The light in her wide brown eyes dimmed as she drew her last breath. She might have been beautiful lying there on the floor, if it wasn’t for the purple marks on her neck and the angry red line on her finger where her wedding band used to be…
When Jeanine Hammond is found dead in a hotel in the picture-perfect town of Oakhust, newly-promoted Detective Jo Fournier is thrown into a disturbing case. Who would murder this shy, loving wife and leave her body posed like a ballerina?
Jo wants to know why Jeanine’s husband is so controlling about money, and where Jeanine’s wedding ring is, but before she and her team can get close to the truth, another woman is found strangled in a hotel, arms placed gracefully above her head like a dancer.
While digging through old case files, Jo makes a terrifying link to a series of cold cases: each victim bears the same strangulation marks. But the FBI won’t take Jo seriously, and if she disobeys direct orders by investigating the killings outside of her jurisdiction, it will mean the end of the career she’s already sacrificed so much for, even her relationship.
Just as Jo is beginning to lose hope, she finds messages on the victims’ computers that make her question whether these small-town women were hiding big lies. Jo thinks this is the missing link between the victims, but she knows the killer is moments away from selecting his next victim. Will it lead her to the most twisted killer of her career in time, or will another innocent life be lost?
An absolutely unputdownable and brilliant new crime thriller series that fans of Robert Dugoni, Lisa Regan and Melinda Leigh will devour in one sitting.
“Martin knew he wasn’t a psychopath. He’d done his research, so much so that he probably knew more about serial killers than most profilers did.”
Jeanine’s body is found in a hotel room, spangled and left lying on the floor..had she been posed or just fallen oddly?
Jo Fournier is called in to investigate along with her partner, Bob Arnett….They feel something is off about how the body is lying but can’t put their finger on it…
Then a second woman is found a few weeks later, Emily. Similarly posed, strangled and her wedding ring is missing…just what connects these two women.
Jo finds more deaths with similar MO’s and feels there is a link, and she will not let it go….
What follows is an absolutely gripping thriller that really brings to light the dangers of online grooming…it’s not just young people who are targeted, but sometimes people who are a little vulnerable, looking for a connection with another human being, someone who ‘sees’ them after living with passive neglect from their own families and partners…..
World of Warcraft is an original setting for the grooming, but it made sense….the escapism and chatting with other ‘players’….
I found the chapters showing the online chats between Martin and his potential victims truly terrifying, it seems so innocuous but the menace behind it is palpable….I enjoyed the police procedural part too and the atmosphere of sheer menace is a credit to M.M.Chouinard’s gripping writing..
I loved the relationship between Jo and Arnett, the friendly banter and heartfelt chats really brought them to life…
Will Jo manage to find Martin before he kills again? Will Diana survive?……
With a stunning ending, I loved every minute and read this in one sitting and can thoroughly recommend it for anyone who loves a serial killer thriller…I’ll certainly be looking out for #2 in the Jo Fournier series.
Thank you to Bookouture for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook in exchange for my honest review.
You can buy a copy here (click on the image)
M.M. Chouinard’s first fiction story was published in her local paper when she was eight, and she fell in love with Agatha Christie novels not long after. While pursuing a Ph.D in psychology and helping to found the first U.S. research university of the new millenium, the stories kept rattling around inside her skull, demanding to come out. For sanity’s sake, she released them. She’s currently at work on her seventh novel.
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Title: The Dancing Girls
Publication Day: 15/05/2019
Author: M.M. Chouinard