Title: Stalked by Elizabeth Heiter
The Profiler Series Book Four
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
If you’re reading this, I’m already dead…
That’s the note seventeen-year-old Haley Cooke leaves behind when she disappears from inside her high school. FBI profiler Evelyn Baine is called in to figure out who had reason to hurt her. On the surface, the popular cheerleader has no enemies, but as Evelyn digs deeper, she discovers that everyone close to Haley has something to hide. Everyone from estranged parents, to an older boyfriend with questionable connections, to a best friend who envies Haley’s life.
Secrets can be deadly…
One of those secrets may have gotten Haley killed. If she’s still alive, Evelyn knows that the more the investigation ramps up, the more pressure they could be putting on Haley’s kidnapper to make her disappear for good. It’s also possible the teenager isn’t in danger at all, but has skillfully manipulated everyone and staged her own disappearance. Only one thing is certain: uncovering Haley’s fate could be dangerous—even deadly—to Evelyn herself.
Stalked is a mesmerizing addition to Elizabeth Heiter’s The Profiler series starring FBI Agent Evelyn Baines. Although this newest release is the fourth novel in the series, it can be read as a standalone but I highly recommend the previous installments as well.
Seventeen year old Haley Cooke has been missing for a month when profiler Evelyn Baines is assigned to the case after the teenager’s mother, Linda Varner, finds a troubling note in her daughter’s room. With Detective Sophia Lopez’s help, Evelyn re-interviews the key players in the case and although there is no new evidence, several of the people in Haley’s life appear to be less than forthcoming about the missing girl. Evelyn cannot put her finger on anything specific but something about Haley’s stepfather Pete Varner seems a little off. Haley’s college boyfriend Jordan Biltmore is obviously upset about her disappearance but his smug attitude grates on both Evelyn and Sophia. Haley’s father, Bill, is clearly angry and bitter over the divorce and Evelyn cannot help but wonder why he is convinced Haley has run away from home. Haley’s best friend Marissa Anderson reveals her suspicions that Haley was cheating on Jordan with his best friend Nate Stokes but both Evelyn and Sophia have doubts about her claim.
Evelyn’s boyfriend and fellow FBI Agent Kyle “Mac” McKenzie and his partner Jimmy Drescott are looking into a troubling attack on local college student Tonya Klein. Their investigation of her claim she was forced into human trafficking reveals a few inconsistencies with other human trafficking cases they have worked on. However, they have no reason to doubt her story and following her death, neither Jimmy nor Kyle are quite ready to give up looking into her case. Surprisingly, their investigation intersects with some of the principals in Haley’s disappearance and raises questions about whether there is a connection between the two cases.
Evelyn and Sophia know that with every passing day Haley’s chance for survival drops so they are under intense pressure to find the one clue that will break the case wide open. They feel certain that one of the people in Haley’s life is responsible for her disappearance but they are frustrated by their inability to uncover any new evidence. Evelyn is also quite concerned that her objectivity might be comprised since she is struck by similarities between Haley’s life and her own childhood experiences.
Stalked by Elizabeth Heiter is a suspense-laden mystery that is full of unexpected twists and turns. The investigation takes on a heightened sense of urgency after Kyle’s and Evelyn’s cases converge. When it appears that someone will go to any lengths to stop them from discovering the truth about Haley’s whereabouts, Evelyn and Sophia know they are on the right track. Will Evelyn, Sophia, Kyle and Jimmy put the pieces of the puzzle together and rescue Haley before it is too late?