Review: Last Seen (Detective Bernadette Noel #1) by Joy Kluver

When five-year-old Molly Reynolds is snatched from the park in the small village of Otterfield, Detective Bernadette ‘Bernie’ Noel throws herself into the search, sick with worry for the quiet, sensitive little girl and her distraught mother.

Wasting no time, Bernie finds a small green cardigan under a bush in the park. It still has the smiley face sticker Molly won that week at school. It’s the first in a chain of clues – and Bernie can’t shake the feeling that it was left deliberately, as a message.

But Bernie encounters a wall of silence. Otterfield is a close-knit community, yet no one in the village seems to care that Molly is missing at all. Why?

And then Bernie makes a chilling discovery: twenty-five years ago, another little girl went missing from the area. Her name was Sophie, and all they ever found of her was her teddy bear, hidden under a bush. Now Bernie knows she’s in a race against time to save Molly’s life.

Bernie’s team work round the clock to find a connection between the two girls, and just when they think they’re making progress a devastating tragedy strikes at the heart of the case. Molly’s family have been hiding a secret, and now their little girl is in greater danger than ever.

Can Bernie outwit the most warped criminal she has ever faced and bring Molly home safe, or will another innocent life be lost?


Last Seen is the first book in the Detective Bernadette Noel Series. I read the second book in the series last year and couldn’t resist going back to the beginning with this title. Once again, I find myself reading another missing child mystery. I decided to slow down on these but then again, all my series seem to have at least one case that deals with a missing child. I certainly don’t regret reading this one though.

The story begins with five- year old Molly going missing while playing at a park. A missing child is shocking enough but a town that doesn’t care, that caught my attention. Instead of going out searching for the little girl, the town folks shunned the family. They just didn’t seem bothered at all. I was naturally curious as to why this was happening even as I wondered what happened to Molly.

Bernadette is a great lead detective. She is likeable, no drama or jaw dropping secrets. She works well with her team and I was rooting for her and Anderson. The problem with reading the second book first is that I jumped ahead in terms of the characters’ back stories but I’m glad that I had a chance to go back and see how different relationships were formed.

This was a captivating, well-written cop procedural with an intriguing lead detective. I am currently reading the 3rd book which is quite good so far.

10 thoughts on “Review: Last Seen (Detective Bernadette Noel #1) by Joy Kluver

  1. I love when I read a series out of order, and it makes me want to go back and start from the beginning. I’m happy this series worked out for you that way. It sounds right up your alley.

  2. Great review Diana. I always like to hear that a series is good enough to go back and read the books you missed. The town not caring is definitely intriguing to me.

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