Missing Before Daylight
February 13, 2024

Book Review

Missing Before Daylight

reviewed by Pam Guynn

Carolyn Arnold continues to bring suspense, solid investigation, action, and intense moments in her latest book Missing Before Daylight. It’s the tenth book in the police procedural and crime thriller featuring Detective Amanda Steele and her partner Detective Trent Stenson. The setting takes place in and around Woodbridge in Price William County, Virginia.

Amanda and Trent are called to the murder scene of a gas station clerk. While they initially assume it was a robbery gone wrong, they discover nothing was stolen. A review of the security video shows the murder but also the abduction of a customer very familiar to them.

Amanda doesn’t get much down time and has zero hobbies. She hates being idle and feels guilt and regret while trying to balance her family and work lives. She’s resilient and feels she has a duty to find justice for the victims and closure for their loved ones. Amanda’s flaws and struggles make her seem realistic. Trent is loyal, funny, and always has Amanda’s back.

A chilling and suspenseful prologue that grabs readers’ attention is followed by arrival at the crime scene by the police. The novel builds suspense in a way that pulls readers into the lives of the characters. While most of the story is from Amanda’s point of view, readers get insight into what is happening to the abducted customer. This adds another layer of drama, urgency, and suspense that will keep readers rapidly turning the pages.

The descriptive narrative transported me into the terrifying world of the victims and the investigators. The story instills in the reader a feeling of deep anxiety for the abductee. Will the police arrive in time? There are several surprises and twists along the way as the novel progresses. Throughout the investigation, Amanda is facing a personal crisis as well, making the story seem even more realistic. The author weaves murder, abduction, relationships, family dynamics, grief, and more into a finely crafted tale.

The book has solid police investigation and good character development. I was transported into the suspenseful situation and wanted to know who was behind the crimes. Themes include grief, family, relationships, empathy, revenge, work-life balance, and much more.

Overall, this novel is engaging, entertaining, and a solid police procedural. I can’t wait to find out what is next for Amanda and Trent. I recommend this series to those who like police procedurals and crime thrillers with relatable and likeable main characters. This series is best read in order to fully understand the backstories of the main characters.

Bookouture and Carolyn Arnold provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. Publication date is currently set for February 22, 2023.

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