Laura Griffith enjoyed her quiet, simple life as a librarian- that is until her sixteen-year-old sister comes to live with her. Darcy is stubborn, rebellious, and craves independence. Ultimately, Darcy chooses to run away thinking she can craft the life she's always dreamed of away from her sister's rules. When Laura discovers Darcy has disappeared, she fears for her sister's safety as the frigid temperatures continue to dive. To aid in the search, she hires private investigator, Dev Devlin. As Dev and Laura seek clues around town at local homeless shelters, a more ominous scenario begins to take shape- that perhaps Darcy has been kidnapped. And the more they find as time begins running out, the creepier the scenario becomes until finally, not only is Darcy's life in danger, but so is Laura's as she tries to save her sister from an unstable, psychopath living in his own fabricated version of reality.
I was eager to plunge into this next book of Hannon's Private Justice series to delve into Phoenix's next investigation- and of course the undeniable romance that would blossom with the second member of the PI team, Dev Devlin. While I would have liked to see the romance element developed a little more between Dev and Laura, the plot was filled with suspense and an underlying thread of fear that perhaps Darcy wouldn't be found. The storyline was a little dark, but still a good read.
This review contains my own thoughts and opinions. I have not been compensated by the publisher in any way for this review.
Laura Griffith was thirty three and single. Her half-sister, Darcy recently moved in with her. Their mother had been dead three years, and Darcys father died four months ago. Darcy was sixteen, defiant, rebellious and hated St. Louis. Since neither of them had any other relatives, Darcy had to leave her home in New York and live with her half-sister.
Laura came home to an empty house. She found a note from Darcy saying she was moving out and not to worry. Since she was only sixteen, Laura was worried. She went to see a private investigator. James Devlin (Dev) took the information, but did not feel hopeful. He had experience with other run away teens, and the outcome was not always good.
Darcy got the name of a girl in Chicago through her good friend in New York, so thats where she was headed. She knew Laura would not think to look for her there. Because of a storm, Darcy was unable to leave the city. Instead, she was sleeping in a homeless shelter. An older teen named Star took her under her wing and looked after her. Star was headed for Nashville, where she hoped to begin a singing career. She never left her guitar out of her sight. Bus terminals and airports were closed because of the weather, so Star and Darcy just hung out in the city waiting for the weather to clear.
Mark, one of the volunteers, offered Darcy and Star a place to stay until they could leave the city. Since he was also a supervisor at a daycare facility, they felt safe in saying yes.
The next morning when Darcy awoke and went to the kitchen, Star was not there. Mark said she got a call from a friend and left for Nashville. That seemed strange, since Star had been so concerned about Darcys safety.
Later that morning, Darcy saw Stars guitar in the basement. She knew Star would never leave without taking it. Darcy wondered what really happened to Star. She also wondered if she was safe there with just Mark.
This is the second book in the Private Justice series. The subject matter was not pleasant, and there was too much focus on the growing romance between Laura and Dev. However, it was very suspenseful, especially the last half of the book. I kept reading until I finished, because I was anxious to know how it ended.
I really enjoyed Book Two of the Private Justice series. Character development is well done. Lead characters Laura and James are believable and their story is sweet. The story moves along at a good pace, dialogue is excellent. This is a book that I was excited to finish, to see the end conclusion. Well worth your time.
When Laura Griffith's teenage sister Darcy runs away from home, Laura is determined to track her down and bring her back safely. Laura hires private investigator and former ATF agent James "Dev" Devlin in the hope that with his help, they will be able to find Darcy quickly, before she becomes victim to the winter weather or to unsavory characters. But as time goes on and the trail gets cold, Dev and Laura begin to suspect the worst. Will they be able to find Darcy before it's too late?
Fraught with danger, brimming with suspense, this tale is one that kept me turning the pages. I'm already a big fan of Irene Hannon's novels, and I've looked forward to reading Trapped with a great deal of anticipation, particularly since learning that this latest novel features a librarian as its heroine. Yes, I am slightly biased on that point, being a librarian myself, but there you have it. I'm pleased to report that Trapped did not disappoint. Once again, Hannon has lived up to her reputation as queen of inspirational romantic suspense.
I enjoyed watching the romance blossom between hero and heroine over the course of the book, but the element that made this story stand out in my mind was Hannon's portrayal of the villain. Early on, you know that there's something not quite right about him, but the more you learn about his background and the current situation over the course of the story, the creepier the situation becomes and the more the suspense is heightened. I am impressed with Hannon's ability to craft a complex believable villain who is capable of committing heinous crimes and yet believes that what he's doing is for the best. It makes for a fascinating read.
I read and reviewed Vanished, the first book in this series, not that long ago. As I read this one, I was struck by how similar the two novels are to each other. There were quite a few deja vu moments for me, as I read scenes that felt eerily familiar because of their parallels to similar scenes in the earlier novel. If you have read Vanished, you will enjoy getting reacquainted with a number of familiar characters and meeting some new ones. If you have not read it yet, don't worry. The books complement each other but do not depend upon each other to understand and follow the story. In my opinion, you won't be missing anything should you decide to read them out of order.
For those who enjoy reading inspirational romantic suspense, I highly recommend Trapped, as well as its predecessor Vanished. I'm looking forward to reading the next in this series. From what I've heard, Deceived is due out this summer, and if it's anything like the first two in the Private Justice series, it should be a treat.
Thank you to the publisher, Revell, for providing me with a complimentary copy of the book through NetGalley for review purposes. For some great discussion questions, check out the author's web site.