Sunday, April 19, 2020

The Birthday by Carol Wyer

Title: The Birthday
Series: Detective Natalie Ward #1
Author: Carol Wyer 
Publisher: Bookouture
Release Date: September 27th 2018

One hot summer's afternoon, five-year-old Ava Sawyer went to a party. She never came home ...

When five-year-old Ava Sawyer goes missing from a birthday party at a local garden centre, the police are bewildered by the lack of leads. That is until two years later, when Ava's body is found and another little girl, Audrey Briggs, goes missing. Audrey also attended that party ...

Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward. A mother of two teenagers, this case chills her to the bone, and is a disturbing reminder of the last job she worked on. One that ended very badly.

Natalie soon discovers that Ava's mother has some worrying gaps in her alibi and as she digs deeper, she's sure Ava's father is not telling the full story. And what did the owner of the garden centre Elsa see that day? Something that she's not telling Natalie ...

Just as Natalie is facing up to the grim possibility that Ava and Audrey were killed by someone close to home, another little girl from the party doesn't come home from her ballet lesson. Can Natalie find a way to stop this killer before more innocent lives are taken?

A girl, Ava Sawyer, has been taken during a birthday party at Uptown Craft Centre and Farm. The last time someone saw her, she was going to the restroom. After an exhausting search and without new leads, her disappearance becomes a cold case. Two years later, her body is found buried in the same place where she vanished.

Natalie Ward, a detective with the Samford Police Force is the leading detective assigned to Ava's case. Natalie is still dealing with the disappearance of another girl. One that was found too late. She still blames herself for not being able to get to her on time. Seeing another young girl's body is bringing all those memories back. She wants to find the person who took Ava. Natalie with the help of her team, Lucy, Ian, Murray and detective Mike would do anything in their power to seek justice for Ava.

I can say I'm invested in this team. Natalie is an interesting character. She's dealing with a demanding job and also personal issues. Her marriage is on the rocks. Her husband, David has lost his job. Her kids are teenagers and her son is having issues adjusting in school. She is also keeping a secret from her husband.

I also liked Mike Sullivan who's in charge of the forensic unit. He seems to understand Natalie and support her. I also liked the rest of the characters. Lucy's girlfriend wants to get pregnant. PC Ian's girlfriend is having a baby. Murray is a good friend to Lucy but is not always pleasant to Ian.

Cliffhanger: No

3/5 Fangs

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