Book Reviews

Bye Bye Innocence: The Stolen Girls by Patricia Gibney @bookouture @trisha460 #BlogTour

The Stolen Girls… I am thrilled to have read it and terrified to live in a world in which so many things can happen… But absolutely delighted to be sharing a stop on the tour for the riveting and dark story by Patricia Gibney with the great Dee-Cee @It’s All About The Books!

cover.jpgTitle: The Stolen Girls
Author: Patricia Gibney
Publisher: Bookouture
Date of publication: July 2017
Format: Digital Review Copy
Source: Publisher
Number of pages: 459
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The young woman standing on Lottie’s step was a stranger. She was clutching the hand of a young boy. ‘Help me,’ she said to Lottie. ‘Please help me.’ 

One Monday morning, the body of a young pregnant woman is found. The same day, a mother and her son visit the house of Detective Lottie Parker, begging for help to find a lost friend. 

Could this be the same girl? 

When a second victim is discovered by the same man, with the murder bearing all the same hallmarks as the first, Lottie needs to work fast to discover how else the two were linked. Then two more girls go missing.

Detective Lottie Parker is a woman on the edge, haunted by her tragic past and struggling to keep her family together through difficult times. Can she fight her own demons and catch the killer before he claims another victim? 

The Stolen Girls is a gripping and page-turning thriller that will leave you breathless. Perfect for fans of Rachel Abbott, Karin Slaughter and Robert Dugoni.


Nothing could have prepared me for The Stolen Girls. I knew the book was the second in a series, but I felt adventurous enough to jump in anyway and go against my own rule about reading books in order. I am both happy and devastated I took that decision!

The opening sets the tone. I was strangely fascinated and repulsed by the story I was being told. A land far away, a few years ago, and yet I could feel everything as if it were happening in front of my eyes. This is the first step of a harrowing jump into the past. Those alternate chapters sending you to 1999 are emotionally exhausting and yet gripping. I hated this narration with every fiber of my being, but I was pushed to read the next again and again by the amazing way the author made it an essential piece of the whole picture. I guessed half the reason behind this subplot about halfway into the book, but it never stopped the tension from ratcheting up. It only made me even more curious about how to make the information I was getting fit the puzzle of what was happening in the 2015 narration.

Because a lot is also happening in 2015! Crime and mysteries are my favorite genres with psychological thrillers, so I should have been more careful, but I guess the title mislead me to think it would be somehow more about disappearances than true crime. Oh boy. We are talking full bloody crimes here, decomposed bodies, gruesome kills, and enough details to make my stomach never want to see food again! Okay, I admit I am faint-hearted, I am squeamish, and “Yikes” is my favorite word, but this book will stay with me as one of the most macabre stories I have read! There is a lot going on in Ragmullin, so much you won’t have time to get bored, but not too much so that you feel confused. I was amazed at how the author pulled all the strings of her story in perfect harmony, maintaining the suspense throughout the book, in order to offer her readers a hellish journey that escalated at such a pace I would have cut my finger turning the pages if I hadn’t been reading on my Kindle!!!!

A town where no one saw anything, very few said anything and those who did never told the whole truth.

Curiously enough, I loved it!!

Adding to the weight of a grisly investigation, Detective Lottie Parker’s private life was just as heavy and complicated! I dreaded meeting Lottie and not being able to connect due to the fact I had missed her previous book, but it was impossible not to imagine and warm to the situation of an overbooked single mother dealing with more than most parents would with their kids! Here and there, I picked up information, taking the Parker family picture, detecting the issues, the pain, the lies and the words unsaid. I felt my heart go out to Lottie’s children, who had faced the worst and were left to cope with the aftermath. Not knowing exactly what had happened did not matter at all. Emotions washed over me as I watched a crumbling family fight and a mother do her best.

I loved Lottie. I think she might end up in my top ten favorite female characters! She is flawed, she makes mistakes, she throws herself into what she does. The family dynamic was so spot-on I could see Lottie’s love for her children spring off from her body and mind without being able to reach them, which was heartbreaking and felt so genuine I was overwhelmed at times.

As a detective, our Lottie is quite a joker to have in one’s team! I loved that she wasn’t all perfect at her job, it made her feel more human and was completely in sync with the Lottie we can spy on once work is over. She is perfectly imperfect and it is absolutely fine by me!

She wasn’t afraid of visible scars. It was the invisible ones she couldn’t handle.

Secondary characters don’t have to worry for their time to shine, as Patricia Gibney gives them enough room and depth for them to appear in front of you, to build this dark world The Stolen Girls is in the middle of, and help you get a hundred percent immersed. They all have a story and a personality. The dynamics between all characters change depending on who’s in the room, just as in real life, making this story even more anchored in reality and adding a touch of creepiness when you think of the monsters under the bed!!!

Patricia Gibney’s raw style and gripping chapters will let you in on all sides of the story, the past, the present, the scars, the whys, while the Parkers and the victims are drowning, and I was so frustrated I couldn’t help talk to everyone!! I wanted to warn them, to slap their head, to shake them! The author is a master at pointing noses in the right direction while keeping you and her characters blind to what’s in front of them. Sometimes, it doesn’t take far to find the truth, and yet, we are unable to spot it!

The Stolen Girls is a masterpiece in which the author toys with her characters in a ruthless and addictive chase that left me wanting for more!!!

Get your copy of The Stolen Girls on Amazon UK or Amazon US!

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley. This unbiased review is my thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to participate in this blog tour.



Patricia yearned to be a writer after reading Enid Blyton and Carolyn Keene and even wanted to be Nancy Drew when grew up. She has now grown up (she thinks) but the closest she’s come to Nancy Drew is writing crime!

In 2009, after her husband died, she retired from my job and started writing seriously. Fascinated by people and their quirky characteristics, she always carries a notebook to scribble down observations.

Patricia also loves to paint in watercolour and live in the Irish midlands with her children.

Find out what everyone says about The Stolen Girls on the other stops!


42 thoughts on “Bye Bye Innocence: The Stolen Girls by Patricia Gibney @bookouture @trisha460 #BlogTour”

  1. What a wonderful review, I need a good crime thriller/police procedural to read. And I love a detective with a backstory. I’ve checked out the reviews for book 1 and they are high in praise so I’ll start this series at book one.


  2. Great review Donna. I liked the first book but I am yet to read this one. However, I totally agree with you about Lottie. Its like we discussed yesterday about detectives having a life outside the case. This author did a great job with Lottie in book one and I am glad to see that her character development is still great in this book. Sounds like a wonderful read so definitely adding it to my TBR.


  3. ooooh! 5 star review…

    ***OK, let me scroll back up now to read the review! Back in a tick***

    Well, you said it- going by your review and yet again the truth staring the characters and readers in the face and still not being able to see it, screams masterpiece! 🙂 I love that there’s so many wonderfully put together books out there… and I feel like I should give the book (series) a go, because Lottie sounds great… I watched this detective/crime series on Netflix last week – Luther-
    where the DCI was like the only brain in the force and it’s just a bit disconnecting to see that no other detective is able to see certain ‘signs’… reading about Lottie making mistakes sounds more believable somehow 🙂


    1. I know, 5 stars are not so common, but I’ve had a couple of reads that really deserve them, and this book… This book ticks all the boxes! It was awfully good! I love how Lottie is portrayed as a human being with flaws, instinct, and the wrong reactions xD I could totally see it, it reminded me of Broadchurch in the way those the characters were shown. I need to stop comparing everything to Broadchurch xD


  4. Awesome review! I really like the sound of Lottie. It’s not often there’s female detectives that come across as real and caring…they usually are portrayed as you said ‘tough and unstoppable’ which often puts me off. I’ll check out book 1 soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great review Meggy for a gripping sounding book.
    So Lottie is fighting for a place in your top ten?!?? She must be good to be put up against Kay!? I’m sure there is room for 2 though?? 😉
    To be perfectly imperfect sounds good time to me too.


  6. HI Meggy,

    Thank you for stopping by Fiction Books today. I love ‘meeting’ new people and your visits and comments will always be welcome and appreciated 🙂

    This is another ‘must read’ author for my volcanic TBR pile, which threatens to erupt and engulf me at any moment!

    I am desperately trying to get in on a few new series from the beginning, rather than hoping that stories will work okay as stand alones, so I shall definitely be reading the first two episodes of this series in order.

    If the title and cover art hadn’t already hooked me in, your great review would have done the job with no problem!

    Yvonne 🙂


    1. Hi Yvonne 🙂 Thank you for stopping by!
      Haha, I know what you mean, my TBR is trying to kill me! I wish I had had the time to read the first book in this series, which has been in my Kindle for weeks, but I just had a feeling I HAD to read this one, and I am glad that I can find detective stories that I can read in any order, to try and relax about it 🙂
      Thank you so much! 🙂


  7. As always, you have supplied a stellare review of what promises to be a fantastic read. I always in a good thriller/mystery. I just find I have to wait until that right mood to fully appreciate them. Damn being such a mood reader haha. You mentioned true crime (my weakness) this is fiction that reads like true crime or actually based on true events? I am adding it to my list my Twin Pea ❤


    1. I totally know what you mean about the mood! Weirdly, my mood loves crime and blood a lot, so I’m surrounded by the genre, but sometimes a story doesn’t work because of timing!
      I don’t believe this book is based on true events, and I really hope it doesn’t! But it’s so realistic that it could, and that’s frightening!! ❤ Thank you my Twin Pea!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s awesome that you were able to enjoy it so much without reading the first book. I haven’t done that since I read Harry Potter. I started with Goblet of Fire and then read them in a total random order. LOL. I don’t feel like that detracted from my experience, but I’m sure it depends on the book. Great review!


    1. I started Harry Potter with book 3, my aunt bought it to me when I had my appendix removed, and then I rushed to get the two first books, haha! I admit I prefer reading in order, but a series feels strong when I can appreciate it without having read it in order! Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Great review Meggy, I know you said you have a rule against reading books out of order but it worked for this series and it worked (in a way I guess) with the Kay Hunter books as well so maybe it’s something to try more often! 😀 Do you plan to go back and read the first book (if you haven’t already?) It certainly seems like you enjoyed this one so I imagine the first book would just just as good. 😀


    1. I cannot believe I am able to read books in the wrong order now, haha! It’s the second or third time now, and I feel like I am even more cautious with my reading, paying attention twice as much to make sure I really get the tone of the book. Those reads are more intense, but it’s also fun! I’m reading the first book as soon as I have a little time! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. hehe I love that yikes is your favourite word… And it seems like such a good way to describe the events of this book. I’m also pretty squeamish, but I love books which repulse and compel you at the same time- and this I definitely have to read! Awesome review!! You’ve definitely sold me!!


    1. xD I say it way too often! But it’s better than the F word! I thought I couldn’t stomach what I was reading, but I was also fascinated by the events, and had already warmed so much to the characters that I just went through it without any problems! ❤ So happy the review made you interested in the book!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Excellent review as always! ❤ I'm so happy you were able to enjoy this one as much as I did… I can't wait to read the next one. 😀


  12. I do love to say Yikes too!! And this one sounds like a big good Yikes!! 😛 Absolutely love how perfect this title seems. I’d totally be down to jump into the first book and visit this one next. The characters and the plot both sound absolutely amazing and I feel like I won’t be disappointed by this, especially if it managed to impress Meggy! 😛 Excellent review!


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