Once Gone by Blake Pierce

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If you like Criminal Minds, this book is a nice easy read that’s very similar.

There’s a murderer on the loose, one who is kidnapping women. He then tortures them, slices them up and poses them. He shaves their hair, puts a cheap wig on them and stitches their eyes open, he also slathers their bodies in vaseline. Riley Paige wants to know why.  It’s like Criminal Minds in the way Riley is able to put herself into the mind of the murderer, trying to think how he does and look at the crime from every angle. It’s very creepy, but effective as she’s a damn good FBI agent and refuses to be anyone’s lapdog.

But Riley has her own problems, a fourteen year old who hates her, an ex-husband who wants to push her buttons and criticise her behavior and a partner who she might like more than just professionally. Not only that, but few months ago she went through something traumatic that has her questioning her detective abilities. On a time limit to find the latest kidnapped woman, will her mental state hold so she can do her job? Or like another victim will she fall to pieces?

One of my gripes is that it was a little too short, there wasn’t all that much about the actual crimes- it felt very Riley Paige focused. I’m hoping this is so that there’s a base to go from in the second book. I would have liked more suspense and drama regarding the main crime, it was perhaps a little simplistic. However I understand that this was our introduction to Riley and the horrific thing she’s been through.

Overall I enjoyed it and will be buying the second book. I have high hopes for it and am optimistic that the next book will have a more complex crime, that’s looked at in more depth. I’ve only given it three stars+ because I wanted more from it. If i’d had it, I’d have given it four stars/four stars+ easily.

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