Review: The Missing Woman (Detective Helen Carter #4) by Jodie Lawrance


Print Length: 342 pages
Publisher: Joffee Books (May 16, 2023)

From Detective Helen Carter is back in the thick of things. It’s a race against time to catch a serial killer targeting young women.

Twenty years ago, Helen’s father, Detective Richard Carter, worked himself to the bone to put away a notorious serial killer. Mark Landis earned infamy as the Button Killer, known for his gruesome habit of stuffing buttons down the throats of his victims.

Now it looks like the Button Killer is back. There’s a spate of killings in the city, each victim found with his trademark signature — the button . . .

Is Helen dealing with a clever copycat killer?

Or even worse, could her father have put the wrong man behind bars?

Now the killer is leaving taunting messages demanding Landis’ release — or else.

All eyes are on Helen. This case will cost her dearly, she must face her own family’s dark past to find the answers so desperately needed — and the truth could shatter her life forever . . .


My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

To begin with, I have not read any of the other stories in this series which makes me feel as though I was missing something in terms of certain characters and their relationships to one another. It wasn't enough to make me enjoy that part of the story less in any way, more curious about what all I had missed (not only in terms of Helen's relationship with her ex-fiance but also in terms of one of her colleagues divulging information to a journalist; as this happens in the very beginning of the novel, it was very confusing and to be honest, even though there was a resolution by the end of the novel, it didn't feel like a very satisfying one). 

Now moving on from that, and speaking just about this one, there was nothing wrong with this novel per say. It was just not what I expected. For the most part, it seemed to drag on when I expected there to be more edge-of-your-seat moments (this could also have something to do with the fact that there were over seventy chapters!). I definitely feel like there were some things that could have been taken out that would have shortened the story without losing any of the key elements. One such thing is the introduction of bank statements supposedly paid to Helen's deceased father. Helen believes they were faked to throw doubt on her father's investigation, therefore, we are led to believe the same thing, except it is never really proved or disproven either way. And in the grand scheme of things, that whole plot point did nothing in terms of moving the current plot along, merely wanting to cast doubt on a prior arrest. 

I also had the big reveal figured out well before Helen did, although maybe that is just because I've read so many police procedural novels recently that it makes certain phrases or actions stick out more than they would have before. 

All things considered however, I would read more from this author, and I'm sure others will enjoy this story more than I did. 

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

                                           The Missing Woman is available on
                                                   (for free if you have Kindle Unlimited)

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