The Innocent Girls: A completely gripping mystery and suspense thriller

· Bookouture
12 reviews

About this ebook

Tears stream down her face as she feels the cold blade press against her neck. The sweet scent of her daughter’s favorite strawberry pancakes all around, her last thought is for her beautiful girl. Please, please let Lisa have escaped.

When Detective Casey White is called early one morning to a beachside vacation campsite in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, she finds the bodies of Carl and Peggy Pearson side-by-side, their throats cut, and their thirteen-year-old daughter Lisa nowhere to be found. Haunted by memories of her own missing girl, Casey fears this could soon become a triple murder: because without the medication found in the bathroom cabinet, Lisa has just days to live.

As her team struggle to untangle the meaning of the cryptic symbol carved into the victims’ skin, Casey searches the area for signs of Lisa and is rewarded when she finds her blistered and barefoot, staggering along the highway. The girl barely has breath left to whisper ‘he invited me’ before blacking out.

Days later, another couple is found murdered on a vacation yacht. A different symbol is etched on their bodies, and their teenage daughter is also missing. Casey’s only clue is an unsettling ‘invitation’ found on the girl’s phone, to a secluded building out in the cornfields.

Desperate to uncover who is luring these innocent families to their deaths, and certain forensics have missed something vital, Casey matches up the crime scene photos herself. The symbols combine to form an upcoming date. The killer is taunting them with the timing of the next murder.

Racing to follow the invitation in time, when Casey arrives she is shocked to glimpse not the missing girls from this case, but her own missing daughter…

An absolutely addictive mystery thriller that will have you holding your breath until the shocking final twist. Perfect for fans of Kendra Elliot, Robert Dugoni and Melinda Leigh.

Read what everyone’s saying about The Innocent Girls:

‘A real thrill ride… a conclusion which literally blew me away. Everything and more you expect from a real gritty crime thriller. LOVED IT!!!!’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

‘This fabulous crime thriller with its super mix of characters will keep you on the edge of your seat and deeply engrossed from the very first page to the nail-biting twist at the end… Loved it and deserves all of its 5 stars from me.’ NetGalley Reviewer, 5 stars

Absolutely phenomenaldevoured in practically one sitting!... the conclusion was quite the surprise… I would recommend this one to crime thriller and police procedural enthusiasts everywhere!... keep the reader frantically turning the page!Misty’s Corner Reviews, 5 stars

‘What a cracking bookintriguing… brilliant. It’s just complex enough to keep you guessing… the most addictive stories I’ve read for a long time… the very definition of ‘page-turners’… I love this series.’ Nigel Adams Book Worm, 5 stars

‘I felt like I was on a roller-coaster when reading this… twists and turns throughout… a unique storyline with plenty of unexpected events… really hits full throttle… filled with suspense, action and tension.’ BookWorm86

Compulsive, addictive and fast-paced… a plethora of twists, turns and red herrings… right from the beginning I was hooked… the tension is ratcheted up… A highly entertaining and absorbing police procedural.’ Readers Retreat

‘So engrossing… intriguing… That ending though! It left me on pins and needles wanting the next book.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

12 reviews
Gail Byrd
September 3, 2020
The Innocent Girls is the second in a new series by B. R. Spangler, set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and featuring Detective Casey White. Spangler wastes no time drawing you into the violence of murder as the book opens with the almost immediate murder of two people in an RV who have come to the Outer Banks for vacation along with their young teenage daughter. The reader watches along with the daughter as the murderer kills her parents and then follows her story as she tries to determine her next steps, all in the first chapter. For the remainder of the book, the pace is at a similar breakneck speed. Detective White, who has now relocated to the Outer Banks and become a member of their police force is called and begins the painstaking work of solving the murder, starting with finding the missing teenager. Detective White’s own daughter was kidnapped years ago and she has been searching for her since. This information is detailed in the first novel in the series and, while not necessary to solve this murder, it is helpful in understanding Detective White, who she is and why she reacts the way she does. In addition, the whereabouts of her daughter are hinted at in the first book and are a minor side-plot for this book as well. There are some continuing secondary characters, most notably Jerico, the former sheriff. His relationship with Casey was started in the first novel and progresses and deepens in this second in the series. Also making another appearance is the (now) Mayor Ashtole who was the District Attorney being groomed for mayor in the first novel. Spangler does a good job of mentioning enough of their history for a new reader to understand the relationships without rehashing everything that happened in the first book. If a reader prefers reading series, they most likely would prefer to read both these books in the order of publication so they can experience the development of Casey’s relationships with these characters. As in the first novel, there is a strong element of the story which deals with young teenagers. In this case it is teenagers who have persuaded their parents to vacation at the Outer Banks and who have plans, unknown to their parents, of attending church services created by a preacher they met on-line. The more Casey investigates the murders, the more they seem to be entangled with the travelling preacher and his good friend and director of security. If you like mysteries and police procedurals that are fast paced and filled with dramatic tension, this may be the series for you. An added bonus is the beautiful area of North Carolina, the Outer Banks, which has a cameo role in the series. It’s not much, but it may be enough to leave you longing for a trip to the beach or remembering the area from past visits. The book is well written, and the characters are three dimensional, both the good guys and the bad ones.
Kathleen Hughes
September 3, 2020
A hideously violent act opens the The Innocent Girls, the second in a series featuring Detective Casey White. A couple have been stabbed and mutilated in their RV, parked in a campground on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The crime scene is a gory one and the couple’s 13 year old daughter is missing. Soon another parent is dead and yet another girl has disappeared. As the search for the missing girls continues, Casey must deal with her own troubled past. Her daughter was kidnapped years ago and that tragedy led to the end of her marriage. Then one of the girls is found, near exhaustion, walking on bloodied feet and raving about an invitation. Casey and her team work to learn the meaning behind the mutilations and how these murder victims are related. Can they solve this case before there are more victims? The Innocent Girls is a great 5 star read. Although part of a series, it’s a standalone thriller with heart-stopping suspense. The characters, especially Casey, are well described and the Outer Banks location becomes almost a character itself. I’m looking forward to the next in this series.
Vickie Watts
September 4, 2020
Although this is the second book in a series, I read it as a standalone and had no difficulty following the plot and characters. In fact, I was drawn into the story from the very beginning and raced to finish it as the tension seemed to ratchet up with each new chapter. Detective Casey White is a strong female protagonist but her vulnerable side is shown also since she has nightmares about the kidnapping of her daughter Hannah as a toddler. When parents are killed with a message carved on the mother and a teen girl missing each time, Casey’s determination to find the girls is understandable. The police procedural part of the story was absolutely engrossing. There is a sub-plot about a weird church in the middle of nowhere, a charismatic pastor who seems evil in many ways, and the mysterious fact that attendees have to be invited in order to attend. The mystery of the invitation was definitely enticing since one girl was found and could only say “he invited me” before she was whisked off to the hospital. Casey’s desperation to find subsequent missing girls is evident and the tension in the plot increases accordingly, making me as the reader enthralled by each new crime, each new detail and each new clue. There were plenty of unexpected twists and a whole gallery of possible suspects, perfect for a mystery/suspense enthusiast like me. The revelation of the killer was a real surprise to me and the final scenes were totally riveting. Fans of thriller/suspense will really enjoy this book. I know for sure that I will look for the next book in the series and Casey White’s next adversary who cannot possibly be a match for her skill and intuition. Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
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