Review ~ THE GIRL WHO WAS TAKEN by Charlie Donlea



Charlie Donlea



Charlie Donlea, one of the most original new voices in suspense, returns with a haunting novel, laden with twists and high tension, about two abducted girls—one who returns, one who doesn’t—and the forensics expert searching for answers.

Nicole Cutty and Megan McDonald are both high school seniors in the small town of Emerson Bay, North Carolina. When they disappear from a beach party one warm summer night, police launch a massive search. No clues are found, and hope is almost lost until Megan miraculously surfaces after escaping from a bunker deep in the woods.

A year later, the bestselling account of her ordeal has turned Megan from local hero to national celebrity. It’s a triumphant, inspiring story, except for one inconvenient detail: Nicole is still missing. Nicole’s older sister Livia, a fellow in forensic pathology, expects that one day soon Nicole’s body will be found, and it will be up to someone like Livia to analyze the evidence and finally determine her sister’s fate. Instead, the first clue to Nicole’s disappearance comes from another body that shows up in Livia’s morgue—that of a young man connected to Nicole’s past. Livia reaches out to Megan for help, hoping to learn more about the night the two were taken. Other girls have gone missing too, and Livia is increasingly certain the cases are connected.

But Megan knows more than she revealed in her blockbuster book. Flashes of memory are coming together, pointing to something darker and more monstrous than her chilling memoir describes. And the deeper she and Livia dig, the more they realize that sometimes true terror lies in finding exactly what you’ve been looking for.


The Girl Who Was Taken is a story told in a roundabout way. We go back and forth in time as the story unravels.

“We all know the harrowing story of Megan McDonald. The all-American girl, daughter of Emerson Bay’s sheriff, who was abducted in the summer of 2016. One year later, Megan is out now with her book, Missing, the true-story account of her abduction and courageous escape.”

But what about the other girl, Nicole, who also went missing that night? Megan and Nicole both disappeared after their end of summer party. Only Megan escapes and has written a book about her time while in captivity.

Livia who happens to be Nicole’s much older sister is a pathologist and through a discovery, she makes on an autopsy, she starts working out what happened the night the girls went missing.

Throughout the book, there were little clues to who might have abducted the girls and while some stuff seemed a little random and out of place at times. There was one thing – an action of sorts – that stood out to us and lead to figuring out who the abductor was. (A little side note – Kristin (KC) and I read this book together and spent time discussing each section of the book.) It’s nothing major but from the very beginning that noise, per se, stood out to Kristin. I won’t mention what it is that lead us to solving the mystery otherwise, when you read the story you’ll know early on who had done it.

The future was something taken for granted. It was always there, waiting to be lived.

The Girl Who Was Taken is a standalone set in North Carolina. The author plans to have more thrillers featuring Livia who will use forensic science to solve more mysteries.

RELEASE DATE: April 25, 2017
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**Complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.**

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