Sunday, January 24, 2021

Perfect Little Dolls - by Karen Long

Books-On-Tour Review

Gripping, dark, and dangerously twisted, Karen Long has given birth to a horrifically fascinating tale! 

Detective Eleanor Raven is definitely a favorite when it comes to roguish crime series leads! I just could not get enough of this leading lady! She has a defined love/hate personality; there's zero in between. I loved her myself; she has a wild temperament, but she means well and somehow usually always ends up being right! Her work with Dr. Seb and her internal, mental explorations was fascinating and showed growth within her character. I wasn't too fond of her partner, though; hopefully Whitefoot will grow on me in book three - now that he's (hopefully) started to actually understand and appreciate Eleanor. I did enjoy her ex-partner, turned advisor’s bits, and her boss’ support - it's nice to see this in a crime series. Additionally, the banter between characters Timms and Wadesky worked out brilliantly; their interactions helped break up the case(s) tension and generally just made me chuckle! I love a good set of characters! 

I won't rehash the entire book blurb, but I will say this.. while told mainly from DI Raven's point of view, I enjoyed the author's creativity when it came to the killer's perspective. As the reader, the question was never who was responsible, but rather what, why, when, where, and how. I found this quite exciting, as many detective novels put the majority interest on who, but with this book, we get that pretty much right from the start when the narratives switch. 

Perfect Little Dolls went farther than I'd imagined it would; I'll be having messed up nightmares for days! I am really looking forward to reading the next book in this series. I’m interested in finding out if Eleanor continues with her BDSM escapades, how her partnership with Whitefoot develops, and just what twisted tale Long comes up with next! 

This is yet another Bookouture book that I'd be thrilled to recommend. Many thanks to NetGalley, the author Karen Long, and the publishers at Bookouture for my advanced copy of this ebook and my spot on this Books-On-Tour event!

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫/5

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Title:
 Perfect Little Dolls
Author: Karen Long
Publication Day: January 18, 2021
Pages: 289

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Book Blurb:
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.

About the author, Karen Long:
Karen Long was born in Wolverhampton but has spent the last few years living in California. She worked as an English and Drama teacher for many years, before becoming a full-time writer.

She has written screenplays and articles, but primarily dedicates her time to writing crime fiction and observing wildlife. She loves to travel, which is a great source of inspiration; Toronto became the backdrop to the Eleanor Raven series of thrillers after Karen spent several months there.

A passionate conservationist and lover of the crow family in particular, she has rehabilitated and adopted ravens, crows, magpies and rooks, many of whom became integrated into family life, much to the distress of household members and soft furnishings. She now volunteers regularly at Los Angeles Oiled Bird Care Centre.

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