The Girl Who Was Taken

Kensington. May 2017. 320p. ISBN 9781496701008. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781496701015. F
After two college-bound girls in North Carolina go missing during a beach party, one of them, Megan, escapes. A year later, she reluctantly tells her tale of abduction and survival in a best-selling memoir and in television interviews, but she isn't as healed as everyone thinks—her clouded memory always threatens to clear and reveal details she has forgotten or suppressed. Meanwhile, Livia Cutty, a forensic pathology fellow and the guilt-ridden older sister of Nicole, the still-missing girl, begins an unauthorized investigation into the abductions and possible connections after she learns a man she recently autopsied had been hanging out with Nicole that summer. When Livia asks Megan to help her learn more about the night of the disappearances, both risk discovering things they might not want to know. Readers may roll their eyes at yet another suspense novel with "Girl" in the title, but Donlea's sophomore effort (after Summit Lake) is solid. He effectively tells the story using shifts in time, and despite deploying too much scientific terminology, keeps the reader guessing and second-guessing until the end, thanks to an expertly crafted abundance of potential suspects.
VERDICT For fans of medical suspense and forensic thrillers, especially those who like morgue scenes in television crime shows.
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