If you’re reading this, I’m already dead… That’s the note seventeen-year-old Haley Cooke leaves behind when she disappears from inside her high school. FBI profiler Evelyn Baine is called in to figure out who had reason to hurt her. On the surface, the popular cheerleader has no enemies, but as Evelyn digs deeper, she discovers that everyone close to Haley has something to hide. Everyone from estranged parents, to an older boyfriend with questionable connections, to a best friend who envies Haley’s life. Secrets can be deadly… One of those secrets may have gotten Haley killed. If she’s still alive, Evelyn knows that the more the investigation ramps up, the more pressure they could be putting on Haley’s kidnapper to make her disappear for good. It’s also possible the teenager isn’t in danger at all, but has skillfully manipulated everyone and staged her own disappearance. Only one thing is certain: uncovering Haley’s fate could be dangerous—even deadly—to Evelyn herself.
Once again, I requested a book and I didn’t know it was part of a series. Stalked by Elizabeth Heiter is actually #4 in her profiling crime series. Fortunately for me, there was a letter at the beginning where the author introduced her novels to new readers. and I think this can easily be read as a standalone. Based on what I read, I’m sure I need to grab her previous ones as well. What a ride!
A few days ago, I was deciding on what movie to watch with a friend. She said she didn’t want anything with “too much police stuff” and I thought: Okay, so maybe loving crime procedurals isn’t that common after all. Maybe I’m the weird one! Because, let’s be honest, I wish I could live in a book like this one. As my fellow reviewers pointed out, this felt like watching an episode of Criminal Minds (minus the private jet).
Stalked was a straight crime procedural, everything plot-related, all focused on the case. And I absolutely loved it. Just by reading the prologue, I was hooked. But who wouldn’t be after that sentence? “If you’re reading this, I’m already dead…”. What a great way to start a book! After that, I couldn’t read for a couple of days, but once I went back to it, I finished it in a matter of hours. It was that addictive.
I’ve always loved profiling in books and films. The whole: “caucasian male, 30s, lives isolated, traumatic childhood”, it’s all so cliché and fun, and this book was the master of it all. The case was captivating enough and Elizabeth Heiter’s writing made it even more compelling. There were so many red-herrings. And I mean, SO MANY. There were so many theories, I didn’t know what to think. Every new page featured a new plausible idea. What if….? But what if…?
I’m not going to spoil the book’s theme, because I want you to find out for yourselves, but I’ve read other books this year about that same topic and I find it horrible and fascinating at the same time. I think part of the reason I liked this so much was that the case felt real and scary.
What I liked the most
You’re completely absorbed in the investigation and you get to play detective along with Evelyn and Sophia. Who’s guilty? What have they done? What really happened to Haley? In addition, I loved a particular storyline involving one of the other investigators, as it was sad and very moving.
What I didn’t like that much
I wanted to get to know Evelyn better. There was a personal storyline, but I wish I had read the previous books in order to get a glimpse at her past life. Also, I needed more Kyle McKenzie.
A fast-paced and fascinating crime procedural for fans of psychological profiling