By: Elizabeth Heiter
The Profiler #4
Publication Date: 12/27/2016
My Rating: 5 Stars
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.
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A special thank you to MIRA and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for and honest review.
Talented thriller author, Elizabeth Heiter returns with her highly anticipated Profiler series, following Hunted (The Profiler, #1), Vanished (The Profiler, #2), Avenged (The Profiler#2.5), Seized (The Profiler #3), to her latest:
STALKED (The Profiler #4) FBI profiler Evelyn Baine returns, as we delve into the innermost connections of deep secrets of the victim as well as the heroine’s past. An intriguing puzzle, as two cases connect. "The best of the series, thus far!
A teenage girl goes missing. Haley Cook. A straight-A student. It had been a month since she went missing. Haley’s boyfriend Jordan had dropped her off at school for cheerleading practice.
Her mom, Linda stays on top of the police investigation daily as well, and social media. Forcing herself out of the house to hopefully find out information about her daughter’s whereabouts.
How could a seventeen-year-old girl just disappear? What had she got herself into that would get her killed. The media loved to refer to her as “all-American.”
Fans get to catch up with FBI Profiler, Evelyn Baine, and Kyle McKenzie.
They had both worked for the FBI-she as a profiler in the behavioral Analysis Unit and Kyle up until a month ago, as an operator for the Hostage Rescue Team. He had been off work since taking a bullet on a mission. She’d known how risky the mission was and couldn’t help but think she hadn’t pushed hard enough to stop HRT from going in.
Now here they were, he pretending he was Ok, and she pretending she did not feel guilty. They had been dating for six months and she missed seeing him at work. Evelyn had always been a private person in an office full of other profilers.
Of course, Evelyn is reminded of another blond-haired girl from her past. Cassie, her friend who disappearance had sent Evelyn into profiling years ago.
There was a lack of clues yet the story had captivated the country and was well-known. No one had seen Haley since she walked into the high school a month ago. Unless she had been killed there. If so where was the body?
Evelyn had a bad feeling. Then the mom found the note. A key piece of evidence gone unnoticed. If her note was correct, the person had already killed her.
Pete the stepfather, Father, Bill, Mother, Linda, Marissa the friend, Jordan, the college boyfriend. Who would want to hurt Haley?
She has good friends, including her best friend, Marissa. Haley has also been dating an older college guy, Jordan. By all accounts, Haley doesn't have any enemies, and certainly, no one would ever want to hurt her.
In the midst of the case, old memories resurface from Evelyn’s past.
To the world, family and friends were grieving and searched as hard as they could for Haley. However, up close, there was a strange dynamic in the household. There was a clear animosity between the Varners and Bill (biological father). Where did Haley fit? How many secrets did this family have.?
With more than a half-million people reported missing every year in the US alone. The first twenty-four hours were crucial, the first forty-eight the most likely time to make a live recovery. After a month, the chances were practically nonexistent. Especially when the victim was a beautiful teenage girl.
Meanwhile, Kyle and his partner, Jimmy are looking into an attack in local college student Tonya Klein. Human trafficking. Does this case connect with Haley’s disappearance?
While Evelyn tracks all the secrets in the life of a missing teenager and her family, navigating hidden agendas and motives that might mean the girl’s death, the reader also gets a glimpse into Evelyn’s past and the secret she didn’t keep as a child that changed her own life.
Keeping secrets can have unintended consequences. Evelyn spends two weeks chasing a girl surrounded by secrets that had nearly ended her own life. She goes back to when she was ten years old once again.
At an early age, she put into motion all the things to come in her own life. From FBI agent to Kyle. Her journey to a life of her own, not burdened by secrets and lies from the past.
Elizabeth is a pro at blending police procedures with psychological suspense and mystery with top-notch crime writing. From well-researched material, a fast moving plot, to exceptional character development. She keeps you glued to the pages from the first page to the last.
Since I have read the series from the beginning, it has been fun following bi-racial female profiler, Evelyn, and Kyle (hope we will see more of this team)! She is strong, gutsy, and edgy!
Read more about the inspiration for STALKED from real-life cases featured here: The Big Thrill.
Highly recommend reading all the books in the series. Fans of Mary Burton's Morgans of Nashville series will enjoy!
Dec Must Reads
THE PROFILER SERIES
2.5 Avenged (short story, available through Elizabeth's website)
About the Author
Critically acclaimed and award-winning author ELIZABETH HEITER likes her suspense to feature strong heroines, chilling villains, psychological twists, and a little bit (or a lot!) of romance. Her research has taken her into the minds of serial killers, through murder investigations, and onto the FBI Academy’s shooting range. Her novels have been published in a dozen countries and translated into seven languages.
Elizabeth graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in English Literature. She’s a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America and Romance Writers of America. Elizabeth is also a regular columnist for International Thriller Writers at The Thrill Begins as part of "Murderers Row."
The heroine of Elizabeth's Profiler novels was called "one of the most amazing characters created in print" by Fresh Fiction, and her latest Lawmen novel won the RT Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Intrigue. Her novels have received praise from Lee Child, J.T. Ellison, Jeffery Deaver, Tess Gerritsen, R.L. Stine, Allison Brennan, Laura Griffin, Suzanne Brockmann, Hank Phillippi Ryan and Zoë Sharp. Read More