Friday, 7 July 2017

Review: The Drowned Girls by Loreth Anne White

The Drowned Girls (Angie Pallorino #1) by Loreth Anne White
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication date: June 20th 2017
My rating: 4.5 Stars
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD
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? 

My Thoughts:
The Drowned Girls is an atmospheric, dark, and captivating mystery.  Add in the chemistry filled romance between Angie and Maddocks and you have another win from Loreth Anne White.  

We’re launched into Angie Pallorino’s life as she’s on the prowl for anonymous sex. This is her escape of choice ever since losing her partner and a three year-old victim on the same tragic night. The encounter is passionate and brief, but ends up being not as anonymous as Angie would’ve liked, because the next day Angie finds out her she’s working with the man, James Maddocks, at the Victoria Metro Police Department. The awkward situation takes a back seat (sort of) to the troubling case Angie has landed, because her newest case bears striking similarities to two brutal rape cases she was unable to close.  It soon becomes apparent that this sicko is back and upping his game.  Angie and Maddocks struggle to catch this guy before he grabs up a new victim, while dealing their growing attraction.   

Angie is complex, a little prickly, and flawed, but she’s a likable character.  Her actions and reactions were understandable making it easy for me to form an attachment to her, and hope everything worked out. Angie is distrustful of Holgerson, her new partner, and initially of Maddocks, and has every reason to be considering the blowback from the department after losing her partner. Angie’s family life and past are a whole other story, and I had my suspicions early on about what had happened.  Her past will continue to be a factor in the next story.

Holgerson, Angie’s partner in the sex crimes unit, reminds me of Detective Stephen Holder in the TV series The Killing. A great secondary character I’m sure we’ll learn more about in the future.

James Maddocks was every bit a main character as Angie, IMO, and I just loved him!  How could I not love a man who rescues a three-legged scruffy terrier?!  Angie and Maddocks were a great team, even with some of the friction they had trying to feel each other out, they were in sync with each other as they investigated, interrogated suspects, and slowly got close.

The setting of Victoria, British Columbia in winter was eerie and beautiful; brought to life through Ms. White’s vivid descriptions that gave a sinister edge to the mysteries at play. I must warn that the crimes described were graphic and gruesome at times, but not any more than you’d get from a Criminal Minds episode.

The Drowned Girls is a thrilling, addictive mystery, with many interesting layers and side stories.  The multiple POVs completely worked, IMO, and I enjoyed every viewpoint. Well, maybe except for the killer’s.  The Drowned Girls is a tie for my favorite Loreth Anne White story or at least a close second to In the Waning Light. While this main mystery was solved parts of Angie’s past is still up in the air.  I know she won’t be able to stop until she has all the answers.  I can’t wait to get my hands on the next installment! 

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  1. This sounds great, Rachel. I have been looking for a good thriller novel and I just might give this one a try. The romance situation sure is awkward, but good for them for being able to set the awkwardness aside to solve the case.
    Great review!

  2. I love when multiple povs work

  3. Sounds like a riveting read. I do like a good multi layer book, and I most of the time I enjoy multi POVS, not usually a fan of the killer POV. Sill this sounds like a good one to pick up for winter for sure.

  4. I'm not big on thriller novels but the fact that it's also a romantic suspense novel makes it really promising! Definitely adding this to my TBR! :)

    Blessie @ Mischievous Reads

  5. Ohhh. Awesome review Rachel :D You have made me curious about this one. So glad that you loved it so :D And ahh, the mystery sounds awesome and awful. So curious.

  6. Ooh with a title like that this does sound like an atmospheric mystery! I don't know what it is about British Columbia but it does seem like it would be a great setting. And I love the angle where her fling ends up being her partner- awkward!! But fun. :)

    I always love it too when the MC has a mysterious past...

  7. This sounds fantastic and I love that this is the start of a new mystery series. I've been really struggling with books this summer so hopefully a new genre can help me get out of my slump. Wonderful review, Rachel--I'm excited for your thoughts on the sequel!


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