Avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker, genre-omnivore.
He likes them smart.
In the woods of Whisper, Georgia, two bodies are found: one recently dead, the other decayed from a decade of exposure to the elements. The sheriff is going to need help to track down an experienced predator—one who abducts girls and holds them for months before ending their lives. Enter ex–FBI profiler and private investigator Keye Street.
He lives for the struggle.
After a few weeks, Keye is finally used to sharing her downtown Atlanta loft with her boyfriend, A.P.D. Lieutenant Aaron Rauser. Along with their pets (his dog, her cat) they seem almost like a family. But when Rauser plunks a few ice cubes in a tumbler and pours a whiskey, Keye tenses. Her addiction recovery is tenuous at best.
And loves the fear.
Though reluctant to head out into the country, Keye agrees to assist Sheriff Ken Meltzer. Once in Whisper, where the locals have no love for outsiders, Keye starts to piece together a psychological profile: The killer is someone who stalks and plans and waits. But why does the sociopath hold the victims for so long, and what horrible things must they endure? When a third girl goes missing, Keye races against time to connect the scant bits of evidence. All the while, she cannot shake the chilling feeling: Something dark and disturbing lives in these woods—and it is watching her every move.
*I received a free ARC of Don't Talk to Strangers from Bantam Books via Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review*
Don't Talk to Strangers is a fantastic, devious and clever suspense story. Complete with a big fat who-dun-it, a most excellent private detective / profiler who used to work for the FBI and a possible serial killer in a small town where there are many small-minded people. Keye Street sure has her work cut out for her when the sheriff of Whisper, Georgia, calls her to ask for her services in a case where two female bodies have been found one on top of the other in the woods, close to a stream. One important detail is that the first victim disappeared eleven years ago, and the second eight months ago.
As Keye arrives to Whisper, she soon understands that she is not all that welcome there, and Don't Talk to Strangers features more than just the main mystery of the girls, who took them and how, because the blatant animosity against Keye from two of the officers working with the sheriff really makes Keye on edge, and therefore, the readers are pretty much on edge with her. And it was, for once, impossible for me to figure out who had done anything at all! Not only the kidnappings, but also the little things that don't add up that keep happening to Keye.
Extremely well written, Don't Talk to Strangers is adequately creepy, and it manages to bring the reader inside of the story, and to only let us see what we are supposed to see. The narrator is an expert at not showing too much, but just enough so that the story moves forward at a nice pace, and questions keep popping into our heads. Who? What? Why? How? frequently popped into my head while reading, and I couldn't get enough of Keye and the way she works to make sure she can bring some peace to the girls' families.
Even if Don't Talk to Strangers is the third book in the Keye Street series, I never felt lost, but I know I am going to read the first two books before the next one comes out. I really want to get to know Keye better, because she is an awesome heroine, flawed but strong. Smart, but even so she still looks like she wants to believe the best in people she encounters. She has a pretty dry sense of humor, too, and I found myself chuckling several times while reading Don't Talk to Strangers. As Keye's suspicions become stronger, she brings the reader on the chase, and I was sure she was going to solve the case - only it didn't happen at all the way I had imagined.
First person point of view is one of my favorites, because it really lets me get to know the main character very well. And seeing how Keye thinks, and how she works was mesmerizing. And it also made me want to get to know her a lot better. I am sure fans of the series already know her quite well, and that Don't Talk to Strangers will make them enjoy her even more. The way Don't Talk to Strangers unfolds makes the reader a part of the investigation, and it is written in a way that even smells seemed to come out of my kindle. And as I followed Keye around, I wasn't necessarily taken in the right direction. If you enjoy mysteries, and you are up for some gory details and a tiny splash of romance, you should pick up Don't Talk to Strangers, I'm sure you won't regret it.
I let the sun sink lower, slipped out, closed my car door quietly, and headed down the sidewalk. Four doors down, I veered left and worked my way along a driveway lined with droopy hydrangeas. They looked like they could use a drink. I know the feeling.
I was beginning to fantasize about a bank account so full and a business so functional I could have an actual vacation - the beach, naps, hot sweaty middle-of-the-day sex, chocolate cake for dinner, no alarms, no phones. But that's just crazy talk.
The sun was beating down, and the heat was rising off the pavement like flaming charcoal. It was gong to be one of those days in Georgia. Already it felt like I was wading through sweet sorghum syrup.
"Not a fan of the water, huh?" "I'm accustomed to enjoying it from land," I said. He did a bad job of disguising a smile. "Better hold on then."