The Girl Who Disappeared Twice by Andrea Kane
Published by Mira, an imprint of Harlequin
Review copy provided by the publicist
Casey Woods is the frontwoman of the unconventional investigative team Forensic Instincts, an organization of four people who solve crimes using techniques and tactics outside the boundaries of what the FBI and police typically do. When Casey is called by the honorable judge Hope Willis to solve the disappearance of her young daughter Krissy, she gets right down to business, getting to know Hope, her husband Edward, and their nanny Ashley. But what she finds out soon after arriving at Judge Willis’ home is that Krissy’s kidnapping isn’t the first to happen to this family – thirty years ago, Hope’s twin sister, Felicity, was kidnapped from their family home, never to be seen again. And now this family has to go through the same nightmare all over again – unless Casey and her team can find Krissy.
I don’t read a ton of mystery/suspense type books but I do tend to enjoy the ones I pick up, and that was certainly the case for The Girl Who Disappeared Twice. This isn’t your standard mystery novel because there’s quite a bit of family history in the background, which makes this story more than just about what happened to Krissy but also what happened to Felicity all those years ago. To be honest, I don’t know if I would have enjoyed the book as much had there not been the Felicity aspect to it. It really made the story whole for me, adding a sort of mystery-within-a-mystery thing that kept me guessing.
Casey Woods is a great character, and I took to her immediately. She is tough (of course), can read people extremely well, and doesn’t hesitate to do what needs done in order to solve the crime. I loved the dynamic between the members of Forensic Instincts – Kane wrote characters that complement each other really well, and I can see myself wanting to read more about this team if future books about them are published. One aspect of the novel I could have seen more of was the relationship between Casey and her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Hutch, a member of the FBI (I think FBI – maybe police). Their relationship was touched upon, but I didn’t feel like I really understood the dynamic between the two of them and I would have been happy with a little more character-building of Hutch. This isn’t a huge gripe, but I do feel it could have enhanced the story.
As far as the mystery aspect, I was definitely kept on my toes throughout the course of the novel. Of course I had feelings along the way, and there is a turning point in the story at which I figured out the essential elements of what did happen to Krissy, but overall the book kept me guessing. The plot has that Lifetime movie feel to it, which I kind of liked – it wasn’t a gruesome serial killer type book, it was more about family secrets and that kind of drama, how someone you think you know and trust for years and years can betray you so horrifically. Personally, I like these kinds of mysteries better than the serial killer type, so it worked well for me.
The Girl Who Disappeared Twice is an interesting, exciting mystery novel with some great characters. I’d be more than happy to learn that Andrea Kane is going to make this into a series (not sure if she is, but it seemed like it at the end of the book) and would definitely pick up another novel starring Casey Woods and Forensic Instincts. Recommended.