Review: Isolated (The Missing Children Case Files, #2) by M.A. Hunter - .Red Wine & Books

Monday, November 9, 2020

Review: Isolated (The Missing Children Case Files, #2) by M.A. Hunter



Print Length: 359 pages
Publisher: One More Chapter (November 6, 2020)

From Goodreads.com:  A bloody pig’s head nailed to a wall…

Investigate journalist Emma Hunter is in the thick of another cold case featuring a game of truth or dare in a dark forest by a Dorset army base 15 years ago that went horribly wrong. Four girls went in, only three came out.

A Wiccan map splattered with red ink…

Wreathed in mist and memory, the barracks offered no remains of any kind, just a hole in the perimeter fence and years of unanswered questions.

An ancient ritual drenched in death…

But when Emma teams up with fellow firebrand reporter Rachel and whip-smart cold case expert Jack, she soon discovers it wasn’t a game at all as a grand and sinister pattern begins to unfurl around them.


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My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Honestly, I couldn't connect with this story for a lot of little reasons. For example when Natalie wakes up in the hospital, her mother tells her that her leg was "quite infected from what the nurse told me, but too recent for any real infection to take hold". Well which is it? Is her leg quite infected? Or was it just so badly cleaned by her the night before that an infection was imminent? I could also point out how the night Natalie snuck out and she used her keys to unlock her front door BEFORE she went outside? Why would you need keys to unlock a door from the inside? And let's not forget the time the author told us in great detail how she painstakingly went down the stairs on her bottom so she could eavesdrop on a private conversation her parents were having  only to have her just a few pages later, jumping out of bed, racing down the stairs and outside. 

Now it's important that I mention here that I am reviewing an Advanced Reader Copy, so it's entirely possible that these things have been corrected between then and now. So now, I'm going to talk about the other aspects of this book that were less than enjoyable to me. 

For starters, this book jumps between the "then" and Natalie's perspective to the "now" which is told entirely by a woman named Emma who is on the cusp of selling her second novel. At first I liked her. I liked the way she saw herself (and writers in general) and I thought I would be able to relate to her at least. 

And then..... Emma goes to the now adult Natalie's room after her death and sees a box addressed to her, she can't possibly understand why it's there. Well maybe because you're a famous author known for uncovering the truth in your stories? That right there made me wonder just how she was able to make the connections that she did throughout this book when she overlooks the obvious answers like that. This low opinion of Emma was only made worse when she kept referring to the Wiccan religion as "Witchcraft" and claiming that she didn't realize it was "still a thing". 

As for the story as a whole (and overlooking my lack of interest in the characters, or the multitude of things that were thrown in which I felt served no purpose other than to up the word count), this was a decent story. I'm still not exactly buying what happened in the past - I've grown up on military bases and they were not like that. Yes there is a certain air of taking care of their own, but not to the extent that we are led to believe in this story.

Added to that, I don't feel like I got closure with this one. Sure we were given the pieces to the puzzle, but I don't feel like we got to see the guilty parties actually prosecuted. There is also the fact that this story ends with a cliffhanger meant to encourage the reader to continue on with the series, however, at this point, I am unsure as to whether or not I will do so. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Amazon First Reads. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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                                                                          Isolated is available from Amazon.com

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