Author: Jennifer Chase
Book title: Little Girls Sleeping
Genre: Crime thriller
Publish date: 5/31/2019
Author website: authorjenniferchase.com
She looked at the smiling, eager face of the little girl in the photograph, with dark hair, bright-green eyes, a missing front tooth, and her entire life ahead of her. Chelsea was last seen walking back from a friend’s house one summer afternoon. She never made it home…
An eight-year-old girl, Chelsea Compton, is missing in Pine Valley, California and for Detective Katie Scott it’s a cruel reminder of the friend who disappeared from summer camp twenty years ago. Unable to shake the memories, Katie vows she won’t rest until she discovers what happened to Chelsea.
But as Katie starts to investigate – her PTSD flashbacks kept at bay with the help of her loyal ex-military dog, Cisco – the case reveals itself to be much bigger and more shocking than she feared. Deep in the forest, she unearths a makeshift cemetery: a row of graves, each with a brightly coloured teddy bear.
Tracing the silk lining the coffins, Katie links the graves to a stack of missing-persons cases involving young girls – finding a pattern no one else has managed to see. Someone in Pine Valley has been taking the town’s daughters for years, and Katie is the only one who can stop them.
And then another little girl goes missing, snatched from the park near her home…
Compulsive and gripping crime fiction for fans of Lisa Regan, Rachel Caine and Melinda Leigh. Katie Scott’s first case will have you on the edge of your seat and gasping with shock.
The oversized tires obliterated the rural roadway before the large truck came to an abrupt stop. The driver stalled the engine. Dust rose in a curious flowering cloud, swirling in front of the vehicle’s hood and creeping toward the back of the camper shell. When the surrounding vicinity finally cleared, a dense forest landscape emerged.
The truck overlooked the sheer cliff and rugged scenery that had become a permanent roadblock. The usual silence of the deserted region was interrupted by the incessant and rhythmic sound of a cooling engine.
Tick… Tick… Tick…
The vehicle remained parked. No one moved inside the cab or got out. The truck stayed immobile as if an unlikely statue in the vast wilderness—a distinct contrast between nature and manufactured steel.
The truck sat at the ideal vantage spot, which was both mesmerizing and terrifying for any spectator; but still the occupant chose to wait. The intense high beams pierced ahead into the picturesque hills, leaving a hazy view of the area above the massed trees.
When the driver’s door finally opened, a man stepped out, his steel-toed leather work boots hitting the dirt. They were well-worn, reflecting the many miles he had walked and the many hours he had labored. Swiftly the door shut as the man, medium build and wearing only a plain dark T-shirt, walked to the back of the truck and, with a loud bang, released the lift gate. He moved with purpose and with a calm assertiveness, as if he had performed this particular task many times before.