The Traveling Friends have started binge reading the Detective Josie Quinn series by Lisa Regan and have finished reading the first in the series
Review by Christina
More reviews from Norma and Christina to come. The Traveling Friend group review to come after completing the series. After reading this one, our Friends are ready to start the second with Norma.
Detective Josie Quinn doesn’t take lip from anyone. Policing the small town of Denton, Pennsylvania may seem like a sleepy job for an officer but there’s more to this town than meets the eye. Quinn has been suspended from her job for a past incident when a young girl, Isabelle Coleman shows up missing. At first, this seems like a pretty regular missing person’s case – but Josie, unable to let go of the job or her lingering feeling that something more sinister has occurred embarks on an unsanctioned investigation all on her own.
People didn’t vanish into thin air, and beautiful teenage girls who were abducted were rarely returned alive and unharmed.
Aye girl, you’re not wrong there. As Josie becomes more entrenched in the mystery surrounding this missing teenage girl we learn more about our leading lady and her own personal demons. She’s struggling with her alcohol consumption, her failed marriage to high-school sweetheart Ray, her inability to be anything other than a cop and a sordid familial history. Things are not going well for our girl Jo.
Three weeks earlier she had been a respected police detective in Denton, a town she loved, with a beautiful new house, and an exciting new relationship. Now she was suspended, broke, and quite possibly in mortal danger.
As she digs deeper into the case of Isabelle, she uncovers that this isn’t a one-off crime but that multiple girls have gone missing over the past few years. Vanished without a trace, some found and some not. When one of these girls, who has been missing for a year turns up during a shake-down, all but catatonic, the story really takes off. Unable to let sleeping dogs lie, Josie digs further and further into a case where she’s unwanted and things quickly turn ugly.
“You can’t always be all roses and sweetness,” she had always told Josie. “That don’t get shit done.”
The first half of this novel was a bit slow for me. It took some time to really get into the swing of the story, Regan’s writing and character development. Josie is a tough, hard and no-nonsense MC and this is told solely from her POV. She’s unlikable at times, but what I enjoyed so much about her is that she isn’t written in a way where she wants to be likable. Josie has a one track mind – she is a detective, she solves crime and she is good at it. This created an incredibly strong female lead that’s a nice break from some of the tropes female characters fall into in these sorts of novels.
One of my least favorite things in mysteries is when the reader is given all of the information in the final few chapters. Where the “twists” come out of left field and have me asking more of “wait, what?” rather than all of the pieces clicking into place and shocking me with their end result. Regan pulled the latter off seamlessly. In the last quarter of this read bread crumbs that we’ve been previously given are quickly and efficiently snapping into place and they are perfectly paced and placed right where they belong.
While the prose didn’t blow me away and it took a bit for me to get into the swing of this read I’m very much looking forward to the second novel. Regan created a cast of likable and/or admirable characters that I think any reader could get behind. Not to mention that this book had as close to a happy ending as a thriller can and it was a lovely way to end a difficult at times read. I’d definitely suggest this for anyone who loves well paced mysteries, suspense or thrillers with strong female leads.
I completed this as a Traveling Friends read and it was incredibly wonderful to discuss all the ins and outs of this one with others. This is an excellent book club, group or buddy read given all the little pieces Regan delves out as the story progresses.
Have you read this one? Want to read this one? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you.