Book Review: The Girl Who Was Taken

As much as I have come to despise any title with the word "girl" in it, I must admit I was intrigued. Chiefly because this was Charlie Donlea's sophomore outing after Summit Lake, a book I enjoyed reading despite my misgivings about the way the lead character was shaped up. As a tale of a series of disappearances and murders, The Girl... fares even better. The central characters of Livia and Megan are strong, ambitious and well fleshed out, and above all, the mystery is engrossing from start to finish, keeping us, readers, guessing as to the real identity of the serial killer. Alternating between Livia's profession as a forensic pathologist and the events leading to the abduction that opens the story, Donlea masterfully keeps the suspense going, while offering a heartfelt glimpse into the psyche of a survivor and her road to recovery. Admittedly a few parts (like the banter between the girls) ring hollow and overdone, but these are minor chinks in what's otherwise a solid thriller.