Book Review & Blog Tour: The Silent Dolls by Rita Herron (eARC)

Hi everyone! I am so excited to be taking part in the blog tour for The Silent Dolls by Rita Herron, which was organized by the amazing team over at Bookouture!

The Silent Dolls

Author: Rita Herron

Publication Date: 17 July 2020

Genre: Adult Fiction – Mystery Thriller

Publisher: Bookouture

Silent tears trickle down her cheeks as she curls inside the tiny cave-like space. She lies on her side, darkness all around her, rubbing her fingers over the little wooden doll he’d carved. He told her to be quiet, not to cry or scream. Not to be a baby. Her throat was raw, her eyes swollen shut. She wanted her mommy and daddy. She wanted to go home.

When Penny Matthews, a seven-year-old girl with blonde curls and a gap-toothed smile, goes missing in the Appalachian mountains, Detective Ellie Reeves is called straight to the scene. According to Penny’s parents, their daughter vanished after a picnic by the creek. All that’s left behind is a pink friendship bracelet etched with “Penny”.

Ellie knows all too well that the mountains’ endless miles of dark forest and winding rivers are the perfect place for a criminal to hide. Racing against the rapidly setting sun and a brutal winter storm on the horizon, she searches desperately for Penny.

Special Agent Derrick Fox is determined to join the hunt. His younger sister, Kim, disappeared in the same area twenty-five years ago––on the day he was meant to be watching her. He’s certain the cases are linked and that over a dozen girls have vanished in the last decade. Ellie refuses to believe that their tight-knit mountain community could be home to a deadly criminal, but even she can’t deny the similarities in the cases. And when they discover the remains of a small body buried with a carved wooden doll, it’s clear they’re up against a deadly serial killer preying on innocent little girls.

As the temperature plunges, Penny’s life hangs in the balance. Most people who get lost in the woods never make it out alive. Can Ellie and Derrick defy the odds and find out the truth about all the stolen girls? Or will the mountain, and its twisted killer, claim another victim?

Seven year old Penny Matthews disappeared from the Appalachian Trail when she was having a picnic with her parents. Detective Ellie Reeves is immediately called to the scene to begin investigating Penny’s disappearance and to bring her home.

Special Agent Derrick Fox arrives with some troubling information. 25 years prior, his little sister was abducted from the same area when he was supposed to be watching her. Not only does Derrick believe the cases are linked, but there’s over a dozen other young girls who fit the profile. Now Ellie and Derrick must work together to stop a serial killer and bring home Penny before more girls go missing.

From the beginning, I was immediately captivated by the storyline. The plot starts off with a bang with the abduction of Penny. I feel like child abductions are a sure fire way to prey on our deepest fears, and the author does it brilliantly. The plot never lets up its high octane manner and is packed with twists and turns that definitely left me on my toes.

When it comes to the characters, I was definitely a bit apprehensive about Ellie at first. I love a lead female detective, but it is immediately clear that Ellie has a lot of personal issues that she is dealing with. She has a penchant for disregarding proper detective protocol like waiting for backup. She prefers to bulldoze head first into danger situations. Furthermore, her relationship with her father, the local Sheriff is rocky at best, which is made worse when he passes her over as his predecessor. Ouch. As the story progresses though, you realize why Ellie has become the person that she is due to childhood trauma, and she really shines in this story.

I don’t want to give away anything else from this story, but honestly, check this one out. It has so much to offer in terms of nail-biting suspense, great characters, a propulsive plot, and chilling atmospheric vibes.

Thank you to Bookouture for the blog tour invite as well as providing a review copy through NetGalley. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

Grab your copy of The Silent Dolls below:

USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author Rita Herron fell in love with books at the ripe age of eight when she read her first Trixie Belden mystery. But she didn’t think real people grew up to be writers, so she became a teacher instead. Now she writes so she doesn’t have to get a real job.

With over ninety books to her credit, she’s penned romantic suspense, romantic comedy, and YA novels, but she especially likes writing dark romantic suspense and crime fiction set in small southern towns.

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