takes to break into the all-male homicide division. But her private life collides with her professional ambitions when she’s introduced to her temporary partner, James Maddocks—a man she’d met the night before in an intense, anonymous encounter.
Together, Angie and Maddocks agree to put that night behind them. But as their search for the killer intensifies so does their mutual desire. And Angie’s forays into the mind of a monster shake lose some unsettling secrets about her own past . . .
How can she fight for the truth when it turns out her whole life is a lie?
Worldbuilding: The Victoria setting, pre-Christmas, with its moody weather was a great boost to the story, giving events and scenes a stark sort of background.
Characters: Angie was pretty easy to like, a layered character determined to make it in a man’s world. She was a bit broken, a bit blue, and a mystery even to herself. I liked how much of a rebel she was and how guarded. And yet she was loyal, and sweet in her own way.
I really liked her and Maddocks together, aside his alpha hotness, they had great chemistry and I loved their back and forward.
Plot: The mystery of the serial rapist plus a murder was creepy, exciting, and tense. The coworkers romance trope was also fun and increased tension nicely. The story had a nice pace and it was engaging.
Writing: Third person past tense narrative, multiple POV which I don’t enjoy generally, but it was more of Angie’s POV which I did enjoy.
Curb Appeal: Kickass cover, hooking blurb – impulsive buy material for my thirllery/mystery moods.
The Drowned Girls was a really good start to a series that I have every intention to follow. I recommend it to fans of serial offenders and procedurals.