Morning everyone.  I hope you’re all wide and awake and ready for the day ahead!  I’m delighted to be able to bring you two reviews today.  First up is on the blog tour for The Silent Dolls by Rita Herron; a fantastic & gripping mystery/crime thriller with some amazing twists; the first in the Detective Ellie Reeves series.

book blurb & Info

Silent tears trickle down her cheeks as she curls inside the tiny cave-like space. She lies on her side, darkness all around her, rubbing her fingers over the little wooden doll he’d carved. He told her to be quiet, not to cry or scream. Not to be a baby. Her throat was raw, her eyes swollen shut. She wanted her mommy and daddy. She wanted to go home.

When Penny Matthews, a seven-year-old girl with blonde curls and a gap-toothed smile, goes missing in the Appalachian mountains, Detective Ellie Reeves is called straight to the scene. According to Penny’s parents, their daughter vanished after a picnic by the creek. All that’s left behind is a pink friendship bracelet etched with “Penny”.

Ellie knows all too well that the mountains’ endless miles of dark forest and winding rivers are the perfect place for a criminal to hide. Racing against the rapidly setting sun and a brutal winter storm on the horizon, she searches desperately for Penny.

Special Agent Derrick Fox is determined to join the hunt. His younger sister, Kim, disappeared in the same area twenty-five years ago––on the day he was meant to be watching her. He’s certain the cases are linked and that over a dozen girls have vanished in the last decade. Ellie refuses to believe that their tight-knit mountain community could be home to a deadly criminal, but even she can’t deny the similarities in the cases. And when they discover the remains of a small body buried with a carved wooden doll, it’s clear they’re up against a deadly serial killer preying on innocent little girls.

As the temperature plunges, Penny’s life hangs in the balance. Most people who get lost in the woods never make it out alive. Can Ellie and Derrick defy the odds and find out the truth about all the stolen girls? Or will the mountain, and its twisted killer, claim another victim?

Published by: Bookouture on 17th July 2020

Formats available: Paperback, eBook & Audiobook

Purchase links: Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Apple ~ Kobo ~ Google


my thoughts

When a little girl goes missing along the Appalachian Trail,  Detective Ellie Reeves is called in to lead the investigation.  But what she’s not aware of, is that many girls have been going missing over the past twenty-five years along the trail but no-one has made the link ~ other than Special Agent Derrick Fox.  His sister went missing twenty-five years ago and has never been found, and he’s sure there’s more to it.

Turning up to convince Ellie, Derrick not only brings a new angle to the case but also some disturbing facts that need investigating.  Facts that could have an impact on Ellie…..

Together they embark on their intense investigation and discover the grave of a little girl.  But it’s just the beginning.  Can they find the killer before he takes another? Will they find the remains of the other missing girls? And is the killer closer than they thought?

This was so fantastic and utterly gripping.  The storyline is brilliant, and I felt like I was watching an episode of Criminal Minds!  There are some absolutely shocking and amazing twists in this; twists that I couldn’t have even made up! I tried to guess throughout the whole story who the killer might be and got it wrong so many times, it was ridiculous!

The characters are brilliant.  Our protagonist Ellie, is a strong independent woman, with the typical prejudices against her.  She’s determined and resilient and will get to the bottom of the case no matter how dangerous.  She has her owns fears and troubles, and battles with these throughout.  Her need to do the right thing and bring justice shines through, but we also get to see her more vulnerable side that no-one else sees.  Derrick is brilliant.  Strong and capable, he’s unwavering need to find his sister and solve the case is clear.  He’s emotions come through and the guilt that he feels is apparent and heart-breaking.  There are some questionable characters in here, and the one’s I ended up not liking were completely unexpected!

The setting is fantastic.  The Appalachian Trail sounds amazing, but precarious.  Herron provides a brilliant atmospheric narrative, which makes the mountains and trail not only seem beautiful, but terrifying and spooky at the same time.  I would absolutely love to visit somewhere like this (although perhaps without a serial killer on the loose!)

I really really enjoyed this.  Sucked in from the first chapter, I hurriedly turned the pages to find out what would come next.  I was completely invested in Ellie and Derrick and the investigation and felt on the edge of my seat many times.  The shockers in this was just so brilliant, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series to find out more……

If you’re looking for your next intense, exciting, gripping mystery/crime thriller, with a new strong and independent female Detective, then you should check this out.  You won’t be disappointed!  Highly recommended by me.



about the author

USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author Rita Herron fell in love with books at the ripe age of eight when she read her first Trixie Belden mystery. But she didn’t think real people grew up to be writers, so she became a teacher instead. Now she writes so she doesn’t have to get a real job/

With over ninety books to her credit, she’s penned romantic suspense, romantic comedy, and YA novels, but she especially likes writing dark romantic suspense and crime fiction set in small southern towns.

 Where to find Rita online: Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Website 

tour by


Thank you to Noelle at Bookouture for inviting me on to the tour, and to the author for a copy of the book.  All views and opinions are my own.

Make sure you check out the rest of the tour too to see what they thing!

Be back soon!

Chelle x

Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links.  If you choose to purchase this book through these link, I will receive a small payment (at no additional cost to you).  This is the only form of monetisation on my blog so every little helps and is appreciated.

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