Book name: Find Her Alive
Author: DS Butler
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Format: Print, ebook, audiobook
Genre: Crime fiction
Publication Date: 2023
Star Rating: 5/5
Find Her Alive is really a work of crime fiction rather than murder mystery as such, since the only death in the book comes quite late on.
Instead, it is a character-driven novel in which the personal lives of the detectives are given equal prominence to the disappearance of a young woman.
Find Her Alive is the seventh book in the ‘Detective Karen Hart’ series, so it isn’t surprising that by now Karen has plenty of baggage along for the ride.
Karen and her colleagues in Lincoln’s police force are investigating a series of attacks on young women who had their drinks spiked at city-centre pubs and bars.
They also receive an anonymous email tipping them off that another young woman has just gone missing after having her drink spiked.
Karen has also been approached by a friend asking her to look into a missing person, Phoebe Woodrow.
The chase is on to find Phoebe before it’s too late.
The other victims were sexually assaulted after being drugged, so Karen and the others worry that the next step up in the violent assaults might be murder.
However, Phoebe’s family are adamant that she isn’t missing, even though days pass and she isn’t answering her phone or going into work. Her social media has also gone dark.
Is Phoebe a missing person, and (if not) why has she disappeared?
Find Her Alive is focused on its characters and their family and work lives: both that of the missing Phoebe and the detectives on the force. This element was well done, and I totally bought into all the main characters and their various struggles.
The other main character with which I fell in love was Lincoln itself and the surrounding area. DS Butler obviously loves her new home town, and I can heartily recommend a visit there having stayed in the area several times.
Lincoln became a vivid and unique setting for Find Her Alive courtesy of warm descriptions and attention to detail. This was my favourite aspect of the book.
Find Her Alive is also a thought-provoking narrative that focuses on the importance of women’s safety, their vulnerability to drugging and sexual attack and how the police respond to such cases. It is more usual for a crime-fiction story to focus on a murder that occurs early on, but by delaying that element DS Butler was able to give the attacks on women the attention they deserve.
I enjoyed Find Her Alive and would certainly recommend it.
Thank you for reading my review.
Click on this link to buy this book https://amzn.to/42zTvr1 from Amazon via affiliate marketing, for which I receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting John C Adams Reviews blog in this way.
If you’ve enjoyed this review, you might like to subscribe to my blog.
Or you might like to take a look at the Crime category of my blog.