The little boy played with his toy trains in the bedroom, keeping quiet so as not to wake his mother. He stayed silent as he watched his window creaking open and heard the whisper from outside. A minute later, Tommy and the trains were gone.
An unrelenting heatwave sweeps the country and starts a fire which uncovers the charred remains of a young woman. But when DI Eleanor Raven attends the post-mortem it reveals some disturbing details—the girl was dead long before the fire, her body had been lovingly preserved before being dressed up, her hair perfectly arranged, and a lime-green scarf knotted around her neck.
With little evidence surviving the fire, Eleanor and her team have no solid leads. But back on duty after six months’ enforced leave, Eleanor is determined to prove herself fit for service, and she won’t accept that this case could prove impossible.
Following a tenuous link to an old missing-persons case, Eleanor discovers the poor woman’s identity: Giselle Baker was a young dancer at a local bar before she disappeared two years ago, leaving behind a worried roommate and, concealed amongst her things, a curious wooden carving of a snake. Before Eleanor can uncover the significance of the toy though, another woman goes missing, and then, a little boy… It seems that someone is collecting a family for themselves.
As Eleanor battles her own demons, she pushes herself to the limit to find the killer. But her fight to save his last innocent victim may become a battle to save herself…
A totally gripping, fast-paced mystery thriller that will leave your jaw on the floor. The next rollercoaster read for fans of Lisa Regan, Angela Marsons and Robert Dugoni.
Perfect Little Dolls was previously published as The Vault.
Disappearance, murder, mystery and intrigue, Detective Inspector Eleanor Raven seems to have the odds stacked against her as she returns to her job and tries to prove to everybody, maybe especially herself, that she has everything under control.
Perfect Little Dolls (previously published as The Vault), is the second instalment in the Detective Eleanor Raven series and had me immediately invested and caught up in its drama. Another book not for the faint hearted, Karen Long certainly ups the creepy factor in spades!
In my review for book one, Cry for Mercy (The Safe Word), I stated that I struggled to connect with Eleanor but, she grew on me this time around. Complex, damaged, broken and flawed, she is actually quite unique.
All up Perfect Little Dolls is a dark and compelling tale that will get under your skin. Well written, great characterisation and with twists and turns aplenty, makes this such a very thrilling read and I will be looking forward to the next instalment.
Thank you to Karen Long, Bookouture and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of Perfect Little Dolls which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.