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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Don't Talk to Strangers

ISBN: 9780553808094
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 7/1/2014
Pages: 336
Format: Other
My Rating: 5 Stars
Hailed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as “one of the most addictive new series heroines,” Keye Street is the brilliant, brash heart of a sizzling thriller full of fear and temptation, judgments and secrets, infidelity and murder.
He likes them smart. In the woods of Whisper, Georgia, two bodies are found: one recently dead, the other decayed from a decade of exposure to the elements. The sheriff is going to need help to track down an experienced predator—one who abducts girls and holds them for months before ending their lives. Enter ex–FBI profiler and private investigator Keye Street.
He lives for the struggle. After a few weeks, Keye is finally used to sharing her downtown Atlanta loft with her boyfriend, A.P.D. Lieutenant Aaron Rauser. Along with their pets (his dog, her cat) they seem almost like a family. But when Rauser plunks a few ice cubes in a tumbler and pours a whiskey, Keye tenses. Her addiction recovery is tenuous at best.
And loves the fear. Though reluctant to head out into the country, Keye agrees to assist Sheriff Ken Meltzer. Once in Whisper, where the locals have no love for outsiders, Keye starts to piece together a psychological profile: The killer is someone who stalks and plans and waits.
But why does the sociopath hold the victims for so long, and what horrible things must they endure? When a third girl goes missing, Keye races against time to connect the scant bits of evidence. All the while, she cannot shake the chilling feeling: Something dark and disturbing lives in these woods—and it is watching her every move.

My Review

A special thank you to Random House Publishing Group - Bantam Dell and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This was my first book by Amanda Kyle Williams, and was delighted to discover a newfound author in Atlanta and freelance for AJC----WOW, what an impressive writing style as was hooked immediately and a new dedicated fan!
How much fun is this new Keyes Series (loving it) – A 5 star WINNER! A thriller with lots of secrets, action, murder, and sizzling temptation. I have not read the other two books in the series; however, will be adding them to my reading list ASAP. I recommend visiting the author’s website for a full background of Keye Street, which was very helpful.
Keye Street is my kind of detective -----love, love, love this character! Complicated, tough, complex, smart, sexy, witty, savvy, and of course flawed! An investigative consultant who has worked serial killer cases, former FBI profiler, a recovering alcoholic, and a self-destructive personality, who messes up all the good things in her life.
Latisha, the wise-cracking office manager (reminded me a bit of the dynamic duo in the Stephanie Plum series. Bail bond enforcer, Stephanie with her side kick Lulu, with the same love for donuts, mischief, and her famous Glock --from Janet Evanovich Plum Series)-- a huge fan, as have read them all!
Deep in the woods of Whisper, Georgia (population 2,884), Lake Oconee area-- two bodies are found: one recently dead, the other for quite some time ago like ten years at the same site. The local sheriff needs help tracking down the murderer and investigator, Keye Street is called in to assist. So she picks up and temporarily moves into (not the Ritz), but a small hotel to solve this case, with bad coffee and plenty of attitudes to deal with, in the boonies of Whisper.
Not exactly a warm welcome by the local good ole boys and detectives,
threated by this tough female with southern jealousy, small town prejudice, and a flawed system are just a few obstacles, combined with the attraction to sexy Meltzer, and of course a killer to find.
The victims are two teenage girls, Tracy Davidson lived about twenty miles away from Melinda Cochran, second victim, who lives in Whisper, and the disappearance of a third heats up the investigation.
An immediate attraction and some flirting between Sheriff Ken Meltzer (quote: “Keith Urban, hot”); however, she has to fight temptation since she is relationship with Atlanta’s PD tough Aaron Rauser (like Stephanie and Joe/Ranger trio)—share a condo while Rauser’s house is being rebuilt, due to a tornado. Of course the duo, with cat (White Trash) and poodle (Hank), maintaining a not so free drama one.
As the investigation get underway, and suspense builds, Keye begins to put together a psychological profile of a killer who stalks, plans, and waits. The question is why the wait? As the killer zeroes in on Keye, with creepy notes “Figure me out. Catch me if you can. Listen to me”, the suspense becomes intense, as her life is threatened.
As with all small towns, everyone has to be involved in everyone’s business and protects their own. The dialogue is well executed and characters are real, as this small town must entertain the possibility of their own southern town—not as safe, as they may think.
A well written riveting crime thriller, which keeps you guessing until the end. Amanda Kyle Williams most definitely knows the South and speaks their language; expert plotting, rich character development, and so loving her crisp writing style!
DON’T TALK TO STRANGERS could serve as a standalone; however, I for one will want to rush out to purchase the other previous books (Book 1 The Stranger You Seek, Book 2 - The Stranger in the Room) in the series to learn more about these intriguing characters.
Highly recommend this satisfying yet riveting thriller, a mystery with twists and turns, action packed---keeping you page turning well into the night and wee morning hours. Looking forward to reading more from this talented author!
Could so relate to the story, having lived and worked in Atlanta, in the media and publishing business for over 12 years—l love Southern authors, especially crime, thrillers, and a good mystery, set in Georgia.
This novel made me miss the good days in Atlanta, and in addition, had a former home in Big Canoe (Georgia Mountains), so definitely know all the rural areas, the parks, as well as a former Membership Director for the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, in Alpharetta, GA, could envision all the settings and Amanda Kyle Williams, captured the area, perfectly!
The Southern fans will love and appreciate (Krispy Kreme donuts, Braves, Kyrstals, Ponce de Leon, Decatur, Peachtree Street, Georgian Terrace Hotel, Georgia Power, Coca-Cola, Midtown, Lake Oconee, Stone Mountain, and other Peach State mentions, and all Hot Atlanta, has to offer)!
Fans of Lisa Jackson, Tess Gerritsen, Karin Slaughter, Karen Robards, and even on a humorous note southern writers---Mary Kay Andrews (Kathy Hogan Trocheck), Joshilyn Jackson, Wendy Wax, Susan Rebecca White; or perhaps, Janet Evanovich (Plum Series) will relate and love, DON’T TALK TO STRANGERS, as well as the riveting Keyes series ---
Can’t wait for the next one, especially with the teaser at the end, with the 954 area code popping up (as speaking my language again, as currently a South Florida resident)—will keep my fingers crossed for another ARC, as not sure I can wait until the next one comes out.
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