Jilliane Hoffman was introduced to me originally by a friend and I read her first novel Retribution (2005) which I adored. However her next book didn't come out until a year later (Last Witness - 2006) and another two years go by before another book gets released (Plea of Insanity - 2008) and after that I forgot about her because it is so unpredictable with the timings of her books. Therefore I couldn't wait to get my grubby little paws on her latest thriller.
Pretty Little Things tells the story of Elaine Emerson know as Lainey. She is a normal girl except for the fact that she might as well be invisible in her own home. Her mother is too busy to know or care what she does, her little brother can do no wrong, her step-father is too busy at work and her elder sister no longer bothers coming home. So when Lainey is left to her own devices online, things go terribly wrong. With their recent house move and the loss of all of her school friends Lainey is finding it hard enough as it is to fit in at her new school, so when a handsome boy makes friends with her online she sees no reason why she shouldn't meet up with him. For Lainey this is where it all goes wrong. Where she is taken and who has taken her she can't say but she does know that she is scared and that she isn't alone.
Bobby Dees is a Special Agent and when he gets that all too familiar phone call one morning he knows the coming weeks will be hell. Bobby is suffering with his own demons and his marriage is falling apart at the seams following the disappearance of his own daughter over a year ago. Still, he pushes his grief to one side and gets to work on his latest case involving the missing Lainey. Bobby soon realises that Lainey was pretty much left to her own devices and it doesn't take long for him to figure out the last contact Lainey had was with somebody known only as El Capitan. The question is can he get to her before she winds up being another statistic?
Wow, I was really thrilled with this new book and finished it within a day and a half. It took me the usual two or three chapters to really absorb myself in the story but once there I couldn't resist going back chapter upon chapter until before I knew it I was finished. The story is laid out really well with the story told from Bobby Dees, Lainey as well as the disturbed life of the man who has taken young Lainey. The chapters were written well enough for me to start fearing for my nieces growing up! Bobby Dees is written very well and you end up liking him and Jilliane Hoffman doesn't go overboard with the sympathy vote for him which I liked. I cannot come up with one thing I didn't like about this book and am only sad that I now don't know how long I will have to wait for the next one!