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The Girls She Left Behind

The Girls She Left Behind

4.2 15
by Sarah Graves

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Sure to thrill readers of Jenny Milchman, Linda Castillo, and Lisa Gardner, The Girls She Left Behind marks the return of ex–Boston homicide detective Lizzie Snow, the new sheriff’s deputy in Maine’s Great North Woods.

For Lizzie Snow, the ice and snow of her first punishing North Woods winter are dreadful enough. But near the


Sure to thrill readers of Jenny Milchman, Linda Castillo, and Lisa Gardner, The Girls She Left Behind marks the return of ex–Boston homicide detective Lizzie Snow, the new sheriff’s deputy in Maine’s Great North Woods.

For Lizzie Snow, the ice and snow of her first punishing North Woods winter are dreadful enough. But near the small town of Bearkill a stubborn forest fire now rages out of control, and as embers swirl dangerously in the smoke-filled air, a teenage girl with a history of running away has dropped out of sight again. The locals and the law both think Tara Wylie is up to her old tricks—until her mother receives a terrifying text message.
Equally disturbing: Henry Gemerle—a kidnapper and rapist who once held three girls prisoner for fifteen years—has escaped, and may be lurking in Bearkill. As the fire closes in, Lizzie teams up with her boss, Sheriff Cody Chevrier, and state cop Dylan Hudson to search for the missing girl and the wily fugitive. But they’re blocked by Tara’s mother, a frustrating teller of needless lies and keeper of dark, incomprehensible secrets.
Following a trail of grisly clues—a bloodstained motel room, a makeshift coffin in a shallow grave—Lizzie is drawn ever closer to the flames in her race to save an innocent and corner a monster. Someone else also wants to find Tara Wylie and Henry Gemerle, though, for reasons that have nothing to do with mercy or justice. And when they all meet, the inferno threatening Bearkill will pale in comparison to the hell that’s about to break loose.
Praise for Sarah Graves’s Winter at the Door
“The stylish debut of a new series set against Maine’s dark and foreboding forests. I’m hooked!”—Margaret Maron, New York Times bestselling author of Designated Daughters
“Fast, dangerous, and extraordinarily entertaining, Winter at the Door grabbed me from the thrilling first page.”—Linda Castillo, New York Times bestselling author of The Dead Will Tell
“Readers who enjoy Linda Castillo and Lisa Gardner will welcome Lizzie, a strong, motivated woman making her way in the frozen north.”Booklist
““A complex tale with twists and turns that feel earned, and a character who knows exactly who she is . . . Lizzie is edgy and independent. . . . Taking a page from Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, two hunky guys pursue Lizzie, each stumbling over the other as they try to protect a woman who really can protect herself.”—The Boston Globe
“An entertaining story that proceeds to an explosive conclusion.”—Mystery Scene
“Superbly suspenseful.”Library Journal (starred review)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Graves’s dark second Lizzie Snow mystery (after 2015’s Winter at the Door) examines the ugly, soul-destroying things that mark the aftermath of a child abduction. At age 15, Jane Crimmins is kidnapped from a party in a New Haven, Conn., park, along with her 15-year-old cousin, Cam Petry. Jane escapes soon afterward, but she tells no one of her experience or that three other victims remain in captivity. Fifteen years later, the police arrest Jane’s abductor and rescue three young women, including Cam, from his New Haven house. Now Jane lives in terror that someone will find out what she did—and didn’t—do. Jane retreats to Bearkill, Maine, where Lizzie, a sheriff’s deputy, hopes against hope to find her niece, missing since her sister’s murder eight years before. A tough cookie, Lizzie can’t resist getting involved in the case of another missing girl, whose mother is less than forthcoming. Meanwhile, a fire raging in the nearby woods serves as an objective correlative of the case, burning all who touch it. Agent: Jane Rotrosen, Jane Rotrosen Literary Agency. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
Praise for Sarah Graves’s Winter at the Door
“The stylish debut of a new series set against Maine’s dark and foreboding forests. I’m hooked!”—Margaret Maron, New York Times bestselling author of Designated Daughters
“Fast, dangerous, and extraordinarily entertaining, Winter at the Door grabbed me from the thrilling first page.”—Linda Castillo, New York Times bestselling author of The Dead Will Tell
“Readers who enjoy Linda Castillo and Lisa Gardner will welcome Lizzie, a strong, motivated woman making her way in the frozen north.”Booklist
“A complex tale with twists and turns that feel earned, and a character who knows exactly who she is . . . Lizzie is edgy and independent. . . . Taking a page from Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, two hunky guys pursue Lizzie, each stumbling over the other as they try to protect a woman who really can protect herself.”—The Boston Globe
“An entertaining story that proceeds to an explosive conclusion.”—Mystery Scene
“Superbly suspenseful.”Library Journal (starred review)
Library Journal
Author of the hugely best-selling "Home Repair Is Homicide" series, Graves got less cozy with her "Lizzie Snow" series, launched in January 2015 with the LJ-starred Winter at the Door. In this sequel, Joan Crimmins lives in Bearkill, ME, far from the media glare after spending ten years as a captive of Henry Gemmerle. Then Henry escapes from the prison clinic.
Kirkus Reviews
A case hits close to home both literally and figuratively for Maine deputy sheriff Lizzie Snow. Life changes dramatically when, fueled by a tip that her long-missing 10-year-old niece, Nicki, may have been spotted near Bangor, Lizzie takes a job working for Sheriff Cody Chevrier in Aroostook County. Gone is her Boston high-rise overlooking the river. Gone are the nights of clubbing with pals. Here in Bearkill, a night out means a trip to Area 51, a local dive bar, with Trey Washburn, DVM, owner of Great North Woods Animal Care, or a dinner of donuts and diet Coke shared with Dylan Hudson, a fellow cop she used to date until she found out he was married. Lizzie gets a jolt when 15-year-old Tara, daughter of local firefighter Peg Wylie, goes missing. Tara's disappearance is all too similar to Nicki's abduction nine years ago. But Lizzie's world is thrown completely out of kilter when Jane Crimmins turns up in Bearkill shortly after Tara drops out. The deputy remembers Jane from a discovery in New Haven that made headlines while Lizzie was still working in Boston. Three young women had been locked in a basement by sociopath Henry Gemerle. One of them was Cam Petry, Jane's cousin. Gemerle was remanded to a forensic mental hospital after being deemed unfit for trial. But once he escapes, Lizzie has a hunch where he's headed, and that hunch can only spell danger for Tara. Although they're also set in Maine, Graves' Jacobia Tiptree and Ellie White cozies (A Bat in the Belfry, 2014, etc.) are a far cry from this tense and fast-paced tale of love gone horribly and fantastically wrong.

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Lizzie Snow Series , #2
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.90(d)

Read an Excerpt


Sleet needles lanced through the January night, gleaming slantwise in the headlights of the cars making their hesitant way along the street outside. Splattering against the big plate-­glass front window of Aroostook County sheriff’s deputy Lizzie Snow’s storefront office, the wet ice bits made a sound like tiny fists weakly hammering to get in.

Just another fine evening in Bearkill, Maine, Lizzie thought glumly, peering through the streaming glass as Dylan Hudson’s familiar figure came striding into view. Galoshes splashing in the slush, the tall plainclothes detective’s shoulders hunched sharply under his topcoat and black-­and-­white-­striped scarf, ice-­melt trickling in a shining stream off the brim of his hat.

At the sight of him she let the familiar lurch of feeling go through her, then set it firmly aside. Emotions were one thing but actions were entirely another, she told herself sternly.

“Hi.” He swung in, shedding showers of icy droplets as he crossed the sparsely furnished office. Except for the half dozen wanted posters on the bulletin board and the police scanner on a shelf, the white-­painted walls and gray industrial carpet made the place look like an insurance agency’s not-­very-­successful branch office.

Dylan deposited the large white paper shopping bag he carried on her desk. Delicious aromas floated from the bag.

“Hi, yourself.” She should not have let him come, but the miserable night made his driving the ninety miles back to Bangor unwise even for a Maine state cop, and his promise of Thai food delivered to her office had sealed the deal.

“So, anything shakin’?” He pulled out the familiar white cardboard cartons, pushing aside the flotsam on her desk to make two places amid the clutter.

“Couple things.” Last from the bag were a pair of Tsingtaos, the cold brown bottles dripping condensation, and a bottle opener.

“Fire crews’re still out,” she added with a glance at the scanner on the shelf above her desk. “But wrapping it up.”

Despite the wintry mix pelting outside now, northern Maine was in the grip of a serious long-­term dry spell; a rash of brush fires around Bearkill had made chatter on the police band lively all day. But since the sky had opened up late this afternoon the radio spat only routine local dispatches.

The cash register slip in the shopping bag said the food had come from Bangor. “Dylan, how’d you keep this stuff hot? And the beer so—­”

Well, but it was no problem keeping things cold in this kind of weather, was it? On a night like tonight, back in Boston that cop scanner would be hopping with more minor vehicle mishaps than you could shake a tow truck at.

Here in Bearkill, if you slid into a ditch most likely your neighbor pulled you out. “Microwave,” Dylan explained.

He gestured toward the combination convenience store and gas station down the block. It and a dozen other small businesses made up the bulk of downtown Bearkill’s commercial activity.

If you could call it activity. Situated in the very rooftop of Maine at the edge of the Great North Woods, Bearkill had once been the thriving center of a booming lumber industry. But the boom had gone bust, and now drab storefront tenants like the Cut-­n-­Run hair salon, the Paper Chase office and party supply store (balloon bouquets our specialty!), a tae kwon do studio, and the New to You used-­clothing exchange dominated what remained.

“There’s a few pretty beat-­looking forest service guys and gals in that convenience store right now,” Dylan added, sounding sympathetic.

The combination gas station and snack vendor was called—­really, a less appetizing name could not have been found, Lizzie thought—­the Go-­Mart. “What I heard, they’ve been out trenching in the fields and forests for nearly twenty-­four hours,” he said.

By this time in a normal year, the fire danger in the area would be long over. But it had not been a normal year.

Dylan shook his head ruefully. “Digging firebreaks, that’s no-­kidding hard labor. Remind me of that the next time you hear me bitching about my job, will you?”

“Um. Yeah.” On the shelf with the scanner was a framed commendation from the Boston PD, where until two months earlier Lizzie had been a member of the elite Homicide/Violent Crimes Investigation Unit. Beside those items, a Lucite stand held a snapshot of a little blond girl.

The little blond girl was the reason that Lizzie was no longer in Boston, and no longer a homicide cop. “They’re catching a break now, though,” she added, waving out at the sleet.

She debated telling Dylan about the other thing she’d been working today. If she did, she’d have a much harder time getting rid of him after dinner.

On the other hand, a second opinion might not be such a bad idea. “Listen, I’ve got a local teenager gone missing.”

Just weeks earlier she’d been hired to be the eyes and ears of the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department here in Bearkill. And why an ex–­Boston homicide cop had turned out to be exactly the right person for the job was a whole other story.

But it was not the one preoccupying her now. “Fourteen-­year-­old—­you know the type, she thinks she’s twenty.”

Northern Maine, with thousands of square miles of forests, mountains, and farm fields sparsely dotted by tiny, struggling towns much like Bearkill, was so different from Boston that it might as well have been on some other planet. But teenagers were the same just about everywhere, she was coming to realize.

“I’m hitting a wall on it,” she admitted.

Dylan was a murder cop, too. So he knew all about missing girls; the found ones, and the ones who never got found.

Especially them.

Lean and sharp-­featured, with pale skin, dark, hooded eyes, and dark, wavy hair that she happened to know curled into tight, Botticelli-­angel-­type ringlets when he was in the shower . . .

Stop that, she told herself firmly. Stop it this minute.

He popped the tops off both beer bottles. “Yeah, well, why don’t you fill me in on the case while you eat. Dig in.”

She didn’t have to be invited twice. One of the first things a cop learned as a rookie was to eat whatever, whenever; regular mealtimes were for civilians.

“Any reason you think she isn’t just a runaway?” he asked, shoveling shrimp in red curry onto hot noodles.

“Yeah, there is. Couple of them, actually.” She chewed, swallowed, drank beer. A stickler for the rules would’ve said no drinking, her being on the job and all. But then a stickler probably wouldn’t have been stuck in a sleet storm way out here at the ass end of the earth.

Hell, if she’d been a fourteen-­year-­old girl in this nowhere little berg, she’d have probably done a runner herself.

At the same time another thought niggled persistently at her, something she was forgetting. But it remained elusive.

“Tara’s taken off several times before and she’s always come back,” Lizzie said. “Everyone goes nuts looking for her for a few days, then she waltzes in like nothing happened. Even though her mother’s frantic, she thinks that’s probably how it’ll all end up this time, too. But . . .”

She let her voice trail off, trying to put into words what a bad hit she got off the situation. Some things looked worrisome at first but ended up fine; others stank from the get-­go.

Like this thing now. Dylan eyed the dark front window, still hissing with sleet. “Yeah. But,” he repeated. “How long?”

“No one’s seen her since yesterday morning. It was a school holiday,” Lizzie replied reluctantly.

It was now Tuesday night. “She’s never skipped a whole day of school before,” Lizzie added.

Dylan’s eyebrows went up and down once in reply. Bad sign, they signaled.

But she knew that, too. “I mean, I guess she could be just a runaway. Which is what most everyone around here is assuming.”

Everyone but me. A shred of broccoli clung distractingly to his lower lip.

“And like I say, the girl’s done it before. Maybe decided to push it a little further this time. But the other difference is that the earlier times she’s always phoned home to let her mom know she’s okay.”

Lizzie ate a shrimp. “Not right away, maybe, but she’s always done it. This time, though, not a peep. And none of her friends knows where she is, either.”

The friends had been the usual gaggle of teen girls, diffuse and dreamy with the occasional speculative glance at Lizzie’s weapon. Overall it had been like talking to a basket of kittens.

“You believe them?” asked Dylan. “And is there a boyfriend?”

Standard questions. The broccoli shred was gone. “Yeah, and he’s missing, too, along with his motorcycle. So duh, right?”

The boy was an eighteen-­year-­old local kid with nothing on his record but a couple of misdemeanors; one was a pot bust but even that was only for possession, and the rest were just for underage drinking. So no real red flags had gone up from Aaron DeWilde, who was no Boy Scout but merely the kind of sullen, doe-­eyed misfit that girls like Tara had been finding the sensitive side of since time began.

“No Amber Alert,” added Lizzie. Tara Wylie had already been the subject of two of these; each time the girl had showed up on her own, demanding to know what all the fuss was about.

“Not yet, anyway. Mom’s put up a few homemade posters in case someone around here saw something but that’s all. Hey, not my decision,” she added at his look of surprise. “Maybe if I knew the girl better, I’d feel better about that, too.”

“Cell phone?” Dylan scraped a slice of mushroom from one of the cartons and ate it.

She shook her head. “She’s got one, but it’s a hand-­me-­down, just a cheap little burner.” No GPS tracking software in it. “And either it’s turned off or the battery’s dead.”

Outside, the sleet stopped suddenly as if a switch had been thrown. “Damn,” Lizzie said.

Since her arrival here in Bearkill, the weather had featured a single blizzard that met all her expectations for a take-­no-­prisoners northern Maine winter event. But the snow had melted swiftly, leaving the rural terrain looking oddly like the “after” pictures on a global-­warming-­alert website: cracked soil, spring-­fed ponds dried to muck-­holes, withered winter wheat.

Tonight’s sleet, in fact, was only the second measurable precipitation since Labor Day, all moisture instantly inhaled by the fiery breath of a summer that, but for the one brief wintry interlude, just wouldn’t quit. And the weather now, while impressive to look at, was giving little relief to the desperately parched earth.

“All the fire teams’ll be right back out there tomorrow,” predicted Dylan, eyeing the streaming front window skeptically.

Chewing, she nodded agreement. The danger had been critical for weeks, everyone in the county on high alert for the smell of smoke; in the grand scheme of things tonight meant nothing.

“What’s that sticking out of your shirt?” A corner of some thinly woven silvery material peeked from above his loosened tie.

Dylan rolled his eyes. “New vest. Testing it out for a little while. I guess the brass in Augusta decided I wasn’t bulletproof enough.”

“Yeah, well, I don’t blame them. You must be killing them in workers’ comp alone, not to mention their safety stats.”

She touched her napkin to her lips, then wadded it. “You’ve been nailed three times, right? Or four? It’s a wonder you don’t have lead poisoning by now.”

He nodded, grimacing. Dylan liked to pretend it was no big deal, getting shot. But she noticed he wasn’t complaining about the new vest.

“It’s been comfy enough so far. Not heavy or bulky, and they tell me it’s chock-­full of bullet-­stopping space-­age polymers,” he said. “For what that’s worth.” Then:

“Little bird called me today,” he remarked.

She swallowed. So that’s why he was here. “About . . . ?”

But she knew. Nicki. She looked up again at the blond child in the framed photo. Nine years old, eight years missing . . .

If she was still alive she was Lizzie’s only surviving kin, the daughter of Lizzie’s murdered sister, Cecily, whose body had been found nearly a decade earlier on the Maine coast.

Oh, Sissy, I’m so sorry . . . After Sissy’s death there’d been a murder investigation with all the right bells and whistles. But no culprit, or any possible motives, had ever been found, and her baby wasn’t found, either. And now there were rumors that a little girl very like what Nicki would’ve grown up into had been spotted here in Aroostook County.

More than rumors, actually. It was why Lizzie was here. She looked away from the photo.

“Yeah,” said Dylan. “Guy I talked to says it might be Nicki, anyway. But don’t get your hopes up,” he added unnecessarily.

The food was gone. She gathered the cartons and napkins and the plastic cutlery together to stuff into the trash. Later she would haul the bag to the dumpster behind the building. It was a far cry from what she’d gotten used to in the Boston PD where, to a decorated homicide cop like herself, handling the trash meant snapping a set of cuffs onto it.

In Bearkill, in fact, everything was a far cry from Boston. But she’d been here only a few weeks, she reminded herself. She couldn’t very well give up on looking for Nicki when she’d barely settled in.

“So what else did your guy say?” she asked when Dylan came back from rinsing the beer bottles in the washroom.

Recycling bottles and cans was huge around here, not so much for the environment as for the nickels, northern Maine not being a high-­income territory unless you were a lumber company manager or farm-­equipment distributor.

Or a methamphetamine cook. Just in the time she’d been here the MDEA had busted a trio of operations, small teams making the lethally attractive drug in mobile homes or at remote, unlikely-­to-­be-­stumbled-­upon campsites.

“Says he saw a kid.” Dylan put a hand companionably on her arm as he passed, let it rest there for a more-­than-­companionable moment. “With a couple. Transient. Living out of a car, he said.”

“Oh, great.” From what she could tell so far, poverty in Maine boiled down, as it had anywhere she’d ever been, to people just doing what they could to keep a roof over their heads. Like those meth cooks, even; it was a filthy, dangerous, and basically depraved way to make a living, but there weren’t many jobs around here and people had expenses to cover.

Meet the Author

Sarah Graves lives with her husband in Eastport, Maine, one remote rural road away from the Allagash wilderness territory and the Great North Woods. She is the bestselling author of the Home Repair Is Homicide series, as well as two novels featuring Lizzie Snow.

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The Girls She Left Behind 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this author and her book by accident, glad i did-Great story and characters-Plot was one that i continued to guess at and never had right-Start with the first of this series (very good also)-For those who like edge of their seat reads-bring your own popcorn!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good read .highly recommend
Meemo_B More than 1 year ago
Copy provided by Netgalley for an unbiased review. When I reviewed the first book in the Lizzie Snow series, I called it “a bit messy”, chalking that up to its being the first in the series. Having now read the second, the writing does tighten up a bit, although there are still some minor irritants that linger from the first installment. Lizzie Snow remains a likable, fallible protagonist. The mystery is a good one, a bit convoluted again, but followable. The story is told from two points of view this time, and jumps around in time a bit. At times it can be confusing to determine where things are happening on the timeline. There are things that are never completely explained, such as young Jane’s aunt’s comments about her “true nature”. And certain points are repeated multiple times. Still, it was a worthwhile read, and I’m glad I gave the series a second chance.
Samantha1020 More than 1 year ago
Last year I read and adored the first book in this series titled Winter At the Door. I knew as soon as I finished that book that I wanted to continue on with this series so I jumped at the chance to read this one. And I went into reading it with higher expectations because of my love of book one. Happily enough for me, this book was even better than Winter At the Door in my opinion and has cemented my love for this series! I am well and truly hooked at this point and must see what kind of trouble Lizzie finds herself in next. What I loved most about this book was how completely different it was from book one. This one tells a few different story lines at once and they all come together in the end perfectly. It was such a suspenseful read because of the way that they story was told! This book was also much darker then I had expected it to be which was a surprise. There were times when I could literally feel my heart pounding while reading it and I admit to cringing a bit at the beginning. That is because I wasn't sure what was going to happen next but I knew that it wasn't going to be good. Before long I was completely sucked into this book and it wasn't until the very last page that I was able to finally to relax. One of the things that I love most about this series is how the author uses the weather to create additional tension and add to the suspense level. In the first book it was the cold winter weather but in this book it was the constant threat of forest fires that the characters had to deal with. The fire's presence felt like a living, breathing entity at times....I felt like the entire town might go up in flames at certain points while I was reading. It made the book seem that much more sinister and suspenseful for me as the reader. I also really enjoyed getting to see all of the characters from book one again. Lizzie is still just as great as I remembered her to be which made me happy. I'm hoping that the story line about her missing niece will continue into further books and that at some point we will finally get all of the answers to that mystery. The author does a great job of interweaving this story line into each book without it being overwhelming. It is just something else that Lizzie is trying to deal with along with everything else that she has thrown at her. The ending of this book was quite crazy and I fully admit to being unable to stop reading once I got to a certain point. I stayed up way too late to finish this one but it was completely worth it! Overall, this was an amazing follow-up to book one and left me so excited about this series in general. When is book three coming out?? I need it in my life! I do think that readers will enjoy this series more if they read the books in order but this definitely could be read by on its own. Obviously I highly recommend them both (as evidenced by all of my gushing). This is just a really great mystery series with some great characters and I can't say enough good things about it. Highly recommended! Bottom Line: A mystery that I couldn't put down until the very end! So good! Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley.
DianaH-Maine More than 1 year ago
THE GIRLS SHE LEFT BEHIND is Title #2 in Sarah Graves ‘Lizzie Snow’ series. The story takes place in Bearkill, Maine. It is dry, dry, dry, and forest fires are breaking out everywhere. Lizzie Snow, Sheriff Cody Chevrier, Dylan Hudson (former Boston boyfriend; currently a Maine State Detective), are all searching for a missing young girl from Bearkill. The story is a bit brutal - a showcase for the depression and lethargy of northern Maine (I know. I live here. It is painful to read about); the parallel stories of abduction, torture and confinement; the general sleaziness and hopelessness of many (most) of the characters. An underlying subplot is that of Lizzie’s quest to find her missing niece. Lizzie is sharp, gritty, driven and likeable. I don’t like her treatment of vet, Trey Washburn, though, and of former boyfriend, Dylan Hudson. Make up your mind, girl! The plot was very inter-woven and I had to backtrack a few times to keep all the relationships straight. I did really enjoy the book. The characters, plots, subplots, the sense of place, suspense - all came together for a ‘wicked good’ read.
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booklover- More than 1 year ago
When they were young teenagers, two girls, cousins, sneaked out of their respective houses to go party. Then a parent's worst nightmare, the girls are abducted. They are taken somewhere and thrown into a basement equipped with cages. They are not alone ..there are others. One of the cousins escapes and because she's ashamed of what he did to her, she tells no one. Fifteen years later, she sees on the news that 3 girls have been rescued ... one of them is her cousin. The kidnapper is 'mentally unstable' and now resides in a mental health facility until he is able to go to court. So begins a twisted tale of love, hate, jealousy, revenge. Lizzie Snow is investigating the disappearance of a 14-year-old girl who's been gone for a couple of days. Since her 18-year-old boyfriend is also missing, it is assumed they have run away together. But Lizzie feels like the mother is hiding... something. I loved this book! Lizzie is a strong, accept no BS woman. And she absolutely will not tolerate anyone lying to her. You can ask her partner, Dylan .... he lied and said he was separated from his wife .. he wasn't. And there is no more relationship there, although the attraction is still evident. Dylan seems to be like a good guy .. a lousy husband, but basically a good man. In this fairly small town there are all kinds of secondary players. Some are exactly what you see ... some aren't quite so open. And all through this highly suspenseful story rages a forest fire .... the ashes falling over everything .. some people are staying, some are evacuating. It is so well-described, I could almost smell the fire. And the fire plays a huge part of this story. I almost could not bear to put this one down! The author is one that I will keep my eye on. She does have another series, cozies ... but it's her two psychological mysteries that are drawing me in. My heart-felt thanks to the author / Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine / NetGalley who furnished a digital copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
The Girls She Left Behind by Sarah Graves is the second book in A Lizzie Snow series. Elizabeth “Lizzie” Snow is a former Boston Homicide Detective who moved to Bearkill, Maine. Lizzie is now a deputy with the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department (she is the liaison from the sheriff's department for the town). Lizzie gave up her dream job (as a detective) to look for her deceased sister’s (Cecily) daughter, Nicki who has been missing for eight years. There was a sighting of Nicki in the area (but it is a big wooded area in this part of Maine). The Girls She Left Behind starts fifteen years prior when a man kidnaps Jane Crimmins and her cousin, Cam. Jane manages to escape from the man, but she never tells anyone of what happened to her, her cousin, or the other girls in the basement. Fifteen years later three girls are rescued from the basement of the man’s house. Cam is one of the girls rescued. Henry Gemerle is the kidnapper, but he is found incompetent to stand trial. He is sentenced to a mental hospital. In Bearkill, fourteen-year-old Tara Wylie has disappeared. At first her mother, Peg believes that Tara just took off for a day again. Tara usually shows back up. This time Tara does not return and actually misses school (something she has never done before). Then Lizzie finds out that Henry has escaped from the mental asylum and may be in the area. Did Henry take Tara? Lizzie will have to work quickly to find Tara but she has the added difficulty of forest fires breaking out in the area. The might have to evacuate the area at any moment. Lizzie works with Dylan Hudson of the Maine State Police (and Lizzie’s ex-lover) to find Tara. But Lizzie thinks Peg is hiding something from her. Is Peg Wylie’s secret more important than her daughter’s life? The Girls She Left Behind is a good book, but not as wonderful as the first book in the series. I had a little trouble getting into The Girls She Left Behind. The mystery and suspense are excellent (and the book does pick up the pace and get much better as you get further into the book). I am, though, tired of the relationship between Lizzie and her two (maybe) beaus (Dylan Hudson and Trey Washburn). (Spoiler Alert) The relationships really do not advance or change in the book. There is also no further progress on Lizzie's search for her missing niece. (Spoiler complete) I found that part of the book to be frustrating (and really unnecessary). I give The Girls She Left Behind 4.25 out of 5 stars (which means I liked it). I received a complimentary copy of The Girls She Left Behind from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
This was a really good book. I could not put it down. There were so many twists going on what with the missing teenager, the three girls that had been rescued, a forest fire threatening the town and an escaped maniac. And, that's just the major things going on. There are other little things and lots of secrets coming out. I definitely enjoyed reading this one and highly recommend it! Start this one early in the day - don't wait until bedtime! A huge thanks to Random House for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.