The Taken Ones

Brilliance Audio. (Steinbeck and Reed, Bk. 1). Sept. 2023. 10:31 hrs. ISBN 9798400116247. $42.99. SUSPENSE
Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent Evangeline “Van” Reed catches a cold case involving “the Taken Ones,” three young girls who entered the forest in 1980; only one of them, Rue, ultimately left the forest, deeply traumatized. Forty years later, Rue still has no memory of what happened to her sister and friend. Van comes from a background of trauma herself; she was raised on a cult commune controlled by a leader who abused women and children. The guilt, shame, and fear from her past often inform Van’s police work. Being assigned this particular cold case opens many old wounds, and working with lead detective Dave Comstock, an old enemy, doesn’t help. By following her hunch, there is every chance Van could save at least one of the long-missing women. Narrator Carly Robins ramps up the tension, portraying Van’s increasingly fraught state as things hit uncomfortably close to home. Lourey (The Quarry Girls) skillfully uses flashbacks and changes in perspective to create a deeply suspenseful listening experience.
VERDICT Share with fans of mysteries and suspense involving intriguing women detectives who employ a hint of the supernatural.
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