Review: One Left Behind (Detective Gina Harte #9)by Carla Kovach

Music and loud voices echo through the woods surrounding her. Wiping her tears, she hears the rustle of leaves close by. Footsteps. She has no time to scream before a hand covers her mouth and her entire world goes black.

In a patch of forest on the outskirts of a small town, five teenage school friends prepare to spend a night away from home. Carrying their tents and sleeping bags, they laugh and joke as they make their way into the darkest part of the woods, away from prying eyes. But as the sun rises the following morning, only four are left alive.

Devastated, Leah’s friends all swear they didn’t see or hear anything. Her best friend sobs as she recounts what she remembers from that night – dancing, roasting marshmallows, sipping warm cans of beer by the fire – but is it grief, or is she hiding something? What happened to Naomi in the hour that no one can account for? And what troubled past lies behind the perfect manners of the boy who organised the trip, and who is prepared to lie to keep it buried?

As the cracks in their stories grow, it’s clear one of them is lying, and one of them is next…


This is one of my favourite detective series of all time. Detective Gins Harte is back. This time, she is working on a case involving teenagers. A group of friends went out for a night of partying at a campsite. One of them didn’t survive the night.

Right from the start, I had questions. Did someone sneak into the camp and attack the teen? Was it someone already at the camp? I had so many suspects just like the police. Together, we hit so many dead ends as this was a complex, twisty case.

I liked the narrative style used in this case. As always, we get to follow the case through Gina’s perspective. I have grown to enjoy her character more and more with each new installment. I was so invested in her investigation and a bit of drama in her personal life. Luckily, the drama didn’t overshadow the case. Other narrators include one of the teens who missed the tragic party. I liked Caro and sympathised with her. She reminded me of a typical teen with flawed thinking. I kept questioning her judgement and decision making before reminding myself that teen logic is different. Another narrator that I enjoyed is a wheel-chair, home-bound woman, Sandy, who was caught up in the case. Hers was an intriguing but sad story.

As I’ve mentioned, this was a twisty, unpredictable read. I had my detective hat on and list of suspects but the one person not on my radar ended up being the culprit. My jaw literally dropped at the reveal. Motives and events made sense but wow, I didn’t see that coming.

This is yet another brilliant addition to the DI Gina Harte series. I’m excited to find out what happens next to this fab detective. I recommend the entire series to fans of this genre.

16 thoughts on “Review: One Left Behind (Detective Gina Harte #9)by Carla Kovach

      1. I’m doing relatively well, Diana. It’s not fun growing older, but I am grateful to be alive. 🙂 I am not able to read as much as I used to and I miss that. But overall, I’m truly blessed and thankful for so much in my life.

        It HAS been a while. I think of you. I hope you and baby are doing well.

        1. Glad you are well, Laurie. I can imagine the changes that come with it are quite something but I’m happy that there is still so much good in your life to focus on. As for the reading, I’m with you. My reading drastically reduced after my baby and it has never been the same since. I still request ARCS with plans to read them but now I just have huge pile and lots of missed deadlines.

          We are doing okay. Rylee is almost 2. Quite an active baby. Trying to sleep train her, hopefully it’s not too late.

          1. I can certainly relate, Diana. I’m so far behind I don’t even want to think about it. 🙈 We may have different circumstances, but the outcome is the same—the inability to read the way we used to.
            I had a toddler once so I’m impressed that you get any books completed. I can’t believe Rylee is almost 2!! Time is flying. I’m glad you’re doing okay. It’s always nice chatting with you. 🤗

  1. Wonderful review Diana. I also loved this one and I didn’t have a clue either. The ending was wonderful and yes, once it was revealed, it made sense.

  2. I love the sound of this one! Your review made it sound even more interesting and I need to see if my library will get a copy.

    I saw your comment about Rylee sleep training. My daughter didn’t sleep through the night until after 2 years old. There is hope! Some just take longer than others.

    1. Thanks Deanna. Happy to know that I’m not the only one. I keep hearing moms talk about their babies sleeping through the night even before they were a year old. Rylee is almost 2 years but it hasn’t happened despite trying all sorts of stuff. Hoping she will start like your daughter too. Only a few months to go. Thanks so much for sharing ❤

      On the book, fingers crossed that they have the entire series. Its brilliant. Thanks.

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