Girl in Trouble: Alex Mercer Thrillers, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
He gave up his daughter years ago, but now he'll risk his life to save hers.
Alex Mercer is no stranger to kidnappings. The emotional scars still run deep from his sister's disappearance years earlier. His daughter Ariana remains safe long after her adoption, and he cherishes the few times a year he gets to see her. The joy is palpable when he takes her on their first one-on-one outing. At least until he pauses to answer a text and Ariana disappears....
Wracked with guilt and determined to find answers, Alex teams up with an unlikely ally at the police department. As the clues reveal a pattern of missing girls, the kidnapping case becomes a race against time to save Ariana. What cost is Alex willing to pay to keep his daughter alive?
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|Listening Length||9 hours and 16 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||February 27, 2018|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #115,268 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#2,483 in Crime Thrillers (Audible Books & Originals)
#8,383 in Suspense (Audible Books & Originals)
#23,389 in Crime Thrillers (Books)
Top reviews from the United States
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Ariana is a bright and beautiful child who knows she's loved, and has a healthy dose of confidence due to that fact. She's going to need all of that to keep her going after her worst birthday ever.
As this intricate plot unfolds in delicate detail, the reader enjoys the POV of not only Alex and his daughter, but also of a psychopath with a devious agenda. This is not a formulaic, simple story line. Instead it's full of several moving parts that keep the reader at full alert throughout the novel.
The characters are nicely done, and fairly complicated. My only possible exception to the characterizations was Ariana's mother, Zoey, who is not the typical grieving mother. She's a tad bit narcissistic with a serious side of drama queen. That's fine, she's an interesting character as is. But at one point she seems to overcome her nature and soften her sharp points. Not so sure that was realistic.
I loved the fact that our loser dad, Alex, shows great growth in this story. It was also wonderful to have a police captain who is a genuinely good guy--they're so rarely portrayed that way in this type of thriller.
Sensitive readers who find trigger points in child kidnappings may wish to forgo this novel. For those who aren't concerned, buckle up for a wild ride on the dark side.
First, as someone else mentioned, how on earth did this guy manage to be kidnapping and killing young girls every year for 30 years but never getting detected EVER? That and there were two of them - I had started to suspect the "twin theory" but there hadn't been a lot of evidence and then all the way too weird coincidence of both having a house with a weird seemingly circa 1970's (despite this being "35 years before so it should have been late 80's) upstairs and a modern downstairs that basically mirror each other, laundry room with dried blood (or was it ketchup...? whaaaaa?) and all?
Then, about the news stories around the original incident - you seriously think they would have posted photos of "the bloated body" but there would be absolutely NOTHING about any of the family's names except the victim? Not to mention the way that whole situation happened in the first place with the twin brothers and younger sister and the drowning and everything.
Are we seriously supposed to believe that a 14 year old Alex (he's now 25 in the book and Ari is 11) hooked up with his sister's 16 year old BFF, got her pregnant, "wasn't there for her when she left for college" and then they have some love-affirming revelation when their daughter has gone missing and they finally really speak for the first time and basically discover it's all been a big misunderstanding all these years?
That TWO young girls from the same family are kidnapped by random psycho strangers looking to replace loved ones lost to tragedy and mentally transforming these kidnapees into their lost relatives (read the synopsis about the book about Macy's kidnapping)? I know the idea is to keep up the story with characters previous readers already knew but this is nuts.
The complete and utter shoddy police and FBI work which really made the FBI agents seem like a bunch of bumbling Keystone Cops but the police were not much better. How were they not protecting the family more post-kidnapping. How were they not tracing all these calls and texts despite being from "a blocked number". How did they go SO far off the track with the fake confession and how on earth did that even happen in the first place. How did an esteemed police captain let the drunk, deadbeat dad of the kidnapped kid not only have a LOT of details about the case but actually participating in (and screwing up) the investigation?
Now looking back on all of this, I'm surprised I even finished it but at least it was free.
All that being said, I did have a couple of "gripes" about The Girl in Trouble. 1) the "girl in trouble" acted in a way someone maybe 6 or 7 years older would have (in my opinion), not her age. Another thing was that the ending felt a bit rushed. The pacing was very good, up until then. I didn't really "have time to feel" the ending. It all just, happened in a blur of emotion. If that was the desired effect, I don't agree with that specific use of change of pace.
If I had to grade this book on a scale of 0-100 I'd say it takes the grade of 92 because of my differences in opinion. No book is perfect, but this one is very, very good! I have already recommended it to many of my friends!
Enjoy your read!
Top reviews from other countries
The main character is an absentee father who is worshiped by the daughter he abandoned to such a degree that their creepy relationship left me feeling extremely uneasy. After showing little interest in his daughter for most of her life he suddenly decides to take her out for the night and throw a sickie the following day so he can spend more time with her - which immediately sets the alarm bells ringing. He also has the best time EVER in a kiddies play zone. Wow.
The daughter is apparently a young teenager but she acts like a six-year-old (visiting a soft play area with daddy is the greatest treat ever and she's forever gushing how much she loves being with him). She dresses like a sixteen-year-old and has friends who are obviously a little more switched on, yet she spends 364 days every year preparing for that year's Halloween party - really? We're meant to accept this as fact - that's how unbelievable this character is.. And when she willingly goes off with a stranger we hope that she'll end up dead and put us out of our misery.
Judging by other low-scoring reviews on here, things don't get any better. Maybe that's why this writer decided to throw this one out as a freebie. But I still feel robbed.
Unfortunately characters are not anywhere near credible and the plot is not just implausible but unbelievable. Individuals are largely flawed and illogical, and the story is a string of unexplained happenings, shifts in relationships and countless coincidences. Main protagonist Alex Mercer, is looking after his daughter Ariana when she is kidnapped, but he is living separately and not married to her single mother Zoey, who is engaged to someone else and living with her parents who are Ariana’s grandparents, and Alex’s parents are also part of this mixed-up family. To complicate matters further there is Alex’s sister who was herself abducted some years ago, and the main police Captain also has his own nightmares over losing children. Too many coincidences for me!
Hotspots of conflict are interwoven as Alex is a person of interest and he is hounded by trolls, and Zoey’s fiancé is suspected, and the investigators lack awareness with FBI over-riding local police. Such issues cloud the storyline where the only suspense generated is by keeping readers uninformed. Luckily Alex unexpectedly recognises the kidnapper in a supermarket! Come on – this is ridiculous! I carried on reading up to the denouement but found this an anti-climax. My criticisms may be ignored by readers seeking swashbuckling attributes, but for me ‘Girl In Trouble’ can be no better than average – hence 3-star rating.