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The Girl Who Disappeared Twice (Forensic Instincts Series #1)

The Girl Who Disappeared Twice (Forensic Instincts Series #1)

3.8 66
by Andrea Kane

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Despite all her years determining the fates of families, judge Hope Willis couldn't save her own. Her daughter taken, she's frantically grasping at any hope for Krissy's return. Her husband dead-set against it, Hope calls a team not bound by the legal system.

Forensic Instincts: a behaviorist. A techno-wizard. An intuitive. An ex-Navy SEAL.


Despite all her years determining the fates of families, judge Hope Willis couldn't save her own. Her daughter taken, she's frantically grasping at any hope for Krissy's return. Her husband dead-set against it, Hope calls a team not bound by the legal system.

Forensic Instincts: a behaviorist. A techno-wizard. An intuitive. An ex-Navy SEAL. Unconventional operatives. All with unique talents and personal reasons for joining Casey Woods's group, they'll do whatever it takes.

Able to accurately read people after the briefest of encounters, Casey picks up in the Willis household signs of a nervous spouse, a guilty conscience, a nanny that hides on her phone. Secrets beg to creep into the open.

Forensic Instincts will dig through each tiny clue and eliminate the clutter, working around the clock. But time is running out, and Casey's team knows that the difference between getting Krissy back and her disappearing forever could be as small as a suspect's rapid breathing, or as deep as Hope's dark family history.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Andrea Kane sets new standards for suspense."

-Lisa Gardner

"Kane kicks off Forensic Instincts, her new series about a team of maverick investigators, with this fascinating story with sharply drawn characters, fast-paced dialogue, dark and dangerous minds-brilliant methodology and the types of cases mystery readers campaign to get."

-RT Book Reviews on The Girl Who Disappeared Twice

"Kane is a skilled writer, so the romantic complications...between her intelligent and driven main characters never get in the way of the suspense."

-Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel

"Andrea Kane delivers a spine-tingling tale."

-Strand Magazine

"A real page-turner! A keep-you-up-all-night romantic suspense."

-Karen Robards on Run for Your Life

"Part brilliant character study, part icy thriller, here is a novel laced with romance and suspense."

-James Rollins on Dark Room

"Smooth prose and engaging characters."

-Publishers Weekly on The Girl Who Disappeared Twice

"Kane is an adroit master at romantic suspense, and she keeps the reader guessing to the very end."


"Andrea Kane delivers the kind of edgy suspense and romantic tension that will rev up your pulse and keep you turning the pages."

-Jayne Ann Krentz

Publishers Weekly
At the outset of this exciting if pat thriller from Kane (Dark Room), White Plains, N.Y., family court judge Hope Willis is not only terrified by the kidnapping of her five-year-old daughter, Krissy, but also devastated, because the crime is identical to the kidnapping of Hope's twin sister 32 years earlier. To find Krissy before the unthinkable happens, Willis hires Forensic Instincts, a crack investigation firm whose private status allows its members to get around procedures that those in law enforcement have to adhere to—like warrants. Led by profiler Casey Woods, the Forensic Instincts team barrels into a snarl of suspects, secrets, and conspiracies. Smooth prose and engaging characters help offset some fairly obvious plot twists, a few of which stretch credibility to the breaking point. Also somewhat unbelievable are the near-infallible skills of Forensic Instincts' members and the willingness of dozens of police officers and FBI agents to let the team skirt legal boundaries repeatedly with no more than a harsh word or two of censure. (June)

Product Details

Publication date:
Forensic Instincts Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.30(w) x 6.44(h) x 1.01(d)

Read an Excerpt

The bar smelled like stale beer and sweat.

Casey Woods shifted in her seat, which was situated far away from the social hub of the place. She rolled her glass between her palms. It was filled with whatever was on tap that the waiter had brought her. Taking a sip, she looked nervous but wistful among the slew of college kids milling around the East Village hangout.

She was one of those kids. Or trying to be. She was a wannabe—a shy and naive misfit, on the outside, looking in. Hungry to be welcomed into the inner circle.

She reached around and fiddled with a strand of her long red hair, which was tied back, giving her a more youthful appearance. Her gaze darted around, flickering, every so often, over her target. He was in his early thirties, perched on the first bar stool. Whenever she glanced his way, he was usually staring at her.

The time ticked by slowly. Casey made sure to openly, if shyly, eye the hunkiest-looking guys, changing her demeanor from hopeful to unsure or dejected. Every guy she focused on eventually left, either with a group of friends, or with a girl he'd hooked up with.

At just past three-thirty in the morning, the bartender started closing up, and the bar emptied out. With just a few stragglers left, Casey's hopes for the night were ostensibly dashed. Her lashes lowered in an expression of utter defeat.

Slowly, she rose, reaching into her messenger bag for some cash. As she'd planned, the bag slid off her shoulder and plopped on the floor, contents spilling everywhere. Flushed with embarrassment, she squatted down and began stuffing things back into her bag—her wallet, makeup, and fake student ID.

From her peripheral vision, she saw the man at the end of the bar rise, toss some bills on the counter and walk out with the last few stragglers.

It was 4:00 a.m. Closing time.

Despite the pointed glare of the bartender, Casey took her time replacing the contents of her bag, rearranging them as she did. She kept her wallet out long enough to slap some bills on the table. Then she made her way to the door.

The bartender locked it behind her.

Casey sucked in her breath and turned, making sure to follow the same route she'd been taking all week. She'd set the pattern. But tonight she'd stayed at the bar later. The streets were emptier. The timing was right.

She steeled herself as she walked past the alley near Tompkins Square Park. She kept her gaze fixed straight ahead.

She heard Fisher's footsteps an instant before he grabbed her. His arm clamped around her waist, his free hand pressing a knife to her throat. Too hard. Too fast. No taunting. This was not how she'd planned it. And now he had her.

"Don't fight. Don't scream. Don't even breathe. Or I'll slit your throat."

Casey complied. She didn't have to fake her trembling, or the fear that stiffened her body. Silently, she talked herself down, reminding herself why she was doing this. She offered no resistance as Fisher dragged her into the alley. The psychopathic SOB shoved her down on the filthy concrete ground, kneeling over her, a glittering look of triumph in his eyes. He kept the knife at her throat, using his other hand to tear at her jeans.

The button popped. But the zipper never gave.

Marc Deveraux made sure of that.

Emerging from the shadows like a predator in the wild, he lunged at the would-be rapist with all the strength of his powerful build. He yanked Fisher's knife-wielding arm up and away from Casey, then slammed down on his forearm until Fisher's bones made a cracking sound and the knife clattered to the ground.

Fisher howled with pain.

"I'm just getting started," Marc promised menacingly. He dragged Fisher up and slammed his back against the wall. "You okay?" he called out to Casey, who was scrambling to her feet.

"A hell of a lot better than I was thirty seconds ago," she managed.

"Good." He turned his attention back to Fisher. "Talk," he ordered, one knee pushed into Fisher's groin and one elbow digging into his windpipe.

"The girl came on to me," Fisher said, then yelped, sweat beading on his forehead. "She—" His breath caught as Marc increased the pressure of his knee.

"Wrong answer. Tell me about your plans for this girl—and what you did with all the others." He leaned closer, until his face nearly touched the other man's. "You don't want to know what I am or what I'm capable of. Compared to me, you're a Girl Scout." His elbow shoved deeper, cutting off most of Fisher's oxygen. "Now tell me about the girls—all of them. And don't spare any details. I'm a captive audience."

It took longer than expected to get Fisher's confession. It took a Navy SEAL's thumb dug deeply into his collarbone, causing blinding pain that persisted long after the pressure was removed, and the threat that a repeat performance would increase the pain tenfold if that's what it took to make the perp talk—assuming his neck didn't snap first. The bastard's cold-blooded confession had made bile rise in Casey's throat. He might be going to jail for a long, long time, but Casey wished they were throwing away the key for good.

"I'm done here, Marc," she told her rescuer. "Otherwise I'm going to be sick."

"Go," he urged quietly. "I'll wrap things up here and head over to the precinct. The bodies will be found. Any claim of coercion will be tossed. It's a murderer's word against ours. The confession will stick. Go home."

Home was a four-story Tribeca brownstone that was residence and office combined. There was no beating that. One mortgage. One place that held all her worldly possessions. And no commute. It was ideal.

Of course, she rarely made it up to the fourth floor, which was supposedly where she slept. Her bed was a casual acquaintance, if not a stranger. She virtually lived in her office. That was her choice. One she made every day. And she wasn't sorry.

With a quick glance around the reception level, she turned left and climbed the L-shaped staircase to the second floor. Directly ahead, she'd had French doors installed—doors that led out to a balcony overlooking the manicured garden in a gated backyard. Colorful flower beds. A maze of closely trimmed shrubs. And a pair of graceful willow trees on either side, rippling in the breeze. The entire effect was both serene and eye-catching.

Pushing open the doors, Casey stepped outside for a moment, quickly shutting them behind her. She hoped the cool air would revive her. Sighing, she noted that the sun was now well above the horizon, and climbing rapidly into the sky. Her watch told her it was nine-thirty. The unofficial coercion Marc had inflicted had taken a lot longer than expected to work. To Casey, it had seemed like an eternity before they'd pulled it off and extracted a full confession from Fisher.

She could still feel the perv's slimy hands on her. He'd really freaked her out.

With a shudder, Casey reminded herself that they had pulled it off, and gotten both—Fisher and his confession regarding the other victims. Not a pretty business. Still, the haunting, disturbing feelings inflicted by such men were the very reason she'd formed Forensic Instincts, LLC to begin with.

She walked across the balcony and reached the second set of French doors that led back into the brownstone. She held her access card up to the card reader and punched her security code into the Hirsch keypad. Pushing the doors open, she stepped inside and shut the doors behind her. No time for rest—not yet. It was time for her team's post-op meeting.

Forensic Instincts had been just a dream at first. Now it was very much a reality.

It all started four years ago, and was still in its fledgling state. Casey had begun her quest to assemble an awesome team, with herself at the helm. Thanks to her extensive credentials working with both behavioral and psychological profilers, her innate talent at reading people, and her years of working in both law enforcement and the private sector, Casey had easily transitioned into an independent profiler. She held a master's in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a bachelor's in Psychology from Columbia. Most importantly, she was a natural at figuring out what made people tick.

Her two other team members were impressive as hell. She should know. She'd meticulously selected them. Assessed them. Recruited them. They were very different from each other. Both brought specialized capabilities to the Forensic Instincts team. The result was a growing track record of successfully solved complex criminal cases.

Their trio was unique, but still formative. Which meant they were sometimes welcomed, and other times regarded as a huge pain in the ass.

But, overall, they were earning a growing respect among law enforcement agencies and, more important, among their expanding client list. To those who hired them, they were the ultimate beacon of hope.

Her rules were few, but absolute. Unwavering loyalty, both to the company and to one another. One hundred and ten percent of themselves when they were on the job. Total candor, regardless of the cost—but only when they were behind closed doors. A low profile—which meant staunchly avoiding the limelight. As mavericks who pushed the boundaries more than conventional bureaucracy would allow, it was best to be unrecognizable. They were an eclectic trio, each of whom believed absolutely in his or her specific methods.

Three egos were involved. And none of them shy. That meant frequent debates, tons of constructive argument and—sometimes—stubborn unwillingness to budge. With the Fisher case, Casey had wanted to nail their perp by studying his interactions with college-aged women, then combining behavioral observations with her experience and sheer instinct. Marc had argued in favor of using statistics and past research to form a solid scientific base from which he'd work up a profile before going in for the kill. And Ryan was adamant about implementing game theory—getting inside Fisher's head, figuring out his sick reasoning—where he chose to hunt, and the strategies he used to go after his prey. The twenty-eight-year-old guy was an awesome combination of technology genius and strategic thinker. He studied behavioral patterns through complex computer programming and crunching enormous amounts of raw data, and then applied it to his analysis of human dynamics.

Each team member believed fervently in his or her methods. Fortunately, the whole was greater than the sum of its parts.

Yes, they made quite a team—strong willed, but the best. Casey expected nothing less as she expanded the operations, and Forensic Instincts grew. Her grandfather would have been proud. She'd used her trust fund wisely and well.

Smiling faintly, she looked around. The second set of French doors had granted her entry to the second-floor conference room. It was the largest and most elaborate space in the brownstone.

As she walked in, an entire wall of floor-to-ceiling video screens began to glow. A long, green line formed across each panel, pulsating from left to right. Then, a soothing voice, that seemed to emanate from every cubic inch of the room, said, "Welcome back, Casey," bending each line into the contour of the voice pattern. It continued, "Warning. Heart rate elevated."

Casey started. She just couldn't get used to being greeted by Yoda, the latest incarnation of Ryan McKay— Forensic Instincts' brilliant techno-wizard—and his artificial intelligence system. Somehow the damned thing knew who was in the room. It even knew when something was out of the ordinary. Like now. No matter how many times Ryan tried to explain to her how Yoda worked, to Casey it still sounded like magic.

The conference room was pure class. Polished hardwood floors. A plush Oriental rug. An expansive mahogany conference table and matching credenza. And, most crucial of all, a technology infrastructure that was light-years ahead of its time in both design and operation, all hidden from view. Only the gigantic video wall was visible, covering the longest side of the room and allowing Ryan to assemble a dizzying array of information into a large single image or several smaller, simultaneous data feeds. Videoconferencing equipment, an elaborate phone system, and a personalized virtual workstation available to each member of the group completed the elaborate system.

And it was all controlled by Yoda, who unwaveringly responded to requests made by team members. Behind the "shock and awe" of Yoda was a server farm located in the office's secure data center downstairs. Like a proud papa, Ryan had named their custom-built servers: Lumen, Equitas and Intueri, from the Latin words for light, justice and intuition. The names had become so much a part of Forensic Instincts that they'd incorporated them into the company logo.

Casey still found herself awed by the sophistication, power and pervasiveness of the technology. Truthfully, she didn't understand the half of how it worked. But Ryan did. And that was all that mattered.

Heading across the hardwood floor, Casey paused at the edge of the rug, then pulled back a chair and sat down at the long, oval conference table.

Leaning back, she called out, "Yoda, please show me TV news."

"Would you like world news, national news or local news?" Yoda inquired pleasantly.


"CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC or all?" Yoda asked.


Yoda carried out her command by simultaneously showing all four channels, each occupying one-fourth of the wall.

Casey pivoted her chair around so she had a direct view. Staring intently, she tugged off the hair band she'd worn tonight, shook out her long red mane and combed her fingers through the tangled strands. When Glen Fisher appeared on the Fox News screen, she instructed, "Yoda, Fox News full screen."

Instantly, Glen Fisher filled the entire wall. He was sweating and agitated, and quickly bent forward to hide his face as the cameras zoomed in on him being hauled out of the alley and into the squad car.

Meet the Author

Andrea Kane’s psychological thriller THE GIRL WHO DISAPPEARED TWICE became an instant New York Times bestseller, the latest in a long string of smash hits. THE LINE BETWEEN HERE AND GONE is the next exhilarating installment in the Forensic Instincts series. With a worldwide following and novels published in over twenty languages, Kane is also the author of eight romantic thrillers and fourteen historical romances. She lives in New Jersey with her family.

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The Girl Who Disappeared Twice 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 66 reviews.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Another great thriller that kept me turning pages until the end. Although, with this one I think I found the perp a little ahead of when I wanted because I was able to put the pieces together as they came instead of all at the end. I will not spoil the book because I think that it was semi easy to come to the conclusion as to who was a part of the crime. A story wrapped around this family with a mom and dad who aren't the most attentive parents due to their high stress full time jobs find themselves looking for their daughter who has been kidnapped. The twist is the mother herself had a twin that was kidnapped at the early age of 6 years old. I loved the eeriness that kidnapping happened twice in this woman's life and how ironic that her name is Hope. A psychological thriller that made me wonder how it was done instead of who because I cracked the code! I would pass this book along to those who enjoy the thrillers, no gore or mess, just a who dun it!
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Westchester County, New York over three decades ago, when Hope Willis was a little girl her twin Felicity was kidnapped from their shared bedroom. She overcame her grief to become a family court judge in White Plains and married workaholic Edward the defense lawyer, and together in Armonk they raise their five year old daughter Krissy although he rarely sees his wife or daughter. However, Hope's perfect world collapses when someone kidnaps Krissy. Being an insider in the jurisprudence system, Hope knows how critical the early hours in an abduction are as well as the limitations that handicap the law. Although her husband objects, Hope hires Forensic Instincts, a private group consisting of profiler Casey Woods, ex SEAL Marc Deveraux and strategic technologist Ryan McKay. Although the reader will know who the kidnapper is from the moment that Hope receives the call that her daughter is missing, fans will enjoy the first escapades of Forensic Instincts as the team with a few additions along the way work an exciting rescue mission after beating information out of a psychopath. Fast-paced with sharp tongued skin ripping interplay, fans will enjoy this taut thriller as the team, the FBI and the mom know the clock is ticking. Harriet Klausner
KOtis67 More than 1 year ago
I wasn't sure about this book when I picked it up but I figured free is good, well this book would have been worth it even if it wasn't free. I will definitely be picking up more by this author.
rhonda1111RL More than 1 year ago
Andrea Kane seems to know her way around fbi and police and all the details to solve a case. It started over 30 years ago of a kidnapped 6 year old Felicity out of bed she was sharing with her twin Hope who was not taken. Now Hope little girl has been kidnapped right in front of the school. Hope is a family court judge and her husband defense lawyer. and police are setting up task force to find Krissy. Hope calls in a private firm Forensic Instincts who work out of the box. Cassie company she lives and busness all in one building. Marc ex FBI agent and seal. Ryan is electronic genius all work together. The FBi Profiler is straight by the book Cassie's boyfriend first time they meet on the same case. Hutch also gives her the gift of 3 yr. old bloodhound that was forced to retire after great training but cant handle flying. Patrick is retired FBI agent who was in charge of Felicity kidnapping that he never solved. They are all working around the clock to try and find Krissy before its too late. It all works together to make a great story that keeps you wanting them to find Krissy and does her kidnapping have any part of the past kidnapping. I enjoyed the story.
cr1 More than 1 year ago
an intriguing read, didn't figure out "who done it" until near the end.
Peetaluver More than 1 year ago
I thought thhis book was defintly a real good read. Sure it's predictable when you put all the peices together but it was still intersting and captivating. It was so much fun trying to figure out all. I reccomend it to anyone who likes suspense and crime solving.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This novel is well-written and a decent read, but it is definitely predictable. It was a good story and had enough action to keep me turning the pages. I predicted the ending, but wanted to know how the story got there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dynamic! There is no way to NOT enjoy this booK. It will satisfy your literary craving & searching for Ms. Kane's excellent menu of books. Great great job, Andrea! Signed, Misque
ann cain More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. The characters were neat and I'd like to get to know them more. I can definitely see this as the beginning of series. Although I did enjoy most of the suspense in the book, a lot of it was predictable. I figured out one of the main suspects by chapter 4. I dis keep reading though to see how it was tied together.
Jeannie Milan More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this book from beginning to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
very interesting strory. keeps you wanting to go back for more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I agrew with other reviewrs who found the book enjoyable but predictable. I also thought the nursing home scenes were poorly researched. For example, dementia patients would never be in a facility that included an unfenced pond.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book had a good premise but did not keep me interested. The end was anti-climatic and it was way too easy to figure out who the kidapper was. The lead up to why the kidnapping was done and how the kidnapping was executed had too many holes in the plot. I would have liked to see more character development of Hope and Edward' s marriage and less emphasis on Forensic Instinct but I guess they were the author's focus.........
mb_rvws More than 1 year ago
But addicting anyway.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was searching for a new series & stumbled upon these & now i can't wait for the next book to come out. Highly recommend if you like series or even if you don't. Great character development & very suspenseful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Betty16101 More than 1 year ago
I liked the book and the characters. I am cutting off the 5th star because it is so easy to solve the mystery. The mystery is why all the cops and FBI guys don't solve it as quickly as the reader. Also, because the tech guy missed some technology that he could have easily used. But of course I was still guessing to see if my first reaction was the right one and enjoyed the book. I feel so lucky that I never had any really bad things happen to my kids.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Had a hard time getting thru the book.
Katrink More than 1 year ago
Although predictable, the story was captivating enough that I read to the end, but the writing style was pretty amateur. For example: "Hope shoved his arm away and whirled around, whipping her head back and forth." Seriously? Whipping her head back and forth? Who does that unless they're being attacked by bees? Most of the male characters sounded like GI Joe action figures and apparently the entire Forensic Instincts team can go days on end with no sleep.
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