One Left Behind (Gina Harte #9)One Left Behind by Carla Kovach
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! Talk about a book that packs a punch. Just a few pages in I was blown away by One Left Behind. The police procedural element, where every detail is well-researched and fed in seamlessly, is simply excellent.

The premise is every parent’s worst nightmare: five sixteen year old friends sneak out to party one night, as kids do. Only four live to tell the tale, but are they telling all of it? Immediately we are presented with other credible suspects within the community and it’s down to Gina Harte and her team to separate the wheat from the chaff and get to the truth before another teenager dies. I have to say here how much I love the author’s characterisation. Each and every person we are introduced to is utterly believable. With their individual voices and quirks, you can visualise them in every complex detail.

The team are in a race against time to find the murderer before they strike again. Woven into the plot – again, seamlessly – is Gina’s backstory. Reminded of the dark secret she hides by events at crime scenes, alongside ominous texts from an unknown sender to her boss and lover, Briggs, it appears Gina herself might be facing her day of reckoning.

One Left Behind is a hugely satisfying read with lots of twists and turns to keep the reader as well as the team on their toes – and an absolute corker at the conclusion. The book can be read as a standalone or as part of the brilliant Detective Gina Harte series and is one I would highly recommend.

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