‘She made an effort to open her eyes, compelling her heavy eyelids to obey.’
A beautiful blue-eyed girl is found dead at dawn, on a deserted stretch of beach in South Florida. Who is she, and how did she come to be here?
The local police involved are Detectives Todd Fradella and Gary Michowsky from the Palm Beach Police Department. They are joined by FBI Special Agent Tess Winnett, directed by her boss to work with them. Tess comes with her own baggage, as will become apparent as the story unfolds. She is relentless and driven, and not easy to work with. But she is committed to finding the killer, and is convinced that this girl is not the killer’s only victim. And, being a member of the FBI, means that Tess has access to resources over and above those available to the police.
Can Fradella, Michowsky and Winnett work together effectively enough to find the killer before he takes another life? Winnett has a bit of a track record for aggravating others, and she knows that she needs to lift her game otherwise she may be out of a job. Even brilliant agents need to work as part of a team!
This novel held my attention from the first page. It moves at a rapid pace and, in Tess Winnett, Ms Wolfe has developed a frustrating, likeable and vulnerable character. There’s plenty of tension in the story, and a few twists. One aspect raised my eyebrows: there’s what I’ll call an amazing coincidence towards the end of the story which didn’t really work for me. The coincidence (no spoilers here) may well provide satisfaction to some readers.
I finished the novel hoping that there will be more novels featuring FBI Special Agent Tess Winnett and also Detective Gary Michowsky. I’ve since discovered that Ms Wolfe has written a number of other novels (five thrillers) and that ‘Dawn Girl’ is intended to be the first in a new series.
Note: My thanks to Italics Publishing for providing me with a free electronic copy of this novel for review purposes.