The Trapped Girl is the fourth book in the addictive Tracy Crosswhite series and a joy to return to when I needed to resuscitate my reading mojo, after getting bogged down with a particularly depressing dystopian thriller during this extraordinarily difficult time as we hunker down for the global pandemic. Dugoni writes clever and gratifyingly varied mysteries and Tracy makes a delightfully human heroine.
When a young woman’s body is found concealed in a crab pot off Seattle’s coast, Tracy and her team identify her through plastic surgical records as Andrea Strickland, who had already been reported missing during a climbing trip. Flashbacks in Andrea’s voice report her whirlwind romance with a mercurial attorney whose ambitious plans led to her downfall.
We’re on day 4 of New Zealand’s lockdown, plus the weather is filthy so escaping to the heat of a Seattle summer with Tracy and her loveable colleagues was the perfect distraction. There’s just the right amount of scenic detail to be able to visualise Tracy’s steps as she investigates the missing woman’s life. Johnny Nolasco, the Captain we love to despise, is back to meddle with Tracy’s work, and as a wonderful counterpoint, her relationship with the adorable Dan progresses nicely.
This was a satisfying mystery with some clever twists and while I guessed some of it I did not predict how it would turn out at all. I thoroughly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys intelligent thrillers with vivid characters and not excessive violence. 4.5 rounded up for great writing.