Thursday, January 18, 2024

✱✱Book Review✱✱ Stable: Someone is Taking Them... by Cam Torrens

 

A kidnapper hiding in plain sight.

A rural town with tons of suspects.

From debut author Cam Torrens comes a gut-wrenching suspense novel based on an actual missing person case.

A 911 call sends Search & Rescue on a search for a missing girl in the Collegiate Peaks. They find a child…but not the one they seek.

Air Force pilot Tyler Zahn's life disintegrated when he lost his son. He discarded his family, his career, and his dignity, finding solace in apathy and beer. Eight years later, armed with new confidence, he invites his estranged daughter, Daria, to visit his Rocky Mountain home. Zahn tries too hard to mend their relationship, and as the tension between father and daughter increases, forgiveness seems out of reach. Especially when his Search & Rescue work pulls him away from Daria and she finds romance at the church camp next door.

But Zahn can't get the missing girl he found—and the one he can't find—out of his mind. Someone in this mountain valley is collecting children, and Zahn is gradually drawn into the case while still trying to break through to his daughter.

Then she disappears too.

Momma Says: 4 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐

I really enjoy a good thriller, and I'm always on the lookout for a new series to follow. The subgenre doesn't matter to me - I like them all - but there are some things I look for. I like dark, gritty thrillers with tension that keeps me turning those pages to get to the big reveal. So much the better if there are some good twists and a few possibilities for the big baddie. Cam Torrens has all that covered and then some. Not only is Stable: Someone is Taking Them... his debut, but it's also the beginning of a series starring Tyler Zahn.
Zahn is my kind of hero. He's not perfect by any means. Instead, he's a bit broken by loss, and after years of self-medicating (alcohol), he's trying to get his life back on track. That includes mending his relationship with his now college-age daughter.
Then there's his work with Search & Rescue, and this search turns up a bit more than they bargained for. The search for one missing girl turns up a different girl, also missing. That's where things turn dark and gritty and pretty disturbing. There are a handful of choices for the villain, and Torrens does a solid job of making them all look a little suspicious. I'll go ahead and say that I did guess the big bad, but I couldn't even begin to guess the why of it all.
The most impressive thing about this book, in my opinion, is how real these characters feel, especially Tyler Zahn. He's a guy I want to root for, a guy I want to see catch the bad guy/gal and bring them to justice. The author does a fine job of making Zahn relatable and real. The same goes for the case Zahn is working on. It doesn't get too far out there, so it's believable.
The only drawback for me lay in the pacing. I think once Torrens gets a feel for the pacing and avoids some lags in the story, this series will take off. I'm already invested in this character, and I hope to see much more of him in future thrillers. I'm also looking forward to seeing this debut author grow in his craft with each new book. So, if you enjoy a good gritty thriller, I'd advise giving this one a read. 



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