Review: Stolen Daughters (Detective Amanda Steele #2) by Carolyn Arnold

When firefighters discover the body of a teenage girl at an abandoned house, Detective Amanda Steele hurries to the scene. Dumfries, Virginia is a small town, yet no one seems to have any idea who the dead girl is until Amanda finds a dragonfly pin with the name Crystal engraved on it.

Working tirelessly, Amanda traces the pin to Crystal Foster, a thirteen-year-old who disappeared three years ago from her wealthy parents’ home. Breaking the news to the distraught parents won’t be easy, but the loss of her own daughter still haunts Amanda, and she knows this will bring them closure. But when Amanda goes to see the Fosters, they do not recognize the girl. She isn’t Crystal.

Before Amanda can react to this new development, she gets an urgent call. A fire has consumed another vacant house, and the remains of two more girls have been found. Who are these girls, and why are they being picked off? Amanda must stop this killer before the pattern continues, and the death toll climbs.

When Amanda receives a taunting note from the killer, she realizes that she holds the missing piece of this puzzle. The victims are connected to Amanda’s past, to a case she can never forget, and which almost claimed her life. As she follows the clues to their deadly conclusion, can she save more innocent lives… even if it risks her own?


Detective Amanda Steele is back and I like her even better. In this installment, our Lead Detective is working on a case involving multiple murders of young women. It seems that the killer is trying to send a message. Amanda has to figure out the message as she stops the killer before the body count rises. The case becomes more complex when the killer starts paying attention to the detective and leaves her a note on her daughter’s grave.

This was quite a complex, multi-layered case. There is absolutely no way that I could have guessed the identity of the Perp. The detectives also seemed to be running around in circles with no end in sight. The tension kept escalating as the body count rose. In addition, Amanda’s personal and professional life also added quite a bit of angst.

I enjoyed the development of the main character. In my review of the first book, I mentioned having an issue with Amanda’s attitude especially towards her partner. She has since come a long way. I now find myself fully invested in her character which makes me like the series even more.

This book ends with a cliff hanger about the MC. I can’t wait to see how things unfurl in the next installment.