Last Seen: An absolutely gripping crime thriller

· Detective Bernadette Noel Book 1 · Bookouture
101 reviews

About this ebook

I can see her, laughing as she swings as high as she can, her beautiful blonde curls flying out behind her. My little girl. If only I’d listened to my gut. Then maybe she’d be safe here with me…


When five-year-old Molly Reynolds is snatched from the park in the small village of Otterfield, Detective Bernadette ‘Bernie’ Noel throws herself into the search, sick with worry for the quiet, sensitive little girl and her distraught mother.


Wasting no time, Bernie finds a small green cardigan under a bush in the park. It still has the smiley face sticker Molly won that week at school. It’s the first in a chain of clues – and Bernie can’t shake the feeling that it was left deliberately, as a message.  


But Bernie encounters a wall of silence. Otterfield is a close-knit community, yet no one in the village has anything to say about the missing child. And Bernie is sure there is something Molly’s mother isn’t telling her either. Why?


And then she makes a chilling discovery: twenty-five years ago, another little girl went missing from the area. Her name was Sophie, and all they ever found of her was her teddy bear, hidden under a bush, just the same as Molly’s cardigan. Now Bernie knows she’s in a race against time to save Molly’s life.


Bernie’s team work round the clock to find a connection between the two girls – but when they find their proof it comes at the price of a shocking tragedy that strikes right at the heart of the case. Molly’s family have been hiding a secret, and now their little girl is in greater danger than ever.


Then Bernie makes one deadly mistake that places her right in the hands of the most dangerous criminal she’s ever faced. She was willing to go to any lengths to solve the case – but will she stay alive long enough to do it?


A completely addictive crime thriller with mind-blowing twists that will have you reading late into the night. If you like Val McDermid, D.S. Butler or Angela Marsons, you’ll love Joy Kluver.


See what readers are saying about Last Seen:

Wow!! Just wow!!This book is brilliant! More than brilliant, amazing!!!absolutely gripping, addictive and captivating… I was absolutely hooked from the first page to the last. I had a complete shock at the twistsLove, love, loved all the characters!!! I would love to see this made into a movie and cannot wait to get my hands on the next book.’ Bookworm86 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘I am blown away by this book, the twists and turns are mind boggling!BRILLIANTif I could I would give it more than 5* Excellent.’ Goodreads reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Twisted, intense and heartbreaking… once you start this book you just can’t put it down! Out of all the books that I have read this year none of them shocked me as much as this one had. There was one twist that I literally was yelling and screaming at the character!!!Heidi Lynn’s Book Reviews ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Oh wow! This is an awesome readhas you burning the midnight oil… I am impatiently awaiting her next book.’ Goodreads reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Brillianthad me eagerly turning the pages as I not only wanted to know more about the crime but also about the investigating team… I adored this… A story that takes a dark turn, has several surprises and kept me on my toes.’ Vonnibee ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Brilliant read. One of the best detective books I have read in ages. Great storyline… Great characters… Can’t wait for the next instalment.’ NetGalley reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘From the first page it grabs your attention and holds it right to the end. I read this book very quickly… as I was so engrossedBrilliant plot with lots of twists and turns… and a great cast of characters with pasts to die for.’ Goodreads reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Ratings and reviews

101 reviews
Megan Smith
July 22, 2023
I do not read books and I have managed to read all three of your books in three and a bit days, From the first sentence I was hooked all your writing reads so easy you kept me guessing right to he end in each novel Well done,I will recommend all your novels to my circle of friends. you have ignited a fire inside me to read books and delve into my imagination once more, you really have change my life thank you so much.
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kanchan rajeev
March 28, 2021
Note - I received this digital arc for free as a courtesy of Net Galley and Bookouture publishers in return for an honest feedback. Rating - 4/5 Last Seen by Joy Kluver is the first book in the Detective Bernadette Noel Series. The catch line in the book cover of ' A little girl is missing. So why is no one looking for her?' was what made me pick this psychological detective thriller up despite the decision to take a short sabbatical from reading detective thrillers for a while. And I m totally glad that I didn't leave this one out !! For a debutant author, this book is simply a gem that just cannot be missed !! Newly instated to the area ,DI Bernadette (Bernie) Noel is assigned her first case as a newly promoted DI with the Wiltshire Police - the case of a missing five-year-old girl named Molly Reynolds. But the catch here is that no one in the area of Ottersfield or the nearby Marchant seemed intrigued, concerned or even helpful to the police in finding the child. Bernie and the team are at a loss as they see every lead turning out to be a dead end. Until Bernie discovers an old case, gone cold 25 years back to have striking resemblance and a close link to the disappearance of Molly. The story is all about how Bernie resolves to finding a closure to both the cases in time before things take a drastic turn for the worst. The story was a complete roller coaster and the twists and turns in the 358 pages book made it practically impossible to even gauge the gender of the culprit till more than half of the story was complete. The suspect list was simply growing, jumping from one person to the other and close to the end , it was possible to anticipate the probable culprit. It was so appealing !! The characterization was relatable however at times, I did feel the character sketch of Bernie and DS Anderson ( A potential romantic angle who has a past ) could have been strengthened a bit more as at times, it felt a little out of place trying to understand the background or gauge the reason for their behaviors. Many a times, instances from Bernie's past were quoted but quite vaguely. I understand it may be potential lots for the future books in this series however it would have been nice if the character foundation was a bit more stronger. ( the only reason why I rate this book as 4 stars !! ).The characterization for the rest was perfect with the right amount of details. Profane language usage is borderline to moderate. The language is quite simple to read and understand which is why this book is perfect for all readers aged 15+. Rest assured the book is a fabulous read. So looking forward to read more from this series.
1 person found this review helpful
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March 26, 2021
Last Seen is the debut novel by Joy Kluver, and it's a story I was excited to read. Even though it's not my usual choice when it comes to crime fiction purely because as a Brit I don't tend to enjoy a lot of British detective stories. But there was just something about this one that appealed to me, and I'm glad I got the chance to read it. As it was a well-written and intriguing story that easily pulled me in and perfectly detailed the South West without creating regional stereotypes. Furthermore, the police procedural aspects were on point, and there were just enough twists and turns to keep me reading even when the pace dropped off. And with likable characters who have plenty more to offer I'm excited to see what comes next. Would recommend. **I was kindly provided with an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
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