Wednesday 22 March 2023

Book ~ "When Last Seen" (2023) Brenda Chapman

From Goodreads ~ The hardest part is not knowing…

Ottawa is baking under a July heatwave when the Homicide and Major Crimes Unit is called to help track down missing three-year-old Charlie McGowan. This is the second missing person case in nine months - a university exchange student never made it back to her Carleton University residence from a downtown party in November.

At first, the two disappearances appear unrelated but as true crime podcaster Ella Tate and Detective Liam Hunter dig deeper into both files, unsettling relationships begin to emerge. Evidence, however, remains frustratingly out of reach as the clock keeps ticking and concern for both missing victims takes on a heightened urgency.

And then Liam Hunter gets a call that a body’s been found on the Ottawa River Parkway ...

Three-year-old Charlie was playing in his yard with the neighbour's cat. His mother, Ginger, took her eyes off him for a few minutes and he disappeared. A search is done of the neighbourhood and the water not far from their house but there is no sign of him. Liam is the police officer in charge of the investigation and quietly works with true crime writer/podcaster Ella to get the word out and find Charlie. Hours turn into days and there's still no word about him. Ginger is frantic and David, his father, keeps himself busy with work.

Suddenly clues start coming out that David has had business meetings with suspicious men and then it's discovered that they may have connections to a Chinese-exchange student who went missing months before.

This was an interesting story and there were many possibilities on what could have happened to Charlie. It's written in third person perspective depending on where the action was. Though it is the second in the Hunter and Tate series, there seemed to be enough information from the first one so you can read this one as a stand alone (I haven't read the first one but will). I like the fact that it is set in Ottawa, ON, and they didn't hide it. As a head's up, there is swearing.

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