The girl looked so peaceful, she could have been asleep. Except her eyes were open, blankly reflecting the flickering flames spreading towards her…
When firefighters discover the body of a teenage girl at an abandoned house, Detective Amanda Steele hurries to the scene. Dumfries, Virginia is a small town, yet no one seems to have any idea who the dead girl is until Amanda finds a dragonfly pin with the name Crystal engraved on it.
Working tirelessly, Amanda traces the pin to Crystal Foster, a thirteen-year-old who disappeared three years ago from her wealthy parents’ home. Breaking the news to the distraught parents won’t be easy, but the loss of her own daughter still haunts Amanda, and she knows this will bring them closure. But when Amanda goes to see the Fosters, they do not recognize the girl. She isn’t Crystal.
Before Amanda can react to this new development, she gets an urgent call. A fire has consumed another vacant house, and the remains of two more girls have been found. Who are these girls, and why are they being picked off? Amanda must stop this killer before the pattern continues, and the death toll climbs.
When Amanda receives a taunting note from the killer, she realizes that she holds the missing piece of this puzzle. The victims are connected to Amanda’s past, to a case she can never forget, and which almost claimed her life. As she follows the clues to their deadly conclusion, can she save more innocent lives… even if it risks her own?
Here’s a mini interview I originally did with The Big Thrill magazine about Stolen Daughters:
BT: Which took shape first: plot, character, or setting?
CA: For this book, it was definitely the plot, though it required a lot of research on my part. The killer murders his victims and sets the place they’re in on fire, and I’ve written about fire/arson investigation before.
BT: What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?
CA: This would be the research that was necessary when it came to fire investigation. Thankfully, a contact within the local fire department was more than gracious with his time in answering my many questions.
Another challenge was getting all those murders crammed into a novel of just under 100k.
BT: How does this book make a contribution to the genre?
CA: It sheds a bit of light on the world of human trafficking–something I never thought I’d ever write about. However, it’s sadly a huge plague inflicting the world. I hope that by broaching the subject, it will help more people become aware of this horrible, evil aspect of society.
BT: What’s the one question you wish someone would ask you about this book, or your work in general? And, please answer the question too!
Q: How would you feel about us making this book into a movie or TV show?
A: Let’s talk and deal.
Click the links below to buy Stolen Daughters in the format you prefer.
The Big Thrill even interviewed me to write an article on Stolen Daughters, which you can find here.