ebook, 336 pages
Keye Street is the brilliant, brash heart of a sizzling thriller full of fear and temptation, judgments and secrets, infidelity and murder.
He likes them smart.
In the woods of Whisper, Georgia, two bodies are found: one recently dead, the other decayed from a decade of exposure to the elements. The sheriff is going to need help to track down an experienced predator—one who abducts girls and holds them for months before ending their lives. Enter ex–FBI profiler and private investigator Keye Street.
He lives for the struggle.
After a few weeks, Keye is finally used to sharing her downtown Atlanta loft with her boyfriend, A.P.D. Lieutenant Aaron Rauser. Along with their pets (his dog, her cat) they seem almost like a family. But when Rauser plunks a few ice cubes in a tumbler and pours a whiskey, Keye tenses. Her addiction recovery is tenuous at best.
And loves the fear.
Though reluctant to head out into the country, Keye agrees to assist Sheriff Ken Meltzer. Once in Whisper, where the locals have no love for outsiders, Keye starts to piece together a psychological profile: The killer is someone who stalks and plans and waits. But why does the sociopath hold the victims for so long, and what horrible things must they endure? When a third girl goes missing, Keye races against time to connect the scant bits of evidence. All the while, she cannot shake the chilling feeling: Something dark and disturbing lives in these woods—and it is watching her every move.
Don't Talk to Strangers by Amanda Kyle Williams is highly recommended third book in the Keye/stranger series.
Dr. Keye Street's drinking was out of control, which was the impetus for her job loss from the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime. After a few years of recovery, she's now a private investigator for her own business: Corporate Intelligence & Investigations. Normally she handles your standard background checks and bail jumpers, but every once in a while she is called in to handle a case that requires her more professional services.
Keye is living with her boyfriend, Police Lt. Aaron Rauser, in Atlanta when she is hired to help catch a child predator. Sheriff Meltzer contacts her about coming down to help with the investigation into a child predator. In the woods outside the small town of Whisper, Georgia, the remains of two girls have been discovered. Both were 13 when they went missing, but one was abducted 10 years while the other only 8 months ago. Keye must act fast while trying to deal with hostile local law enforcement and prejudice locals to piece together the clues if she wants to find the guilty party before another girl is taken.
This is the third book in the series started with The Stranger You Seek and The Stranger in the Room. Keye, a Chinese-American who was adopted by a white Southern family, is an outsider who knows how the south works. She's a complex character - flawed, mouthy, gutsy, but clever, resourceful and smart too.
Williams does an excellent job allowing the tension to build in the investigation and provides several twists and turns to keep your attention. This is a well written thriller that won't require reading the first two in the series in order to follow the action, but it never hurts to read them.
While I truly enjoyed this book, Keye's sort of mouthy, tough demeanor, as well as her colleagues, weren't totally to my liking. As a character, though, she's a great edition to the genre and this is a series with legs. Certainly the ending lets you know there will be another book, hopefully soon.
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Random House for review purposes.