[book review] Every Missing Girl by Leanne Kale Sparks

The stunning landscape of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains are among our greatest natural treasures. But there are deadly secrets lurking in the craggy heights, and FBI Special Agent Kendall Beck and Denver Homicide Detective Adam Taylor team up to investigate a kidnapping. When Taylor’s niece, Frankie, suddenly vanishes at a local hockey rink, it’s clear that there’s a predator on the loose—and now, the case has turned personal.
 
One discovery after another leads Beck and Taylor closer to the truth, as they close in on the devastating truth about the fates of the missing girls—and the many who came before them. Will they be able to find Frankie before it’s too late? In this thrilling story,  Leanne Kale Sparks weaves the threads of this harrowing drama and builds the intensity to a fever pitch.

They say if you’re not hooked by the end of the first fifty pages of a book that you’re probably not going to finish it. This is precisely why many of the reviews on this site fall under the “First Fifty Pages” book reviews category, and very few have full reviews. Sometimes I press on, with only a few key elements holding my attention.

I didn’t know that EVERY MISSING GIRL was part of a series, so I’ll let you, this book’s possible future reader, know in advance. This fact did color my opinion a little bit. Let’s take a brief look EVERY MISSING GIRL by Leanne Kale Sparks.

The Characters

Since this is book two of two, I did miss out on some early character development for the main leads. Why is the heroine the way that she is? There is natural building throughout the story, but these are already well established characters and, with that in mind, that’s how the author was able to jump right into the story.

However, as this story is set in modern times – it is a true crime novel after all – there was a decent amount of language used by a lot of the characters, both main and secondary. If you’re like me and prefer books without such words, then you will have trouble with the amount of language used.

Another thing that seemed odd to me was when one of the male characters used “big brother” as a pet name for his actual older brother. Is this a midwest or west coast thing? I’ve only seen this used in Christian fiction, and I thought it was weird then, too.

The Pacing

One thing I appreciated about how the chapters were set up was that there were “time stamps” at the start of each one. Not only did this encourage a faster pace, but it have a sense of “we’re losing precious time.”

EVERY MISSING GIRL reads exactly like a crime show, and for those who love that genre, they will certainly appreciate this book. It reminds me of Bones, CSI or any other FBI themed show. Even with the twists in this story, I felt as though I’d rather watch true crime than read it. It’s this reason alone I decided to not finish EVERY MISSING GIRL.


PROS: well written for the modern audience, established characters, tightly wrapped up plot points

CONS: language, lack of HEA, reads too much like a television show

If you prefer stories with HEAs – happily every afters – then I don’t think you’ll enjoy this tale. If you like quick pacing, then perhaps you’ll like EVERY MISSING GIRL I’d like to thank Ms. Sparks’ publisher have me this opportunity to read an advanced copy, but I’m afraid I’ll have to give it a three out of five stars.

EVERY MISSING GIRL by Leanne Kale Sparks is set for release February 7th, 2023. Available for presale now.

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