Stolen Things

Stolen Things

by R. H. Herron


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When a 911 dispatcher picks up an emergency call to hear her daughter on the line, her worst nightmare becomes reality.

Laurie Ahmadi has worked as a 911 police dispatcher in her quiet Northern California town for almost two decades, but nothing in her nearly twenty years of experience could prepare her for the worst call of her career—her teenage daughter, Jojo, is on the other end of the line. She is drugged, disoriented, and in pain, and even though the whole police department springs into action, there is nothing Laurie can do to help.

Jojo, who has been sexually assaulted, doesn’t remember how she ended up at the home of Kevin Leeds, a pro football player famous for his work with the Citizens Against Police Brutality movement, though she insists he would never hurt her. And she has no idea where her best friend, Harper, who was with her earlier in the evening, could be.

As Jojo and Laurie begin digging into Harper’s private messages on social media to look for clues to her whereabouts, they uncover a conspiracy far bigger than they ever could have imagined. With Kevin’s freedom on the line and the chances of finding Harper unharmed slipping away, Laurie and Jojo begin to realize that they can’t trust anyone to find Harper except themselves, not even the police department they’ve long considered family . . . and time is running out.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781524744908
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/20/2019
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 115,644
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Stolen Things is the first suspense novel by R. H. Herron, the pseudonym of an author who lives and teaches writing in California. For seventeen years she worked as a 911 fire/medical dispatcher, and this book is loosely inspired by actual events.

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Stolen Things 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Lots of twists and turns.. action packed, loved it!!
BrittsBookClub 3 months ago
In Stolen Things, written by R.H. Herron, Laurie is working as a 911 police dispatcher when she gets the call that scares her most. When Jojo wakes up at a random house and can’t move her legs, with no recollection of how she got there, she calls 911 with no clue that her mother would be answering the phone. The whole department springs into action, discovering Jojo at the home of Kevin Leeds, a professional football player, with a dead body in the closet of the room she woke up in. Also, Jojo has no idea where her best friend, Harper, has gone and she knows they were together the night before. As Jojo looks for clues of the whereabouts of her friend in Harper’s social media, she uncovers a shocking secret that threatens to destroy the entire police department. Laurie and Jojo begin to realize they can trust no one but each other as they set out to discover the truth of what happened that night. I had forgotten about this book sitting on my shelf and just randomly picked it up the other day. Boy, am I glad I did! I could not get enough of this book and read it in its entirety in one day! The entire story was fast-paced and always had some shocking twist or turn that left you wanting to read more. The characters, especially Laurie, Jojo, and Kevin, were very well developed and had unique personalities that helped me to feel like I really knew them. Stolen Things contained some sensitive topics such as sexual assault, mental illness, and police brutality. I tried to not get myself too caught up in these topics and send myself down a rabbit hole of thoughts and emotions. My goal was to enjoy the book as it was written, and I did just that. From beginning to end I loved this book. In fact, this was one of my favorite and most exciting reads of 2019! I want to give a huge thank you to Dutton Books for sending me a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous 3 months ago
⭐️Book Review ⭐️ Stolen Things by R.H.Herron 4.5/5 Stars This book was very emotional as a thriller and the physical toll it puts on the victims of sexual abuse. The central mystery kept me guessing the entire book and I was entrenched in reading every spare minute I had. I felt like I was reading an episode of SVU - it was so intense with rape, murder, police drama, corruption and LGBTQ discussion. Herron deals with each of them throughout the book and keeps the story very dramatic. Laurie is a 911 dispatcher and answers a call from her daughter JoJo. She has been kidnapped. Dad, Omid, is the police chief in this California town and rushes to the rescue. They find a dead body along with JoJo and her best friend, Harper, also missing. The hunt is on for the killer and to find Harper. Laurie, Omid and JoJo may be surprised to find what really happened the night JoJo was kidnapped. **Thank you to NetGalley and Dutton Books for the opportunity to read this book. I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review ***** **************************
Anonymous 4 months ago
Stolen Things is a fast paced suspense novel by R.H. Herron that takes you into the life of a law enforcement family. Laurie, a 911 operator, is a former police officer; married to Omid, the chief of police. They are career law enforcement employees. Dedicated to their jobs, they have raised their teenage daughter, Jojo, amongst their fellow police officers and dispatchers; who are basically their extended family. When Jojo becomes the victim of a terrible crime, she calls 911 and her mother answers the call. At that moment, Laurie tries to keep her head straight to find out where her daughter is, while fighting the motherly instinct that threatens to sabotage the training that always kicks into action. There is danger at every turn. Laurie is racing to protect her daughter from an unknown predator, while trying to find Jojo's friend who is missing. As she chases the truth, it becomes obvious that she doesn't know who her daughter is, who her friends are or what she does when she is not home. Jojo is a teenager pushing boundaries from the confines of the way she has been raised to follow her own truth. Laurie's colleagues and friends are not the people that she thinks they are. She discovers that Omid has been hiding things, making her doubt everything she believes about their life and their relationship. Amidst the turmoil she and Jojo develop trust and mutual respect. They get to know how much they can rely on each other, because those they trusted are not who they believed them to be. The writer is precise and intense as she takes you along the unraveling of their lives. This story reads like a YA story when you read the teen angst and rebellion from Jojo's point of view. The cover of this book is great, you can almost see Jojo kicking aside her shoes! The technical part of the investigation and the stories about police dispatch/procedure/lingo dragged a bit at times. That comes from the author's professional background. Quite often we talk about our work and while it's easy for us, it's clear as mud to someone outside the job. This doesn't take away from the writing, it's very good, but the story wrapped up too quickly with an over the top climax. Thank you @NetGalley @penguinrandomhouse @rachaelherron
JamieS 7 months ago
This book first caught my attention for 2 reasons, 1) the name made me think it was another author i'd read and 2) the picture of the book cover! What would you do if you were a 911 operator, you answer a call and hear Mom, help me!. That's what happens when Laurie picks up the phone and hears her daughter JoJo on the other end of the line. The police arrive, including JoJo's dad the police chief, and Laurie at the home of a football stars and find JoJo. There are 3 people in the house, two don't remember what happened and one is dead--and JoJo's friend Harper is missing. This begins the hunt to figure out what went on in the house. This book grabbed me from the first few pages and when I thought I knew what was going to happen, the plot changed. This was a very intense read and I highly recommend it. Will have to read more from this author!!
kmjessica 7 months ago
Wow. This was a very action paced fun ride of a read!! From the first chapter to the last I was hooked. This book keeps you guessing from the beginning and that is what I want in a mystery. The characters were not perfect in fact they made me angry sometimes in things they did or said or things they thought,. But thats what makes the story even better. There human. A married couple who are in the police force and there daughter have a nightmare of events which spiral out of control and trust is shattered. A friend goes missing and mother and daughter will do anything to find her and get her back. Absolutely a must read!
MeganLeprich 8 months ago
Thank you so much to Penguin Group Dutton and NetGalley for the free copy of this book for my honest review. I was in the mood for a good thriller or suspense novel and this definitely satisfied that craving for me. It's a very fast read as I finished it in about 6 hours but while it was good, it wasn't great. I feel like the police brutality and indiscretions that go on within departments was a great subject to write about and I loved the mother/daughter team trying to figure out who the suspect is and where the kidnapped girl was taken but overall I felt this book was lacking a little for me. While it had plenty of drama and suspense, the author seemed to drop too many hints about who the suspect was and I hate being able to guess the plot twist at any given time in the book. I know the author is writing under a pseudonym and kudos to them for writing this book but it's definitely not one I will be purchasing.
Bonnie Franks 8 months ago
This book has it all! Characters that feel real, action, diversity, thrills, chills, and more than one unexpected revelation. The tale is told from the perspective of two characters, the mother and the daughter. The almost rebellious teenager has some things to hide and does her level best to hide them. When some of those things are forcefully found out by her parents, the real story begins. Her father is the Chief of Police in their small town and her mother is a dispatcher. They know their way around the law, but do they know enough to save their daughter from the forces surrounding her? Twists and turns abound. Truth and lies are told. Action packed, well written, it makes you want to slow down and take it all in while at the same time racing to the end to see what happens! You will enjoy the ride! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing my copy.
Alfoster 8 months ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel that was part mystery, part thriller, and all parts relevant! As a 911 dispatcher, Laurie get a call that all parents fear: her sixteen-year-old daughter, Jojo awakens in a strange bed and suspects she's been roofied and raped. Police chief father, Omid responds and Jojo is found but there's a dead man in the room next to her and it's later discovered that her best friend Harper (who was with her that night) is missing. So many unanswered questions, made even more complicated by the fact that Jojo, of course, lied about where she was going that night and now remembers very little of what happened. Adding to the suspense are the secret meetings she and Harper were attending in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The plot is based on the author's real life experience as a dispatcher, and so while the events seem wild, they also appear realistic as they expose corruption and prejudice in society. Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
JessiKay22 8 months ago
Unfortunately, this book turned out to be just "okay" for me. There were aspects of it that I did like, but then there were others that I didn't, so let's just dive in. There's a lot going on in this novel: racism, feminism, rape, LGBTQ rights, police brutality, police corruption, mental health, and more. And while this speaks to today's society and current events, it just felt like too much. I am all for using one's voice to make a difference, but to me, it was just laid on too thick. It felt gimmicky, like the author was just throwing hot topics in there to get your attention. All of that being said, my biggest issue with this novel was that so much of it felt, frankly, unbelievable. I know this took place in a "small town," but it just seemed to me that there's no way that Laurie and Jojo could have gotten away with some of the measure they took. Maybe I'm wrong--I have never worked for a police department--but I don't buy it. I do want to give credit where credit's due--what I did enjoy about this book was that, at times, it got my heart pounding, and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I do want to warn readers that this one does get pretty graphic. Even I felt uncomfortable at some parts. One final point I wanted to make was that the ending felt kind of abrupt. The final chapters built up to this almost maddening pace, which was great, but then it was just over, with very little resolution. As you can see, I felt pretty torn about this one. I didn't hate it, but I also didn't love it. Again, Stolen Things was just okay for me. If this one sounds like something you enjoy, I say go for it because it was a heckuva thriller. I just don´t think that personally I´d be interested in other books by this author.
SL22268 9 months ago
Suspenseful Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Laurie is a 911 night, a call comes in, and it's her daughter, JoJo, in distress. JoJo has been sexually assaulted, is in a famous man's home, and there is another man, dead. This one had some twists and turns that I didn't see coming. Some of the material was hard to read, but I did enjoy the book. Would recommend to those that enjoy a good suspenseful novel.
Nanna51 9 months ago
This novel is all about corruption in the police department and the repercussions for everyone. Jojo is the daughter of the chief of police and the main character, the one who is the victim of a terrible crime at the beginning of the book. Her mom Louise is a police dispatcher and her best friend Harper is from a wealthy family. That basically sets the scene for a book that is full of twists and surprises and lots of action. There is also a famous football player involved as well as over half of the police department. The book was a good, fast-paced read that entertained and tried to inform. The ending came rather abruptly, with everything all tied up in a neat bow, but it wasn’t very satisfactory to me. The author seemed to want to deal with all kinds of social issues in the book and instead of dealing with one thoroughly, none were adequately dealt with. I enjoyed the book and recommend it to those who like suspense, with the caveat that the violence, language and sexual content may be offensive to some. Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
Mikalynm 9 months ago
This book was engulfing and thrilling from the very first chapter, and there was a lot going on. It deals with highly sensitive subjects that may be triggering to some. The first half was much better than the second, it became a little unbelievable and predictable. Overall it was a good thriller.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Laurie is a 911 dispatcher who generally enjoys her job, until the night she answers a call from her own daughter. Jojo has been drugged, and raped, while someone else in the house slept, and the other one was killed. Jojo can’t remember anything that happened or how she ended up in Kevin’s house. Kevin is immediately arrested, but Jojo’s friend Harper is still missing. Jojo starts a deep dive into Harpers social media and discovers that Harpers life, and the lives of the cops that work for her father, are not at all what they seemed. Holy psychopath. I really can’t say much more without giving anything away. This book does have some trigger warnings: sexual assault, kidnapping, police brutality. Overall this book kept me hooked. I wanted to know what had happened to Jojo, and Harper, plus why Harper was spending her time with all these much older men. Laurie and Jojo were both pretty badass which I loved.
Annette5151 9 months ago
A fast paced book that grabbed me almost from the first page! It was intense and kept me guessing to the end, I enjoyed it . Thanks for the early copy!
drswilliams 9 months ago
To say this book is riveting is an understatement. I read a little bit, then found myself getting up and walking around the room to process the twists and turns of this story. I have to admit that the 16-year old attitude coming from JoJo did not have my sympathy at first but she and all the characters were so REAL. I know many people who work in law enforcement and from my own limited interactions I feel that the atmosphere is very realistic, scarily so. No one wants to believe that actions like in this book can happen but life has proved over and over that they can. Even the most loving and caring parents can make mistakes as well as those we count on to uphold the law. In the end I can't see a better resolution to the story than the one the author has written. I eagerly await this author's next book.
Bookwormish-Me 9 months ago
Jojo is the daughter of a police chief and a police dispatcher. She’s a smart kid, but she’s in love, and love sometimes makes us do stupid things. In Jojo’s case this leads her to have to call 911 after a night she can’t remember, waking up in a place she shouldn’t be. Her mom Laurie answers the call. 911 dispatchers are usually very calm in any situation, but not when your daughter is the one on the line. When it’s your own child in danger, all rationale goes out the window, and the momma bear comes out. Laurie is going to protect her daughter at all costs. Then another teenage girl goes missing. A body is found brutally murdered. And what starts as a one case becomes so much more. Stolen Things tackles a lot of subjects in one novel. Police brutality, corrupt police, teenage exploitation, sexual abuse, LGBTQ topics. It’s packed full of touchy topics that need to become less touchy. Herron does an amazing job of allowing us to become so immersed in this story. Gay, black, straight, abused, it doesn’t matter. You immediately feel Laurie’s anxiety over anything happening to her daughter. You feel Jojo’s panic. You want to be able to help them and make it all right. Dad, Omid, the chief of the San Bernal police department should be able to do that, but as the pages turn, perhaps Omid isn’t the man Laurie thought he was. Harper, Jojo’s estranged friend, turns up missing. The various crimes and people become tangled together in a web that seems it will never be unraveled. Until it is. I’ve been reading RH Herron’s books for a long time now. Her venture into this genre is a win. She takes her years of experience as a 911 operator and topics in our current headlines and turns them into a very compelling novel that will leave you wondering who is innocent and who is guilty until the near end. Don’t pick up this book expecting to be able to read a chapter or two and put it down. Plan to spend all night up with this one. It has sharp edges that hurt sometimes, but it’s worth every moment.
JennaBookish 9 months ago
My thanks to NetGalley and Dutton for sending me an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the publisher. This book was a bit of a mixed bag for me. It's compulsively readable and fast-paced, but the twist at the end it a bit much to swallow. I loved the alternating perspectives. "Mom who is practically married to her job" alternating with "teen daughter who the mother doesn't know half as well as she thinks" is a little overdone in the genre at this point, but I thought it worked really well here. There is a wide divide between the two POV characters, not just for typical "angsty teens are unreachable" reasons, but because Jojo is at a point in her life where she's figuring out her own politics and value system, and they don't align with those of her parents. Mystery/thriller novels are best, in my opinion, when they're not driven solely by the mystery; Stolen Things has lots of interesting relationship dynamics to keep the story interesting. One of the predominant themes of the book is police brutality, and that is part of what's driving a wedge between Jojo and her parents, who both work in law enforcement (her father as a police chief and her mother, a former police officer) as a 911 dispatcher. Also prominent in the story is an exploration of rape culture and victim blaming. While including social issues like these in a story can be admirable, I'm not sure that a fast-paced thriller is really up to the task of treating these topics with the gravity that would be necessary for them to feel like a natural part of the story. While the book is not categorized as Young Adult and is a bit too dark to fit into the genre, some of the passages which centered on social issues had a very YA feel to them. Overall, this was definitely a page turner, but some sections felt awkward and fell flat. Stolen Things was worth a read and may be a great choice for fans of authors like Mary Kubica and Megan Miranda.
Zach_B 9 months ago
I really liked Stolen Things by R.H. Herron! The story starts out with 911 dispatcher Laurie taking a call from a distraught father who has lost his 2 year old. Turns out, his ex-wife has her but he forgot. Crisis averted. But the next call is Laurie’s daughter, JoJo, who is in a bed, in a house, somewhere, and she can’t move. What unravels is a well crafted story of bad cops, teenagers being taken advantage of, Citizens against Police Brutality, and an NFL player who protests the polices treatment of African-Americans. I enjoyed this story unraveling. It took turns I didn’t see coming, and the end was a great reveal. I look forward to reading more from R.H. Herron. I received a. E-book from the publisher for an honest opinion. Thank you! #netgalley #stolenthings
diane92345 9 months ago
What is the worst thing that 911 operator Laurie can hear on the job? Her sixteen-year-old daughter calling in saying “Mama? Help me.” Welcome to the adrenaline-fueled ride of Stolen Things. And you are only in chapter two. The twists never let up in Stolen Things. It is an exhilarating and compelling race to the finish. Don’t start this book in the morning before work unless you are willing to hide out in the bathroom to finish it before the end of the day. It is that good. It is recommended for anyone who enjoys thrillers especially set within a family. 5 stars! Thanks to Dutton Books and Edelweiss+ for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
BarbTRC 9 months ago
Stolen Things by R.H. Herron is a suspense thriller that was so very well written. This is the debut novel for this author, and after reading this story, I will most definitely read her again. Stolen Things started with a bang, as we met our heroine, Laurie Ahmadi, immediately. Laurie has worked as a 911 police dispatcher for 20 years (she is a former cop), and picks up a phone call that is every parent’s nightmare. The person on the other end is her 16 year old daughter, Jojo, who is crying for help, not knowing where she is and just woke up from being drugged. Laurie’s husband Omid (police chief) is the first to arrive on the scene with other members of his force, with Laurie not far behind. A dead body is discovered in a closet, and in another room of the house, an NFL player is woken from sleep, and immediately arrested. Kevin (NFL player) remembers nothing, as he too may have been drugged, but the police do not believe him, and Laurie wants desperately to hurt him for what he did to her daughter. Jojo will explain that Kevin is her friend, and he would never hurt her; but no one believes it. With Jojo in hospital, being examined, Laurie confirms that Jojo was raped, and pushes herself into the investigation, despite Omid and other police officers try to stop her. Jojo remembers that she went out with her friend Harper that night, and Harper is missing. Once Jojo is released from the hospital, she is determined to help her mother investigate the case, as well as try to find Harper. What follows is an exciting, nonstop action packed story that kept me glued to my seat. Jojo reveals some of her secret life;, helping Harper & Kevin working for the CapB activist movement (Citizens Against Police Brutality. She begins to find out more information on the internet, as well as from phone messages on Harper’s phone, which may involve the police department. This will force Laurie to secretly try to look into the police department records, causing havoc in the police station, and with Omid, who is in hospital after a heart attack. With Harper missing, and Jojo insistence the Kevin is a good guy, Laurie begins to believe her, and focuses on the department. To tell too much more would be spoilers, and throughout the who book, things change often. There are a number of twists along the way, especially the last third of the book. Stolen Things was so very well written by Heron, and does cover a number of topics: murder, rape, police brutality, politics, race, homosexuality, etc. Stolen Things is a wonderful thriller, and great mystery that has you unable to put the book down. I strongly suggest you read this debut novel by R.H. Herron.
SheTreadsSoftly 9 months ago
Stolen Things by R. H. Herron is a so-so debut conspiracy thriller. Ex-cop Laurie Ahmadi is currently a 911 dispatcher in San Bernal, California, who is working when her sixteen-year-old daughter Jojo calls her. Jojo doesn't know where she is at, but she is obviously drugged, disoriented and in pain. Laurie tracks her through her phone and dispatches help immediately. Then both Laurie and her husband, Omid, the police chief, rush to the scene. Jojo is at the home of pro football player Kevin Leeds. Leeds is an activist with the Citizens Against Police Brutality movement. He is arrested, but has no idea why Jojo would be in his home or why there is a body in his closet. Jojo has been sexually assaulted and drugged. She also has no idea where her best friend, Harper, is. The two were together the night before. Now Jojo is recovering from something she doesn't remember, Harper is missing, and Laurie must use all her wits to try and figure out what happened after Omid has a heart attack at the hospital. When Harper's phone is found in Jojo's possession, they look into her messages and also look at her social media accounts to try and figure out who she has been associating with and where she could possibly be. It soon becomes clear that they can trust no one, including the police department that has long been like a family to them. With Omid recovering, Laurie must figure out what is happening on her own. Laurie and Jojo are well-developed characters and Herron does a good job capturing the mother-daughter relationship. Jojo needs her mother and knows she will come, but she also get exasperated with her like any other teenager. She has also kept her renewed friendship with Harper, as well as other things, a secret. Both of her parents knew Harper wasn't a good influence on Jojo, but they would never wish her harm. Herron uses present day headlines to frame the action in her novel and goes bold and all-encompassing in the narrative bringing into the plot police brutality, activism, racism, rape, murder, mental health, and LGBTQ rights. In the end no one is is what they seem to be. Everyone is hiding secrets. While Stolen Things is definitely a thriller, it does come with an overriding and overbearing social message with an agenda that veers into a lecturing tone. Pulling plot points from breaking headlines is great, but in this case it ended up distracting from an otherwise page-turning thriller. Sometimes you are better served picking and choosing what will best serve your plot. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House
sjillis 9 months ago
“Mama? Help me.” Those are among the most terrifying words a parent can hear, but for a 911 operator picking up a call, they are nearly the worst. Former cop Laurie is able to locate her confused, injured daughter, Jojo, but her safe return isn’t the end of the nightmare, but rather the beginning. As Laurie digs deeper into what Jojo and her supposedly estranged friend, Harper, were involved in, she learns hard truths about those she once considered her closest friends. Even her own husband. R. H. Herron couples her professional knowledge as a former 911 operator with excellent storytelling to create this gripping suspense novel. Laurie is incredibly tough, but still vulnerable and relatable. Like her mother, Jojo is vulnerable under her facade, and together, the two relentlessly fight to uncover the truth, even as they realize the knowledge may hurt them. Below the surface of the riveting suspense novel is some timely social commentary. #NetGalley #StolenThings
gypsygrandmatv 9 months ago
Wow! What a Roller coaster of a ride this book is. A riveting page turner that I couldn't read fast enough. Laurie is a 911 dispatcher on duty when she gets a call that every parent dreads. It's her daughter Jojo calling for help but she doesn't know where she is and can't remember what happened. It's discovered that she has been drugged and raped, there's a dead body on the premises and her best friend Harper is missing. The house belongs to Kevin who's a young pro football player and the immediate suspect. As the hunt for Harper begins Laurie finds herself having to deal with everything alone when her husband Omid, the chief of police, has a heart attack. This book goes way past being just a story about trying to find a missing girl. It's about love, family and loyalty. It's also not for the faint of heart, parts of it can be pretty difficult to read. If you like suspense with many changes of direction and an....oh my goodness I didn't see that coming!...ending then Stolen Things is for you. Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Margaret Yelton 9 months ago
I received an advanced copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Wow, what can i say this was a gripping story of a mother's love for her daughter. I read this book in a matter of 3 or 4 hours once I got started I couldn't put it down. There are so many different elements happening in this book, that you were kept on your toes waiting to see what would happen next. Suspense/thrillers are one of my favorite genres, this was a new author for me but I definitely will read more by them. I wish at times the scoring could be a little different I would have given this book a 4.5/5 stars.