Pretty Little Things

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I went to bed at 11pm last night with the intention of getting at least eight hours sleep. An hour and a half later I was still wide awake and almost finished Jilliane Hoffman’s Pretty Little Things (PLT). I had meant to glance over a few pages before drifting off. As it turns out Hoffman isn’t the kind of writer whose work invites sleep …

When barely teenage Lainey Emerson goes missing from her less-than-idyllic family home her stepfather is the obvious suspect. But Special Agent Bobby Dee, himself a father of a missing teenage girl, knows that the obvious suspect is not always the right one.

Prior to her disappearance Lainey had been chatting online with blond American football hunk Zach. The only problem is Zach is actually a creepy internet perv with sinister intentions. So far, so seen before…

Things take a twist when it becomes clear Lainey isn’t a once-off and that the police have a serial killer on their hands, one who enjoys painting his tortured victims, thus earning him the name Picasso.

As a former Assistant State Attorney in Florida Hoffman (pictured) is (unsurprisingly) an incredibly well-informed crime writer. The reason PLT is so good is that the author avoids the cliched rape and torture scene, instead scaring by omission. This plus an impressive insight into the Law Enforcement Against Child Harm and other legal and criminal aspects make her an author to watch.

If you love Criminal Minds or Law & Order: SVU this is the book for you.

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