The Girls She Left Behind (Lizzie Snow #2)

img_4551Author: Sarah Graves 

Publisher: Random House

Rating: 5 stars

Buy Links: Amazon

Type: Novel in a Series

Provided by Publisher



Blurb: 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.


Review: I’m closing in on a great streak of excellent mysteries and I have to say they’ve been incredible. I think Sarah Graves has done an outstanding job in this second book in her Lizzie Snow series. The suspense is mesmerizing and the characters are absolutely horrific. And the title, oh such bitter irony.

The chapters aren’t always in chronological order because for some of the book, you’re in one of the character’s internal dialogue. Should you trust her? Maybe, maybe not. She’s got a vested interest in the outcome.

Deputy Lizzie Snow is working on finding a missing teenager. However, the mom doesn’t want her declared missing quite yet. It seems Tara likes to run away, so they need to make sure she’s actually gone first. Unfortunately for Tara, she actually needs help… Desperately.

With the county going up in flames with a series of wildfires threatening evacuation, more than the case of the missing teen is on fire. There’s also the possibility that the escaped monster who kept three women hostage for fifteen years is headed toward Bearkill. The people who might know why aren’t talking, and Lizzie can’t get a straight answer out of the mom. How can you help someone when they aren’t giving you all they know?

There are multiple plots running simultaneously, different timelines that could trip you up, and you’re living inside three people’s heads. Luckily, Sarah Graves doesn’t let any of them drop in the meticulously crafted tume line that slowly evolves, letting you look into the eyes of a nascent killer who can always find someone to blame.

I love the character of Lizzie. Last book she was desperately trying to find her niece. In this book, we see more of her skills as a detective as she tracks down the mystery surrounding Bearkill and the danger that lies out in the smoky darkness. We see familiar friends, and it also seems like Lizzie’s grown even though she’s only been there a couple of weeks. I appreciated how she stopped letting someone push her around. Will we be revisiting that relationship in the next book? I hope so. I don’t want her to give up on Dylan.


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