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Friday, January 16, 2015

Pretty Little Things by Jilliane Hoffman - A Book Review

Thirteen-year-old Lainey Emerson is the middle child in a home police are already familiar with: her mom works too much and her stepfather favors his own blood over another man’s problems—namely Lainey and her wild older sister. When Lainey fails to come home from a night out with friends, her disappearance is dismissed by the Coral Springs Police Department as just another disillusioned South Florida teen running away from suburban drama and an unhappy home life.

But Florida Department of Law Enforcement Special Agent Bobby Dees, who heads up the department’s difficult Crimes Against Children squad, is not quite so sure. Nicknamed “The Shepherd” by colleagues, he has an uncanny ability to find the missing and bring them back home—dead or alive. After a search of Lainey’s computer and a frank talk with her best friend reveal the teen was involved in a secret internet relationship, Bobby suspects she may be the victim of an online predator. And when chilling evidence of other possible victims is sent to a local Miami television station, he fears she may not be the only one.

The faceless monster from cyberspace, who has gone to remarkable lengths to stay invisible, now seeks a captive audience. And it’s Bobby Dees he wants watching. Haunted by the still-unsolved disappearance of his own teenage daughter, Bobby will find himself pulled into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the most prolific killer he’s ever encountered. But will he be able to save Lainey and the others before it’s too late?


MY REVIEW:

Pretty Little ThingsPretty Little Things by Jilliane Hoffman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Pretty Little Things by Jilliane Hoffman is a 2014 Thomas & Mercer publication.

I have always enjoyed novels by Jilliane Hoffman and this one was no exception. A gritty and heart wrenching suspense thriller that left me in white knuckled suspense and a feeling of pain for victims of these crimes and their families, but also a feeling of hope.

When thirteen year old Lainey disappears it's not just a job for Bobby Dees and the Crimes Against Children Squad. For Bobby each of these crimes is personal because he knows exactly what these families are going through. He himself has a missing daughter and lives life in a hell on earth limbo, not knowing if she is dead or alive.

The case is gruesome and harrowing as the author examines not only the way these girls get lured into traps by these predators, but the effect it has on the families, the investigative process, and the reminder that with each closed case, there are still countless missing and exploited children yet to find and rescue.

As a parent who raised two children just on the cusp of the cell phone, IM explosion and dealt with some on these issues myself, and having no idea how cleaver these kids can be when trying to keep something hidden from you. I can't stress to parents enough how accurate this novel was. As clever as kids are, so are the predators, more so, in fact. These kids want be to grown up, but they still need a watchful eye on them at all times. They can be at home, safe and sound, but a predator is right there in their rooms with them,via computers and smart phones, tempting them and luring them into a clever trap and you will never seen it coming. Certain messaging applications leave no record making it impossible to determine what might have happened in a worst case scenario. It literally sent chills down my spine reading about it, thinking about what these kids suffer and if they are fortunate enough to survive, how their lives will never, ever be the same.
This book was obviously well researched and thought out, the pacing and timing were spot on, and for the suspense is taut. I was very pleased with the ending and poignancy it stressed. Well Done! 5 stars


Jilliane P. Hoffman began her professional career as an Assistant State Attorney prosecuting felonies in Florida from 1992 to 1996 with special assignments to the Domestic Violence and the Legal Extradition Units. Originally from Long Island, she currently lives in South Florida with her husband and two children.
 

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